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An opposing viewpoint

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Russ Goldman, who authors the “Pats Confidential” blog on Patriotsfans.com, answered a couple of questions about the Patriots-Steelers game and gave a prediction.
Follow him on Twitter at Russ_Goldman

1. Why has Tom Brady been so successful against the Steelers?
I think there are a couple reasons why he has had success against the Steelers’ defense. First, I think his preparation and being familiar with the Dick LeBeau’s 3-4 defense is a factor. Over time he knows what has worked and what does not against this defense.
Second, part of that preparation leads to what I think Brady will do in this game. In the other match-ups Brady has spread the field and found the openings in the defense. He will probably force the Steelers to play a good amount in their sub-packages. He will try to find mismatches for his tight ends. I think he will also try to go deep on the Steelers secondary.

2. Have teams thrown for a lot of yards against the Patriots because they play from behind or is New England’s defense that vulnerable against the pass?
In all honesty, the Patriots defensive backfield is very vulnerable against the pass. The Chargers and the Bills really took advantage of this unit.
Devin McCourty has had a very bad sophomore slump, and he continues to be a concern. Leigh Bodden has not played well either since coming back from his injury. Patrick Chung at safety is the holding force back there, and continues to be the bright light in a subpar defensive backfield. I have a feeling the Patriots will be very concerned with Mike Wallace.

3. What do the Steelers have to do to beat the Patriots?
On offense, they need to really take advantage of the Patriots’ secondary. I would get Wallace involved early deep, and that would open up the middle of the Patriots defense. The Patriots run defense has been pretty good, and they could be difficult at times to run on.
On defense, I would try to get pressure on Brady as much as possible, and especially up the middle. If Casey Hampton plays, he would need to push Dan Connolly back into Brady. That will stop Brady from being able to set his feet in the pocket. The Steelers biggest challenge I don’t think is Wes Welker. They are going to have to figure a way to take away the Patriots’ tight ends.

Prediction: I think the game will be much closer than when these two teams met last season. I see the Steelers’ offense being able to take advantage of the Patriots’ secondary. In the end, I see Tom Brady being able to wear down the Steelers’ defense in the fourth quarter. I am predicting a 31-28 Patriots victory.

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Comments

  1. Phil says:

    Talk about schemes all you want, but the Steelers don’t have the athletic talent necessary to contain the Bradys of the world. Just spread them out and pick on Clark, Gay, Polamalu, Farrior, Foote and Timmons. Make it Pats 37, Steelers 27.

  2. Jay Walker says:

    Dejan the Dreamer hasn’t paid attention lately. There is a reason why Brady has lost only one game as a starter against the Steelers in his career. He doesn’t have to worry about Polamalu, Taylor Woodley when there are mismatches all over the field. The only hope for us is that Big Ben matches him throw for throw, touchdown for touchdown.

  3. Dick says:

    The Patriots have been poison for the Steelers and we are still looking for the antidote. That can be found in one Tom Brady and his laser arm. Without Brady, the Pats are a different team so Brady must be neutralized. This will be a tall task without James Harrison in the lineup. The Steelers must bring their A-game and keep the pressure on Brady to hold down the score. That done, turn Ben and the wideouts loose in their secondary. Sprinkle in a litttle no huddle and maybe, just maybe, we can outscore them. I see it Steelers 34 Patriots 31.

  4. Jay Walker says:

    Farrior might not play. I like our chances better now!

  5. David says:

    I think if we win the club toss we better choose to take the ball first then take it to the house. Give them the ball first and that’s it. We had the ball first after the half last week and we went 3 and out, so that theory is hogwash. Get the ball first and take 10 min off the clock and score a touchdown. Make this a mental game as well as a physical one

  6. Richard says:

    This will be a great game of course, but won’t matter much come playoff time. I just can’t see the patriots winning the div. with the jets and bills playing better ball than the pats. Steelers 34 Patriots 31.

  7. Tom says:

    Funny how everyone thinks we will just “outscore” the Patriots. Our offense has put up less 17 points or less in 4 of the 7 games we played. This is the most overhyped offense in Steelers history. They talk about how many weapons they have, but those weapons are ridiculously inconsistent. Antonio Brown, for all the hype, has only caught 52% of his targets and has ZERO td’s in 7 games. Sorry people, outside of meaningless preseason games, he’s average at best. Bottom line, unless we play Steelers football and own time of possession we are not going to beat the Patriots. We have to rely on our defense to dominate and they can only do that if they are rested.

  8. Jay Walker says:

    Trib staff: Is there any way a few game stories can be posted before Steelers Nation goes to sleep on Sunday night? I always have to go elsewhere for coverage on game days. Thanks.

  9. David says:

    The best way we can beat the patriots is keep Brady on the sideline, at least 59 minutes of the game, I good our o line brought thier oxygen tanks.

  10. David says:

    This is one if those games where every field goal attempt is must make, here that suisham, every attempt must be made. You the kicker must be perfect Sunday, if you will get the boot, looking at your stats has been a nightmarish event.

