Tag Archives: Ben Roethlisberger

NFL WEEK 11 PICKS

Obviously, the Jaguars beat the Titans on TNF.

Raiders (0) over LIONS –

The Oakland Raiders need this win more than anything.  They are tied with Kansas City in the AFC South, and they MUST win this game if they want to have a chance to make the playoffs.  Detroit is 4th in their division, so they aren’t really playing for anything, except the win.  While the game is in Detroit, the Raiders have more pressure to win the game, and more heart.  I believe the Oakland Raiders will win the game.

 FALCONS (-6) over Colts

This is a MUST win for both teams. The game is in Atlanta, so the Falcons will have home field advantage.  I had a hard time making this pick, however I do believe the Atlanta Falcons will come out with the win.  First off, Andrew Luck is not expected to play, which will make it much harder for the Colts to win.  Second, I just don’t see the Colts defense stopping the Atlanta offense.  It will be very hard to stop Devonta Freeman, who is playing at his best this year.

EAGLES (-7) over Bucs

This is also another MUST win for both teams if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs.  However, I am picking the Eagles to win this game.  While the Eagles have their issues which I’ll explain in a bit, I just don’t see a Jameis Winston led team being able to pull out the win.  Part of the issue is Tampa Bay’s defense which is not great at all.  The Eagles biggest issue is, Mark Sanchez.  There are obviously more factors, but last week the Eagles played a great first half, then Sam Bradford got hurt of course, and Mark Sanchez subbed in.  Then, in the fourth quarter, when you have to be clutch, Mark Sanchez could not finish the game.  I think this will be a very close game, but the Eagles will be able to pull out the win.  Mark Sanchez will throw at least one interception, and I think the reason why the Eagles will win this game is because of their running game, especially with DeMarco Murray in the backfield.

BEARS (0) over Broncos

With the Bears coming off a HUGE road win against the Rams last week, they will be ready to come out and battle the Broncos at home on Sunday.  It will be a lot harder for the Broncos to win without Peyton Manning, as Brock Osweiler will be the starting quarterback for the Broncos.  However, I am picking the Denver Broncos to win the football game.  Many may disagree, however, in my opinion, I think the Saint Louis Rams made some mistakes which caused the Bears to win the football game.  The Chicago Bears will lose this week to the Broncos as reality will set in.

Rams (+2.5) over RAVENS

This may be a difficult game to pick based on the stat sheet, but it is quite easy for me.  I am picking the Rams to win the game.  The Rams are 2nd in their division and need to come out with the win if they want to have a chance at making the playoffs.  As for the 2-7 Ravens, it would be a good win, but it wouldn’t do much as they have very little chance of making the playoffs.

DOLPHINS (0) over Cowboys

I think the Dallas Cowboys are not mentally tough enough to beat the Dolphins.  Each week the players are getting in fights with the media, firing snarky comments at their opponents, and they just lose.  They are currently on a seven game losing streak.  To make matters worse, they are playing on the road against the Miami Dolphins who are not consistent, but are a much better football team in my opinion.  This is an easy pick.  I pick the Miami Dolphins to win the game.

Redskins (+8.5) over PANTHERS

The Panthers will come out with the win this week.  They are the better football team overall, and Carolina is the home team.  Washington is 0-4 on the road so far this season, so I don’t think they can just come into Carolina and win.  I am picking the Carolina Panthers to win the game.

Chiefs (-3) over CHARGERS

While the Chargers are the home team in this game, I still believe the Chiefs will win.  This is a division game, so lots of things can happen, but the Chiefs NEED to win this game if they have any chance at making the playoffs.  I don’t think it will be a blowout, but Philip Rivers and the Chargers just are not playing well at all this year.  I am picking the Kansas City Chiefs to win this game.

VIKINGS  (0) over Packers

The Packers NEED to win this game, and so do the Vikings, but the Vikings are the home team, and Green Bay is 2-2 on the road this season.  Things in Green Bay just haven’t been clicking these last 3 games, and it is time for them to turn it around.  I think it will be a close game, but in the end Aaron Rodgers will have a great performance, and the Packers will get their much needed win.  This is a very hard pick to make, but in the end I am picking the Green Bay Packers to win the game.

