Steelers hold on to beat the Patriots!

December 17th, 2018
by admin

It was called “Redemption Sunday” but it was more like “Throwback Sunday” when the Steelers, in their color rush uniforms, used a punishing running game, timely passing game and a stout defense to beat the nemesis New England Patriots, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

It was a masterful and somewhat vintage performance for the defense. They played a complete game and were able to make plays when needed. The secondary had their best game of the season led by Joe Haden, who missed the 2017 game. He made his presence felt with the biggest interception of his tenure in Pittsburgh on a tremendous toe-tap catch. It was Tom Brady’s first red zone interception in two seasons.

Brady was 3 of 10 on third-down conversions and the secondary held Rob Gronkowski and Chris Hogan to only four catches. Hogan had a huge touchdown on a busted play on the Patriots first possession and was never heard from again!

The front seven had pressure on the Patriots all day and held the running game to less than 100 yards. T.J. Watt had a tremendous game despite a soft stat sheet. Jon Bostic put together a complete performance and helped sure up the middle.

The offense took a much more balanced approach and Jaylen Samuels answered the call. Samuels finished with 19 rushes for 142 yards and had one of his two catches on a big third down play.

Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play a great game but made the plays he needed. He converted two HUGE third downs with completions to Vance McDonald and Samuels. He hit eight different receivers and finished with 235 yards and two touchdowns! The receiving core clearly felt the return of Eli Rogers who had four catches.

Chris Boswell struggled again missing a chip shot field goal that would have put the Patriots down by two scores. The Steelers auditioned several options at kicker and chose to stick with Bos. He did get some redemption by nailing a 48 yarder that helped protect the lead but his future in Pittsburgh seems uncertain.

Mike Tomlin was skewered in the press this week somewhat fairly and unfairly. He responded by putting together a great game plan and when you out-coach Bill Belichick you have done something! It was a great game for Tomlin who seemed to at least for one game, finally solve the Patriots.


My “GAME BEER” goes to: Since we didn’t give away one last week, we are giving away two this week. First is Joe Haden, he made the biggest play of the year and not only that, he adds an energy to the team that was palpable. Jaylen Samuels who just dominated and ran the Patriots over with a monster 7.5 YPC per game. The highest in the NFL this season. Also considered: the offensive line, T.J. Watt and Eli Rogers.

Where I watched the game: At the house with the tailgate kids and KGB. The beer of choice was Narraganset in the 1975 can! Normally I wouldn’t buy a New England Beer on a New England week, but had to try something new! KGB and I collaborated on Sausage and Peppers and a side dish of Pasta.

My Stat of the week: With yesterday’s win Mike Tomlin assured himself his 12th straight season as a head coach without a losing record. That makes him by any measure an elite coach!

My Thoughts on next week: This team is very capable of marching in and out-gunning the Saints. They are also capable of laying an egg. This is another must win for the Steelers and it is close to a throwaway game for the Saints. Look the for the Steelers to slug it out!

This week’s Jersey: L.C. Greenwood, #68, 1933 Throwback Jersey.

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