The Pittsburgh Steelers licked their wounds when they headed out from the West Coast last week against the Raiders and hoped that they could somehow find a way to defeat the New England Patriots when they traveled to Foxboro and the other side of the country this week. The Steelers faced a struggling Patriot offense and a defense that was struggling with injuries. A very beatable Patriots as the Jets showed the previous week. The Steelers started slowly (again), fell behind (again), and eventually ended up being blown out in the 4th quarter after tying the game minutes before. This was probably the ugliest game to watch simply because the wheels came off so quickly after it seemed like the game was within grasp. Let’s get to it:
Jerricho Cotchery: Cotchery had his biggest game as a Pittsburgh Steeler on Sunday and his biggest since 2008 as a Jet. Cotchery pulled in seven catches for 96 yards with three touchdowns. Cotchery’s work as a whole has been pretty outstanding this season. He is third on the roster with yards (424) but has the most TD’s on the team (5) and the highest YPC (14.6). Cotch has been clutch over the course of the season and has become Ben’s go to guy late in games when defenses are keeping close dibs on Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. He had a big 1st down catch in the 1st half that extended a drive. His biggest TD’s came after the Pats turned the ball over with a fumble and then late in the 2nd half to tie the game with another end zone grab. He has yet to disappoint and should continue to have a good season as the Steelers seem to be in the habit of keeping games close enough in the second half that they run a more spread offense as they try and play catchup. Game ball goes to Cotch, hands down.
Big Ben gets #200: Ben Roethlisberger struggled early as usual, and he picked things up as the game went on as usual. With 2:00 left in the 1st half, Roethlisberger connected with Antonio Brown and notched his 200th TD pass. He is the second Steeler to reach that milestone with Terry Bradshaw being the first. Roethlisberger would add #201, 202, and 203 to his totals before the night was up. He finished with a respectable 95.8 QB rating after getting picked off twice amidst the TD tosses. Ben is now nine touchdowns within Bradshaw for career touchdown passes.