49ers (+13.5) over SEAHAWKS

For this game, Seattle is the home team.  The 49ers are 0-4 on the road this season, and Century Link Field is a very hard stadium to play at.  I believe the Seahawks will pull off the win, especially because Colin Kaepernick has been placed on season ending IR, which will make it very tough for the 49ers.  Seattle’s defense will play a great game, and Seattle’s offense will put up just enough points to pull out the win.  However, it should be close.  I am picking the Seattle Seahawks to win the game.

Jets (-2.5) over TEXANS

While the Texans are the home team, and it will be tough for the Jets to win the game, but they will come through.  The Houston Texans just haven’t shown me enough this year.  They are pretty inconsistent to say the least.  And this isn’t the Rex Ryan coached Jets, this is the 2015 Jets, who have proven to be much better than last year’s squad.  I am picking the New York Jets to win the game.

Bengals (+5) over CARDINALS

This is going to be a tough game.  The Bengals lost to the Texans last week, and now they are going on the road to play the Cardinals.  While the Bengals are a great road team, I just don’t see their defense playing well.  Obviously Arizona has a great defense, with Patrick Peterson at the DB and Tyrann Mathieu at safety.  So, I think Cardinals’ defense will make it tough for the Bengals to score points, and it will be easier for the Cardinals to score on the Bengals defense.  I am picking the Arizona Cardinals to win the game.

PATRIOTS (-8.5) over Bills

Rex Ryan is all hyped up about that win over his former team, the New York Jets.  While the Bills did play a good game and got a good win, Rex Ryan gets all cocky when he wins games.  In week one, after Rex Ryan and the Bills got a good win against the Colts, he started talking smack about the Patriots and how he was going to beat them.  Once again, the Bills won the previous week and Rex Ryan is getting all cocky again.  Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots will shut him up, as they did week 2 on the road in Buffalo.  If that isn’t enough, the Patriots are also the home team.  I do think this will be a close game, but in the end, I am picking the New England Patriots to win the game.

 

 

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New England Patriots: This Isn’t Missouri, Fans

History tells us that Missouri is the “Show Me” state. The original phrase is widely credited to Missouri’s U.S. Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver in 1899 when, in a speech he said, “I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

Cartoon from gobobby.us
Cartoon from gobobby.us

So, “Show Me” New England

How many times do the New England Patriots have to prove themselves to their own fans? New England has now become the “Show Me” area.  Each week the “show me” statements are repeated by fans of the Super Bowls champs. Need a few examples? How about this for starters:

  • At the start of the 2015 season fans were in full “show me” mode when the Patriots lost some key players. In particular Shane Vereen, Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis. Add in the injury to last year’s surprise, Brandon LaFell, Tom Brady’s aging body and – drum roll – it was time for the Patriots to step up and show the doubters (don’t kid yourself, there were many) once again that they could compete with the upper tier in the NFL

On top of that, the Buffalo Bills were reported to have the best defense in the NFL, the NY Jets had a new Head Coach and a world of talent on defense (Mr. Revis had turned traitor and moved his island to where the money was) and Miami…my God, they had signed Greg Jennings (Pats fans wanted him in New England), the world’s greatest pass rusher Ndamukong Suh, CB Brice McCain and a host of 2nd tier players.

Was it possible that all three teams had pumped up their game while the Patriots, on paper, had deflated theirs? (I’m sorry, but the devil made me say that)

Ben Roethlisberger complains about Patriots goal line formation move drawing the Steeler offside
Ben Roethlisberger complains about Patriots goal line formation move drawing the Steelers offside

1. The first test was the Pittsburgh Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown to challenge a secondary that, at best, was suspect. With Brady freed from his four game suspension the question was, can he overcome his off season distraction? The Patriots, playing at Gillette Stadium, were a 7 point favorite going into the game, but everyone was concerned…c’mon team, time to “Show Me.” Final Score: Patriots 28 Steelers 21…and the game wasn’t that close.

