Patriots vs Steelers: The Aftermath

Jerod Mayo

Not even Jerod Mayo's return could help the Patriots beat the Steelers on Sunday.

NEPD Staff Writer: Doug Kyed

“To be the best, you have to beat the best.”

After beating the Patriots 25-17, I think it’s pretty fair to say the Steelers are the best team in the AFC. The Steelers controlled the clock and didn’t allow the Patriots to get anything going on offense all game.

-The first thing that needs to be brought up is the non-challenge on that Gronkowski non-TD. The Patriots ate a minute and a half off the clcok by not challenging that play. On the replay it was pretty clear that Gronkowski had possession inside the end zone. Obviously hindsight is 20/20 and no one could have known that Faulk wouldn’t get in the next play, but even if he had, they had already wasted 40 seconds before they even ran the pass to Faulk when they needed all the time they could get.

-Speaking of Faulk, what are the Patriots doing playing Faulk so much in his first game back? Faulk is the Patriots’ best blocking RB, but that didn’t seem to do a lot of good, did it? The Patriots drafted two running backs in the first three rounds, one of whom was inactive and the other didn’t see a single snap against Pittsburgh despite being active. Where was Ridley? Where was Green-Ellis for that matter. This team isn’t going to win with only twelve carries.

-Coming out of the first half, the Patriots were only down seven and had a chance to really turn the game around. They could have started controlling the time of possession, ran the no huddle, run the ball down the Steelers’ throats. Instead, all they could muster was a three and out.

-I know this is going to sound like blasphemy, but Tom Brady hasn’t looked like the same player he was in the first two weeks of the season lately. Granted, you’re not going to throw for 400-500 yards every game, but this offense hasn’t seemed to be clicking as much since the loss to the Bills.

-Obviously the offense isn’t the biggest concern on this New England team. The Pats once again did a nice job against the run only allowing 98 yards on 23 carries, but the pass defense was a completely different story.

-It seemed like the Pats were so concerned with not letting Mike Wallace get deep that they were allowing everyone else to get open in the middle of the field. Cutting Leigh Bodden looked perplexing at the time and now it looks even worse. Antwaun Molden was bad and got benched, Phillip Adams looked bad and Molden came back in. James Ihedigbo looked bad, Sergio Brown looked bad and Ihedigbo came back in.

-None of the Pats linebackers specialize in pass coverage as well. Spikes excels against the run, Ninkovich excels in pass rush, Mayo is better utilized elsewhere and Guyton can’t do anything right.

-The Steelers converted 10-16 on third downs. When the defense can’t get off the field, the offense won’t be able to bail them out.

-I’m not blowing up the team and I’m not blowing up the season, but with this defense the Patriots won’t be able to beat the better teams in the league. Unfortunately you can no longer look forward to “when Dowling comes back…” Dowling isn’t coming back. The Patriots are stuck with who they have and unless it’s them not knowing the system well enough, they’re just not very good. Today the Patriots defense didn’t allow the Patriots offense to bail them out. It wasn’t turnovers that killed the Patriots, it wasn’t big plays, it wasn’t penalties, it was time of possession.

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33 Responses to “Patriots vs Steelers: The Aftermath”

  1. Lundahl says:

    I’m not worried. I’m disappointed Pats didn’t play Pats football: no no-huddle offense, wishy washy offense, not enough “pumpin'”, Welker misused. So, it’s really more a consequence of gameplan choices, bad calls, ran the ball when they could of simply thrown it. Polamalu is really the only real threat tey have a on the DB depth. Sure, they have a damn good LB core, but then spread the D, the blitzes will be flagrant to recognize. Yeah, the secondary looks dead, but Bodden (not that I admire) left, Dowling is on IR, so BB is completely restructurating the secondary this year. Plus Sanders was cut. In the end, Steelers had a good offense, but didn’t exactly routed us. We did have some chances but the O screwed up. So, it’s a loss, and I living in Sweden bugs me ’cause I have to stay up late to watch those games, but it’s not dramatic. The mistakes are correctable, not like the Jets who don’t have a quarterback.

  2. TD says:

    You don’t get impact players drafting at the end of the draft year after year or stockpliling picks in rounds 2 or 3. Would you have liked BB to trade up and draft guys with his flawed record of drafting as you mention, only to cut them but still have a big cap hit ala Vernon Gholston??
    I see only 1 team in the league that drafts WR’s of impact-the Packers.

    • Ryan says:

      Not to say there is flaw in your logic. I just did a short search. Tamba Hali – 20th Clay Matthews – 26th Ray Lewis – 26th. Mathias Kiwanuka – 32nd. Look at the drafts from 2005-2010 (pretty embarrassing), there is plenty of talent at the end of the first round early second round.

      And yes I would like him to move up, I would rather move up and have a bust. Then to move back and have 3 busts. Whats the difference you tell me?

