Anthony, Anthony… If you’re going to shoot off your yap making idiotic predictions, at least try to play a decent game so you can say you held up your end of the bargain. Instead, Tom Brady and Randy Moss gave big mouth safety Anthony Smith the football equivalent of public teabagging in leading the New England Patriots to an easy 34-13 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the future, Anthony, if you want to make some grand boast about an upcoming game, I suggest you pay heed to these words of wisdom from that great urban poet, Dr. Dre; “Fool, you better check yourself, before you wreck yourself.”
The truly sad part of yesterday’s debacle in Foxboro was, in some ways, the Steelers actually played quite well. If you told me Willie Parker would have over 100 yards rushing, Ben Roethlisberger would pass for almost 200 yards, and the offense would commit no turnovers while only surrendering two sacks, I’d say we probably won. Instead, we managed a meager 13 points and got blown out by three scores. To say the Patriots are on another level is an understatement. At times, it was like watching a kid who is really good at Madden’s Football putting the kibosh on his computer opponent.
I knew we were in trouble right after our first long drive ended in a Jeff Reed field goal. When you reach the red zone, you simply cannot settle for treys against the Greatest Team in the History of the Universe. You must score touchdowns. Then, on the ensuing kickoff, our special teams allowed a run back to about the 45. Giving them the ball is dangerous enough, giving them the ball at midfield is like playing Russian Roulette with six bullets in the chamber. The Steeler defense played very well early on. Their first scoring drive was only kept alive because Moss made an absolutely ridiculous catch over Ike Taylor. When you do everything right like Ike did and they STILL make the play, all you can do is tip your cap and say, “You got me.”
Then all hell broke loose. Actually, Moss broke loose on a 63 yard bomb and the route was on. In my game preview a few days ago, I wrote how the key to stopping the Patriots’ pass attack was to jam the receivers at the line and then roll your safety coverage over the top. I know this. You, dear readers, know this. I imagine defensive coordinator, Dick Lebeau, knew this.
Unfortunately, Anthony Smith didn’t get the memo because instead of rolling, he stood still like a deer in the headlights. Or worse, he’d rush forward, as if Tom Brady had suddenly become possessed by the spirit of John Elway and was magically a threat to scramble or something. And while Smith was caught in no man’s land, Moss blew by him for an easy score. Later in the game, Smith was toasted in a similar fashion, except this time by Jabar Gaffney.
The Gaffney gaffe was particularly embarrassing because it was caught on a flea flicker. But not a good flicker, a BUSTED flea flicker. Brady lateralled the ball to Moss, who muffed the catch. You’d think two or more Steelers would be swarming toward him but you’d be terribly wrong. He reached down, picked the ball up off his shoe tops, and tossed the ball waaaay across the field back to Brady. Again, you’d think one or two pass rushers would be in that general area to disrupt the play but once more, you’d be wrong. Brady then proceeded to wind up and, with not a Steeler in sight, throw a strike to a wide open Gaffney. What? You expected somebody, oh say ANTHONY SMITH, to be covering Gaffney? Silly rabbit.
I could go on and on about the comedy of errors that was this game, the inability to punch the ball into the endzone, how terrible the wide receivers played today, the absolute insanity of asking linebacker James Farrior to cover Wes Welker one-on-one, the fact the number one ranked pass defense gave up FOUR HUNDRED yards to Brady with zero sacks when they totally abandoned the run, not even attempting a rush for almost three quarters…
But all that is too depressing to even think about now. Coming into this week, most people had the Patriots and Colts listed as the top two teams in the NFL, with the Steelers, Jags, and Cowboys as possible up-and-comers. Well, after watching Indy paste the Ravens on Sunday Night Football a week after beating Jacksonville, while New England has annihilated both the Steelers and Cowboys this year, it’s looking like there will be no spoilers this season and we all might as well look forward to Super Bowl 41¾ in Foxboro some time in mid-January.
Topics: Afc, Anthony Smith, Belichick, Bill Belichick, Blowout, Brady, Colts, Cowboys, Dick Lebeau, Dr. Dre, Dre, Gaffney, Ike Taylor, Lebeau, Mike Tomlin, Moss, New England, New England Patriots, NFL, Parker, Patriots, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Ravens, Roethelisberger, Smith, Steelers, Super Bowl, Taylor, Teabagging, Tomlin, Vrabel