2. …But wait, that win was nice, but now the Patriots had to travel to Buffalo with Rex Ryan churning the upstate New York fans into a frenzy (what’s new) because he had the best defense in the NFL and the team was just plain mean! A road game

Buffalo Bills free safety Aaron Williams (23) tackles New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) in the end zone during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Williams was injured on the play as Edelman scored. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)
Julian Edelman scores to help beat the Bills (Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, in Orchard Park, N.Y. AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

against a rabid fan base chomping at the bit to chew up and spit out the team with the Elvis logo. Buffalo players had spittle drooling from the corner of their mouth as the two teams took the field. New England fans didn’t want to admit it…but they were worried. It was “Show Me” time again, as Brady’s offensive line was in a shambles and the Bills pass rush was unstoppable. Final Score: Patriots 40 Bills 32…and once again the score was deceptive as New England rolled to win #2.

3. After dismantling the Jaguars and Cowboys and going 4-0 it was time for the game fans had been waiting a year for.  The ol’ tattle-tale, whiny Indianapolis Colts. Andrew Luck returned after missing two games with an injured right shoulder, but everyone was predicting a blowout and Brady taking revenge on the team that caused his worst off-season in 16 years in the NFL. It wasn’t to be. At halftime the Pats trailed 21-20 and things weren’t going as expected.

In the second half New England pulled the game out…but not without some help from the Colt’s coaching staff calling the worst play in NFL history (yes, even worse than Pete Carroll’s Super Bowl disaster). Result: Patriots 34 Colts 27. Once again, fans showed some concern and the time had come for a true test.

Danny Amondola makes an acrobatic catch in win over the Jets (Photo David Silverman, Patriots.com)
Danny Amondola makes an acrobatic catch in win over the Jets (Photo David Silverman, Patriots.com)

4. The NY Jets, the new darlings of the NFL, were coming to Foxborough. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard this before, the NFL’s top ranked defense. A Jets win and the two teams would be sharing first place in the AFC East. Man, what could the Patriots do with a battered OL and just 18 players dressed on offense? Time for Superman, Tom Brady, to step up and “show me” he could carry the team to win #6. The Jets sacked Brady three times and otherwise made him uncomfortable in the pocket to take a 13-10 halftime lead.

The Patriots were passing on nearly every down and being questioned about their play calling as the second half began. Time for Mr. Brady to “show me” why he is the greatest QB in the history of the NFL…and he did. Against this supposedly great defense he completed 34 passes for 355 yards, threw for 2 TDs and ran for another while the defense stopped the feared Jets running game (Chris Ivory, who entered as the AFC’s leading rusher, was held to 41 yards on 17 carries) on the way a 30-23 win.

5. You would think the Jets win would calm the waters, but it wasn’t so. Suddenly the Miami Dolphins were playing up to expectations after firing their Head Coach, Joe (Tiger) Philben, and putting Tight End Coach Dan (Gung-ho) Campbell in charge. He was an emotional guy and the players loved the fact Campbell was giving them a free hand to play the way they wanted to. In his first two games as Head Coach the ‘Fins destroyed Tennessee and Houston (two NFL powers!), running up 82 points and the combination of Suh and Cameron Wake were suddenly sacking everything but the groceries. After wiping the field with Miami, 36-7, the Patriots ran their record to 7-0.

10-29 Nink sacks Tannehill (Photo: Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com)
Ninkovich and Jones sack Tannehill (Photo: Keith Nordstrom Patriots.com)

Show Me More

Common sense says, after going 7-0 with no real challenge, New England fans would be ready to relax a bit. No need to get worried about the future. Well, that’s just not the way we New Englanders react. We’re not happy unless we have something to worry about. After Denver slaughtered Green Bay Sunday night, holding Aaron Rodgers to 77 passing yards, and now trading for TE Vernon Davis, the “show me”ites are back.