      • TD says:

        You’ve named only 4 guys in 5 drafts out of a possible 60-70!

        Outside of Lewis, all of the guys mentioned had to be projected to position other than what they played in college. You really have made my case that it’s very difficult finding impact players in the lower first round.

        • Ryan says:

          Those are only some of the players not to mention I didn’t even put on there offensive impact players. Plenty of guys we towards the end of the first rounds that would be helping this team right now.

          But on another note, I hope that we continue to run the 4-3, for the main reason that it should be easier to draft players. It seems like BB was always looking for the DE/OLB hybrid, and in the last 3-4 years has yet to find one.

    • Ryan says:

      Thats not to say he hasn’t drafted well. But I feel like he has definitely spent most of our higher better positioned picks on offense. Not only that he definitely drafts offensive players better.

  3. Big Dan From Maine says:


    How everyones thoughts on this defense has changed. I bet no one jumps all over me, trying to defend it now. Guys I have been telling you for weeks that our defense SUCKED. No one wanted to listen. We are going to be in big trouble if they can’t get it turned around. We for years have neglected the pass rush. We would not have gotten any sacks yesterday if Big Ben didnt hold the ball so long. Some one made the comment about how we have drafted cornerbacks high since 2007, but only have one on the roster and the rest of the cornerbacks on our roster are undrafted free agents. Maybe some of those high draft picks would have been better served with some outside linebackers.

    Our drafting history shows we have no idea what we are doing in the draft. Yes we get all kinds of trades, stockpile all kinds of picks, but never turn that stockpile into anything.

    Some one is going to jump on last years draft when we got Hernandez and Gronk, but how may years prior to that did we waste high picks and multiple picks on terrible tight ends or tight ends that couldnt make the team.

    I dont even want to get started on how we do drafting wide recievers. If Belicheck is such a genious, and realized the league was going to be a pass happy league, why didnt we draft a few decent recievers, and some rush linebackers.

    Take a look at who was drafted after the recievers we drafted. It will make you puke to see what was out there immediatley after we Traded UP to take Brandon Tate, Chad Jackson, or Bethel Johnson. The last decent reciever that we drafted was in 2002, thats right 9 years with out drafting a decent reciever.

    By the way, the last high draft pick on a rush line backer, was Shawn Crabel. We traded up for that pick also if i remember correctly.

  4. Ryan says:

    1. Kevin Faulk should NEVER get that many snaps in a game. Im sorry, I appreciate what he has done, but he is not the best RB on the team. We needed to establish the run.

    2. The offensive line is undisciplined at best, they have not gel’d all year. They commit more penalties on a good drive than they ever have. Every time we get close someone jumps or holds. Its gross.

    3. My faith for Ocho is lost. Where is Taylor Price?

    4. Albert Haynesworth is washed up, we are halfway through the season and get gets close-line by a G. Jokes

    5. Biggest surprise the LB’s aren’t that bad. Who would have thought.

    6. Good thing we released Bodden all of these team cast off are great. Shoot the guys we draft aren’t even that good. McCourty needs a wake up call.

    7. And we still need a safety.

    8. I wouldn’t attribute all of this to the coaches, the onside kick was a terrible idea. Since BB as NEVER converted one as a Patriot.

    9. Gostowski, isn’t looking awesome since he got back.

    • Big Dan From Maine says:

      Taylor Price was on the field alot. Brady actually targeted him once. Which is one more that Ocho Stinko got. Price was WIDE open and brady trhew a wounded duck to him and it fell incomplete.

  5. D. T. says:

    HOWWW??? The trade deadline is gone, all legit free agents are gone and here we are with four cornerbacks. Arrington is solid on a good day but has weaknesses that are defined and clear to see. McCourty is a horrible CB (read PFF’s article) but we give him a pass because he has potential and showed he can be a star last year. Molden is a complete unknown who hasn’t shown that much so far. Philip Adams is just a liability. Chung plays well and we don’t have a single good safety next to him. Ihedigbo is a good STer but not a good DB. Losing Dowling and Bodden has changed the complexion of this season. I bet we’re going to draft another DB now. 🙁 Our D looked horrific.

    The only consolation I have is that hopefully this will wake the Patriots up and we’ll get back to the winning ways. So far almost every BYE team has lost so it’s not unusual. The Steelers are good. I also think that sometimes we Patriots fans take our losses much more seriously than anyone else. Look at the Jets – they lose all kinds of games and still talk about SBs when they hit December. Or the Ravens or Steelers – they lose games but everyone has a sort of “keep calm and carry on” attitude. Almost every team (except for the Packers) has shown serious weakness this year so let’s all calm down and see how the Patriots handle the Giants and Jets. If they lose to either of these, I will retract my SB appearance prediction.

    I’m still not understanding though how the Steelers D shut the Patriots O down so well.

