In an unexpected turn of events, the Steelers vs. Patriots game on Thursday Night Football actually became an interesting matchup, ultimately coming down to the final possessions and seconds of the night.
What was predicted to be a showing of two horrific offenses trying to score touchdowns wound up defying the odds and wound up being one of the more entertaining games shown on Amazon Prime this season.
Everything seemed to be working in the away team's favor, as the Patriots accomplished things they hadn't all season long, like scoring on their opening possession and headed into halftime up 21-10.
The rest of the game was a little shaky, and the offense wasn't able to maintain the momentum they had throughout the first 30 minutes, but the defense continued to play how they have over the last month and, outside of a 4th quarter touchdown, manhandled the Steelers offense all night long.
But because many in New England have already shifted their focus from the 2023 season to the 2024 NFL draft, a win was not the result they hoped to see. On the other hand, fans who did want a victory cannot begin to fathom why anyone would want to see the team lose, even if it did mean a better first-round draft pick.
It has created some overreactions that should be highlighted and addressed, so let's dive into it.
Overreaction #1: The Patriots are BACK!
Are they though?
Being excited about this Patriots win, especially since the offense looked pretty solid throughout the first half, is understandable. Given how poorly they've looked all season, it's warranted to celebrate. However, assuming this means they have magically turned things around in Week 14 and Bailey Zappe's presence has made all the difference is very dramatic, hence being called an overreaction.
There are plenty of things to be happy about based on their performance on Thursday night, though. The offense looked much more in sync and energized than they have since basically their win over the Bills, and a win significantly boosts morale, which this team desperately needed. It
On top of that, it shows that the offense isn't completely lost despite looking that way nearly every week, and a good game plan was put together to take down a longtime rival like the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Counteracting that, though, is the realization that this is who the Patriots have been over the last few seasons. They will have games where everything goes right, and they can move the ball down the field exactly how they want to. The quarterback makes beautiful throws, receivers are open, and running backs are breaking tackles left and right.
But then reality hits the following week when they have another stinker, immediately bringing us back down to earth to remind us who they've been. Perhaps that's being negative, but it's the lesson we've been repeatedly taught over the last three years, so we should maybe accept this game for what it is and not jump ahead in believing it could lead to something bigger in the final four games.