Problem is, there are still 3 games to go before the Patriots travel to the mile high city (Nov. 29) for their Sunday Night battle. So, before that happens Washington, NY (Giants) and Buffalo have to “show me” they are up to the task of staying on the field with the current Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

This weeks worry is that the Skins is a trap game…so once again it’s time for the best team in the NFL to show everyone that there is no such thing as a trap when Bill Belichick is your coach.

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

Week 3 NFL review: 5 things we learned

Week three is in the books and has brought its share of surprises. There were more major injuries, and somehow backup quarterbacks put up some pretty good numbers. Let’s review week three with five things we learned from last week’s games

1) Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald have been amazing

Who knew that two aged veterans would still be able to put up huge numbers? This week Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald continued to put up video game numbers as the Arizona Cardinals pounded the San Francisco 49ers 47-7. Palmer went 20/32 for 311 yards and two touchdown passes. Through three weeks Palmer has thrown for 803 yards, nine touchdowns to only two interceptions. Fitzgerald had nine catches for 134 yards. It was his second straight game where he had more than 100 yards receiving. To put that in perspective, Fitzgerald had only two games where he past 100 yards receiving last season.  With the Cardinals standing at 3-0, Palmer and Fitzgerald are lights out in the twilight of their careers.

2) San Francisco and Kaepernick need major fixes

On the other hand, the San Francisco 49ers were on the receiving end of the 47-7 blowout against the Cardinals. Kaepernick was horrendous. Kaepernick went 9/19 for 67 yards. He threw for no touchdowns, but threw four interceptions. Two of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Those two pick-6s happened in six minutes into the first quarter. The only bright spot of Kaepernick’s performance was a 12-yard touchdown run. There needs to be some change in San Francisco. No, I’m not saying that the 49ers should start Gabbert, because that is even worse, but the 49ers and Kaepernick need to find ways to improve. Kaepernick’s play through the first three games have been largely inconsistent. In their week one victory, Kaepernick went 17/26 for a dismal 165 yards and no touchdowns. Then in a week two blowout loss, He went 33/46 for 335 yards and two touchdowns. Then this trash performance happened. Whatever happened to the Kaepernick that took the league by storm during San Francisco’s Super Bowl run in 2012? The 49ers and Kaepernick need to find away to get back to that, or else it is going to be a long season.

3) The Oakland Raiders are proving they’re  legit

Who knew we would be saying this, but the Oakland Raiders are winning and competitive? Weird, I know. After being blown out 33-13 to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Raiders have turned around, all thanks to Derek Carr and Amari Cooper. With them lighting up on offense, the Raiders have pulled victories over the Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns. Carr has thrown for 726 yards and five touchdowns on the season, and Amari Cooper leads the team with 290 yards receiving. Latavius Murray has provided additional help with 248 yards on the ground. On the defensive side of things, they’ve provided clutch stops. Standing at 2-1 and their great play, the Raiders look like they can compete for a playoff spot in the AFC. And no, I’m not kidding.

4) Who your backup quarterback is matters

Week three had teams start notable backups in place of their starting quarterbacks due to injury. With Tony Romo out for 8 weeks, the Dallas Cowboys started Brandon Weeden in a 39-28 loss where the Cowboys blew the lead in the 2nd half. Yes, Weeden went 22/26 for 232 yards, but don’t let the numbers fool you.  Almost all of Weeden’s passes were short or dumpoffs, and very few if any deep balls. Weeden threw an interception when he was flushed out of the pocket trying to throw downfield. Weeden did not throw a touchdown as the Cowboys run game led by Joseph Randle carried the offense. But the run game is not enough to win the game, especially since your franchise quarterback and best wide receiver are out for extended periods of time. Weeden is 5-17 as a starter, something that should trouble the Cowboys. Going to the southeast, The New Orleans Saints started Luke McCown in place of an injured Drew Brees in a 27-22 loss to the Carolina Panthers.  Again, don’t be fooled by the 31/38 for 310 yards statline. Many of those passes were short, even if he averaged 8.2 yards a pass. And like Weeden, choked the game away by throwing an interception. McCown is also 2-8 as a starter, a stat that should worry the Saints if Brees is out longer than we think. Up in Pittsburgh, the Steelers must deal with losing Ben Roethlisberger for 4-6 weeks due to a sprained MCL and bruised bone, and must start Michael Vick, who seems to be way past his prime. Like it or not, backup quarterbacks matter in the NFL, and you’re fortunate if you have a good one. By the way, we could be looking at a Weeden versus McCown matchup on Sunday Night Football, great.