    • TD says:

      The thing with the Pack & Jets is that they have great Secondaries and/or a great pass rush in a predominantly passing league. We have neither and must counteract with our own passing game to get the score in the 30’s, but when we can’t pass block and/or get open chalk up a loss.

    • DWE says:

      The Steelers have some sort of proffessional football defense, and the Patriots O-line is a combo of TOASTER LEAVING’S, PTACH WORK & LUCK……………….question answered.

      Thank you again Bill “Altimers without Weiss/Cremmel/Pioli” Belichick

  6. qwerty says:

    >Unfortunately you can no longer look forward to “when Dowling comes back…” Dowling isn’t coming back.

    after releasing bodden, this really drove a stake thru the season

  7. John Major says:

    The Patriots had no long passing game today. Which receiver is their deep threat? When is Brady going to throw a deep ball to Ochozero or Price? I think the main reason he doesn’t throw them the long pass is that they were covered. There was 1 play that Price did get open but Brady underthrew the ball.

    • TD says:

      How could he go long? He was under siege the whole game, as evidenced by the score, of which 7 can be attributed to Guyton’s INT.

  8. TD says:

    It seems like BB is now trying to do his on-the-fly retooling of the secondary, but it aint working, especially since he’s using guys off the street. Butler looked good compared to some of these guys.

  9. Rob says:

    I really miss Romeo Crennel… I’m sure BB knows what he’s doing when it comes to his decisions on defense but i think having Romeo commanding our defense again would’ve guided us back in the right direction. Instead of BB taking on the defensive responsibilities, we should’ve hired Romeo as DC when Pees stepped down a couple yrs ago.

    • DWE says:

      Thank you Rob for the statement. Romeo Cremmel and Charlie Weiss took the mother share of responsability for shaping players attitude and homing their skills which turned into…….winning ring’s here in N.E., Scott Pioli also. Ever since it’s been ALL BILL BELICHICK, IT’S BEEN ALL 1-AND -DONE OR JUST PLAIN SUCK ASS COAT TAIL RIDING. Question…….was there ever a SPY GATE episode while earning the ring’s? Was there ever a SPY GATE episode when Romoe Cremmel, Charlie Weiss and Scott Pioli were here?

      Bill Belichick will NEVER win a title on his own…….EVER. Someone need’s to pop his inflated head bring him down to size and govern for him. Robert Kraft need to get off his ARS and see who he can bring back in.

      Belichick need to be tested……medical like.

  10. John says:

    how do we pick a DB in the first 2 rounds since 2007 and end up with this? and if they go with the policy of just taking DBs high in the draft until they get a get a few quality starters why dont they do that with pass rushers too?

    • NEPD says:

      Injuries and lack of development in players are sometimes not an organization’s fault. Sometimes it is. The jury is still out here.

      • Big Dan From Maine says:

        Please how can you even say this with our drafting history. Unless you think so much of BB that he can turn crap into diamonds.

        • geronimo says:

          Pro-Bowl, All-Pro, or Super Bowl MVP drafted every year Belichick has been here.

        • DWE says:

          WOW, so we can draft at best, a single guy average every year who can call himself a Pro Bowl player or the like for one or two years of his NFL existance…….WOOPIE!

          This team has been riding the backs of what USED 2B for some time now, and the further along BB takes it, it get’s further and further away…..Thus, just how many FUTURE pro-Bowlers and the like will be coming out of the Pats as BB roles on with his Altimers Drafting techniques…..?

          Yah’ Man; Let’s pop out a pro bowler here and a pro bowler there so we can watch them collectively SUCK as a TEAM and then leave for another team if they don’t get 75x as much money from us to stay……..woopie about a few pro bowlers being in a patriot uniform…..woopie.

  11. John says:

    Everyone who thinks we should trade brady is an idiot. Brady wins despite the incompetence of the rest of this team. This defense is a terrible mix of bad coaching and personal decisions and the defense was so bad today it was impossible for brady to bail them out.

  12. TD says:

    This team is going one and out again with that secondary and lack of pass rush up the middle.

    The OLine was a disaster this game, especially the RT spot.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      Yup. I have no idea why Vollmer was in for that last snap, let alone why he was playing in this game.

      • TD says:

        If it’s any consolation, Solder took an outside rusher, allowing an inside guy a free run at the QB, at which point I think BB put Vollmer back in.

      • TD says:

        Solder had his problems in pass protection also. On one play he took an outside rusher, allowing an inside guy free run to QB.

    • Ryan says:

      I’m not even sure we will get to the playoffs. Defense is beyond terrible.

      • Doug Kyed says:

        They’ll make the playoffs, but they’ve also got a pretty favorable schedule going forward. They should be able to beat the Giants, Jets, Chiefs, Eagles, Colts, Redskins, Broncos, Dolphins and Bills. Every one of those games is winnable. The Giants, Jets, Eagles and Bills could be tough though.

        But just by nature of their schedule, the Pats will make the playoffs.

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