5) The new extra point rule is truly affecting games

This year, the NFL changed the rules to make extra points be kicked from the 15 yard line to make them an impact on the game. This rule change has made it’s impact and has affected the outcome of games. Before, extra points were automatic, with only 8 being missed throughout the whole 2014 season. This season, through only three games, we’ve past that number at 14. This affects games as what should have been a one possession game, has become a two possession game because of a missed extra point. Instead of going for the “automatic” choice of the extra point, more teams are leaning towards the closer two point conversions. But those are not automatic either. Because of this rule change, what a team does after scoring a touchdown has become more intriguing.

New England Patriots: Get Used To It

After watching the Patriots win the 1st game of the 2015 season, and listening to all the whining after the game, I started thinking of various things Patriots fans need to get used to.

Some are good and some are a pain in the arse (early English phraseology), but they all come with being a fan of the most dominant franchise now playing in the NFL. I know that will be referred to by the naysayers as an arrogant statement, but it’s a fact!

That said, here’s my short list:

  • Get used to winning football games in the NFL (Check that off under the good category)
  • Get used to going to the playoffs every season and having a legitimate chance to go to the Super Bowl.

Other owners, coaches, players and fans may hate the Patriots for consistently beating up on their team, but hey, it’s a fact they need to get used to (you’d think they would already be there, wouldn’t you).

  • Get used to someone finding something in every game to claim the Patriots cheated and their team would have won if the game was played on an even playing field (Pick one: Coach, Owner, ESPN, Sportswriter of opposing team).

There are hundreds of examples available to choose from, but here are the most laughable:

  1. The always whining Colts complaining about deflated footballs after losing to New England 45-7 in the AFC Championship game last January. I’m sure they would have been more competitive if the Patriot’s hadn’t deflated their balls (pun intended).
  2. This week’s “two fer” special: Pittsburgh’s multiple excuses for losing the opener despite trailing the entire game.

(A) Head Coach Mike “The Tripper” Tomlin going off after the game about the headset issues in Foxboro

(B) Ben (I don’t know the rules, but this has to be illegal) Roethlisberger complaining because the nasty Patriots shifted while he was calling cadence on the 1-yard line causing his teammates to jump offside. We all know quarterback’s never try to draw teams offside with their cadence, right!

Don’t you just love Big Ben’s intelligent, well thought out, quotes after the game

C'mon guys, you all know the Patriots are cheating again (Photo: CBSSports.com)
C’mon guys, you all know the Patriots are cheating again (Photo: CBSSports.com)

“I thought that there was a rule against that,” “Maybe there’s not. Maybe it’s just an unwritten rule. … We saw it on film, that the Patriots do that. They shift and slide and do stuff on the goal line, knowing that it’s an itchy trigger finger-type down there.”

So, let me get this straight, the Steelers watched it on film prior to the game, knew it was coming…yet still fell for it. Damn those “cheating” Patriots.

So, did this respected franchise apologize for their lack of knowledge about who controls game time communications (the NFL) and their QB’s lack of knowledge on NFL rules…hell no! This is all they said:

“We have provided information to NFL representatives regarding issues that occurred Thursday night at Gillette Stadium with our coach-to-coach headset communications system,”  “The problem was addressed during the game and we did not have further problems in the second half. We did not file a formal complaint, nor do we plan to do so.”

3. Philadelphia owner Jeffrey Lurie’s statement that the Patriot’s 24-21 Super Bowl XXXIX victory over his inept team was “suspect.”

You know, he’s right, about that. His QB, Donovan McNabb, barfing during the game was obviously because the Patriots injected him with “sick stuff” prior to the game. And his Eagle coach’s terrible clock management at the end of the game just had to have something to do with the Patriots filming them…right!

Lurie’s comment, “there’s always been talk about (cheating) from the time the game finished and continued on until now. But I’ve moved way on since then.” Moved on? Moved on? Sure doesn’t sound like anyone’s moved on to me.

Raven's Coach John Harbaugh outcoached by Bill Belichick (Photo: turtleboysports.com)
Raven’s Coach John Harbaugh outcoached by Bill Belichick (Photo: turtleboysports.com)

I’m sure you readers can come up with many more. John Harbaugh’s lack of knowledge of the NFL Rule Book immediately comes to mind when he accused the Patriots (inaccurately) of using illegal formations in last years Raven’s playoff loss to New England. Tom Brady hit the nail on the head when he replied “Maybe those guys gotta study the rule book and figure it out…”

This is just a small sampling of the ridiculous ones, I’d like to hear your favorites. Drop them in the comments box and I’ll be sure to check them out.

So, Patriot’s fans, the excuses will continue as long as New England wins and other teams lose. GET USED TO IT. The big question is, would you rather have no complaints and the Patriots lose (you’ll notice none of these complaints arise when the Pats lose) or continue to win-win-win and just shrug it off when the losers whine and complain about how they didn’t really lose?

To me, that’s a no brainer. I’ll always be happier with a win, despite all the sore loser’s comments.

Disclaimer: This article is written by a lifetime Patriot fan, through the good years and the bad. Please hold off on the hate mail. Thanks

Follow me on Twitter @SnowdonBob

Steelers Accuse Patriots With: Failure to Communi-gate

at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The National Football League season has finally returned. New England fans eagerly packed into Gillete Stadium to witness the celebration of a championship season and hopefully the start of another.  The reigning and defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 10th and despite a close score of 28-21, it was never really that much of a contest.

First and foremost, Running Back Dion Lewis looked incredible in his official Patriot’s debut. Lewis had such a strong showing that even a late goal line fumble could not deter this burgeoning superstar’s night. Malcolm Butler proved that even though he is not the caliber cornerback that Darrell Revis is, he is definitely no slouch either. Butler covered the NFL’s number one ranked wide receiver Antonio Brown last night quite admirably. The OffenIsive line held up well despite the absences of centers Bryan Stork and Ryan Wendell. Quarterback Tom Brady was terrific, and with the help of tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Scott Chandler scored four touchdowns and earned a passer rating of 143.8. The reigning champs were really cooking on all four burners; they even decided to cheat by placing the radio version of the football broadcast into the Steeler coaches’ headsets.

Wait, what? If you are confused and in total disbelief by the latest allegations that the New England Patriots have cheated then you haven’t been paying attention. In a world where The Patriots admittedly cheated in 2007 and are accused of cheating in the debacle known as Defaltegate in 2015, it should come as no surprise that a loophole has been created for any team willing to leave their dignity at the door. The Pittsburgh Steelers played like absolute garbage juice and it showed on the field but they had an ace up their sleeve (thanks to Roger Goodell, ESPN and Sports Illustrated.

On Tuesday, September 8th, both ESPN and Sports Illustrated coincidentally released horribly defaming articles filled with unsubstantiated circumstances and allegations about the New England Patriots ranging from 2001-2007. Goal Line Gazette columnist Bob Snowdon covered these two articles here https://goallinegazette.com/2015/09/08/new-england-patriots-espn-the-nfls-propoganda-machine-strikes-again/ in great detail so If you missed it please take a gander. With ESPN focusing on Spygate and the cover up and Sports Illustrated  delving into every urban legend about the Patriots and their supposed cheating ways, it isn’t surprising that the Steelers  took their opportunity to play the cheaters card.

Let the excitement commence, after nearly a whole week we have new “gate”, call it Radio-gate, Headset-gate, Communi-gate or more accurately Sour Grapes-gate.  Now legitimately there was interference on the coach’s headsets but there are two major factors that are being ignored in order to perpetuate the dishonest folklore thrown on New England’s football team. To start, both coaches received interference on their headphone sets as Gillette Stadium is known to do, putting both teams at a disadvantage. In full disclosure, The Pittsburgh Steelers have insisted VIA their website that their head sets cleared up once the officials went to check the Patriots head sets.  The Steelers want us to believe The Patriots stopped fiddling with their feed once the “authorities” were called to investigate.  The Steelers accusation would be plausible if The Patriots were responsible for the head set communications at Gillette Stadium. Sorry conspiracy theorists, the National Football League is responsible for all headset communications.  In the League’s defense they did come forth and validated that they and they alone, are responsible for headset transmissions. When questioned about the headsets after the game by reporters, Coach Mike Tomlin made it very clear that he was upset and this type of thing always happens in New England.

at Gillette Stadium on September 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

To make matters worse, later in the evening the Patriots conducted a legal goal line shift which caused the Steelers offense to jump off sides. Pittsburgh Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was very upset and  was seen pleading with officials, later during an interview he implied that it was something he knew New England had used before but was unsure if it was legal.  So both Coach Tomlin and his Quarterback are blatantly calling the Patriots out for cheating in two circumstances in which they had done nothing wrong. In essence, this is the work of a cowardly team that didn’t have the guts to say that they played poorly but instead took a ride on “easy way out” train. The Indianapolis Colts may have started this whole mess but at least they owned up to the fact that the Patriots were the better team during the AFC championship.  The Pittsburgh Steelers will unfortunately have to play fifteen other teams this season who are not in the middle of cheating controversy, so it will be interesting to see what excuses they decide to use for their overall ineptitude.

Week 1: Patriots vs. Steelers Preview

There’s no better way to start the 2015 NFL season than pitting two classic franchises against each other on Thursday Night Football. The Pittsburgh Steelers will have their hands full defending the reigning New England Patriots, but don’t expect this to be a blowout by any means. Let’s break it down and see what each team is bringing to the table.

via nydailynews.com
via nydailynews.com

New England Offense vs. Pittsburgh Defense

Two words: Tom Brady. Need I say more? The return of the veteran quarterback has been the talk of the NFL, and people are expecting a huge game from him. Brady will be throwing to familiar receivers Edelman and Amendola, though Edelman may have limited receptions due to his ankle issues. Brady’s most important weapon, Rob Gronkowski, is healthy and ready to play week 1 (a rarity for the monstrous tight end). The suspension of LeGarrette Blount and the recent loss of center Bryan Stork will hurt what run game the Patriots had, but it’s safe to say Brady will be airing it out all game long regardless.

And why wouldn’t he? The Steelers have an extremely weak defense right now. It’s going to be target practice for Brady against a secondary riddled with injuries and stitched together by backups and low round draft picks. The only defensive back who may pose a threat is Brandon Boykin, a strong slot corner who will most likely be working against Edelman and Amendola. The defensive front is just as bad for the Steelers. Their only redeeming player is the impressive pass rusher Shaq Mason. Should the left guard be able to contain Mason, though, Brady will have a clean pocket to throw from all night.

186737022-ben-roethlisberger-of-the-pittsburgh-gettyimages

Pittsburgh Offense vs. New England Defense

Leading the Steelers is Ben Roethlisberger, another veteran quarterback who can still throw with the best of them. Roethlisberger has one of the best receivers in the game in Antonio Brown and should be giving him plenty of targets all night long. The suspension of Martavis Bryant, however, will limit the talent Big Ben has to throw to. Top running back Le’Veon Bell is also suspended and will be replaced by Deangelo Williams. Williams won’t have any trouble running the ball, but don’t expect an overly productive run game. This is especially true because of the loss of Maurkice Pouncey, the Steeler’s best offensive lineman.

Even with a strong passing attack the Steeler’s offense is outmatched by the Patriots defense. New England may have the most stacked defense in the league, and this comes after losing three of their starters at the end of last season. While there are still many questions waiting to be answered about the Pats secondary, it’s safe to say the front seven will be dominating this game. Pass rushers Ninkovich and Jones will be getting to Roethlisberger, while run stoppers Easley and Brown should be negating any rushing attempts. Add to the mix the best linebacker squad in football and Big Ben and the Steelers are looking at a very rough Thursday night.

I see this game being close for a while until the Patriots pull away late in the third quarter. The Steelers will no doubt have a great offensive night, but the strength of the Patriots defense coupled with Brady’s rage being thrown at Pittsburgh’s secondary is enough to turn the tide. Regardless of the outcome, football fans should be ready for a great opening game to 2015 NFL season.

 

Keys To The Game On Defense For The New England Patriots

via zimbio.com
via zimbio.com

The New England Patriots are in full game preparation mode for their Thursday night opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. The Steelers were an 11-5 team last season and won their division with the third spot in the AFC playoffs. However, an injury to Le’Veon Bell in week seventeen lead to the Steelers falling short to the Ravens in the wild card round. Don’t let their early round exit fool you, the Steelers were a dominant team at times in 2014, mainly offensively.

The Ben Roethlisberger lead offense finished the season second overall in total offense, behind the New Orleans Saints. Pittsburgh will have one of the most dangerous offensive players in the game on Thursday night with Antonio Brown. The young inexperienced secondary, and defense as a whole will certainly have their hands full Thursday night. Here are my keys to the game defensively for the Patriots on Thursday night.

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Contain Ben Roethlisberger: One of the main reasons for the Steelers being one of the most consistent teams in the league over the past ten years is Ben Roethlisberger. His uncanny size for a quarterback at 6-5, 241 pounds makes him very difficult to knock off balance and sack. He can shake off defensive lineman and roll out of the pocket and make big throws. As Bill Belichick said in his press conference this week he touched upon Roethlisberger’s size.

“Very hard to take down, very difficult to get down. On top of that he’s got great vision, very good accuracy downfield. He doesn’t have to step into the throw, or have a clean pocket. Guys hanging all over him, falling down. He’s as good as anyone we play at that.”

The Patriots will need to contain him and keep him inside the pocket, because when he gets outside and finds open receivers down field he unleashes it. Players such as Chandler Jones, Jabaal Sheard, and Jamie Collins will be essential in keeping Roethlisberger contained. He won’t take off and run like an Andrew Luck, but he still needs to be kept in tact. Jamie Collins played a key role in keeping Andrew Luck inside the pocket twice last season.

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Bracket Brown: Antonio Brown is without a doubt one of the top three wide receivers in the National Football League. He is extremely fast and is lethal when he gets into the open field. Pittsburgh uses him in the slot as well as on the outside. All Patriots fans should be expecting the Steelers to target Antonio Brown early and often, given the very unproven Patriots secondary.

Last season the Bill Belichick had the pleasure of having two very solid cornerbacks, and they were able to double cover elite wide receivers with ease, with Devin McCourty or Duron Harmon shading over the top. This season, and on Thursday night it will be very different. The team can still double team Antonio Brown, but they will be more vulnerable when matching up with Marcus Wheaton one on one. However, Malcolm Butler and Tarell Brown should be able to get the job done this week because the Steelers only have one dangerous wide receiver.

Bend And Don’t Break: The Patriots defense does not have much talent at the cornerback position leaving them vulnerable against a pass happy offense like Pittsburgh’s. With Le’Veon Bell suspended, the Steelers will be chucking the ball all over the gridiron. The Patriots may play a bit of zone coverage as well, because the first few weeks are a feeling out period.

That means yards will be given up. The main point for the Patriots is they need to get off the field, particularly past the fifty yard line, and when they are in the red zone. Make Pittsburgh settle for field goals not touchdowns, because the Patriots offense should be able to answer.