  11. Randy says:

    Our best chance is a shootout victory. This one’s on Big Ben and Bruce Arians (gulp).

  12. cerone says:

    To win, the Steelers need to place good old Steelers football: a few long, sustained TD drives; make Brady uncomfortable; hold the Pats to more FGs than TDs; and win the turnover battle. The Steelers must do all of these to win the game. Go Steelers.

  13. wayne says:

    Pittsburgh has become the fashionable pick, although I’m not sure why…they haven’t beat any decent team this year. Running game and passing going to have to be flawless to keep up with Brady. And as bad as the Patriot’s secondary has been, their line is getting better. I see an ugly game – Patriots 38, Steelers 20.

  14. Rick says:

    Ha ha ha, we ought to come out in a 4-3 defense, that would screw them up for a while! Put Woodley back into his college position, DE. Or just use Hamp, Hood, Heyward and Kelsel with Woodley, Foote and Timmons. Maybe even have the youngster Sylvester play.
    Basically, what I have said all week, collapse the pocket onto Brady, give him happy feet, make him look over his shoulder before finding anyone. I would love to see a bunch of 3 and outs, but that is just not gonna happen.
    Offense needs to go for the throat all game long, no let up – they did it to us a couple time, pay backs are hell!

  15. DSK says:

    I’m not feeling too optimistic about this one, but to hell with it…HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!

  16. DSK says:

    Alright…I’m stupid and will shut up from here on out. Keep it going Steelers!!

  17. Rick says:

    We did it, not quite how I figured, but pretty close. Go for the throat from the start.
    Teams passed against the Pats cause the Pats secondary is not as good as it once was, we just showed that. Wasn’t coming from behind to do it either.
    Is it just me, or were the officials a bit less than consistent in the second half. Would have been ironic if the interference call against Mundy was called like the no call on Brown earlier, cause they sure blew the ball placement on the Grontkowski catch on the goal line – it was a TD. And if they had been consistent the Pats would have been really steamed over that TD no-TD play.
    Ah well, great job Steelers – hope all the dings are healed up by mid week.

  18. Craig says:

    Hey Phil from above………..where are ya now???????? The Steelers dont have the talent to contain Brady, huh? Check out the box score my friend. That was TOTAL DOMINATION. See you at Heinz Field in January, if you can make it that far! HAHAHAHA

  19. Mr. Cynical says:

    Our secondary did an amazing job–to be honest I’m totally shocked! It was good to see some of our young guys out there playing well i.e., Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen, Marcus Gilbert, and Stevenson Sylvester. Woodley better make the pro bowl this year.

  20. Scott P says:

    I have never been more happy to be wrong. I (along with most everybody) predicted a Pats win. What a stroke of genius by Dick LeBeau. I think the Steelers gave the league the blueprint for beating the Pats. Play tight man coverage and throw a lot of crossing patterns in the middle of the field.

    Go Steelers!!

  21. K2 says:

    Big Game yesterday…This week is bigger!

    I just wish Big Ben would finishe teams off so we can all just sit back and enjoy our refreshments!

    Maybe next week(?).

  22. Phil says:

    Well well, it looks like the Cheatriots defense (or lack thereof) is hurting them against the better teams in AFC. Even though the score didn’t look like it, that was a beatdown in every phase of game. The Steelers were the clearly better team today and they are now right where they belong the #1 team in AFC. I will say it again for the thousandth time just like i say every year, Yes the Cheatriots and Brady have a superior offense vs. rest of NFL but their defense doesn’t scare ANY other teams including the Dolphins, Rams, and Colts who now have zero offense. Defense is what wins in the postseason and the Cheatriots prove this every year. Belicheat is too arrogant to see that his defense sucks and i don’t care IF Brday passes for 6,000 yards this season he won’t win another playoff game or Super Bowl with that putrid defense. Giev the Steelers a lot of credit they won a key game with backups on defense. No James Harrison, no Hines Ward, No James Farrior, etc. this year it doesn’t matter, the Steelers Defense has more depth than any other team in NFL which will carry them to their record 9th SB appearane and a rematch with the packers. This time I think Steelers will win it all….

  23. cerone says:

    The day after the victory feels every bit as good as the day of the victory against the Patsies. Happy Halloween, Cheatriots.

  24. sjb says:

    This was one of the rare times the Steelers went away from the same old predictable defensive schemes and actually game planned for the opposition. I was completely prepared for them to stick with the soft zone coverage and have Brady pick it apart and when they played Man-up coverage I was surprised. Plus Arians allowing Ben to go more no huddle and stay away from the long developing passing routes was a nice change of pace and key to the offense getting in a rhythm.

    For one of the rare times I give a thumbs-up to the coaching in not so much as what they were “having” the players do, but what they “allowed” them to do. They didn’t over-think this game like many coaches like to with great Billicheat on the other sideline and just went right to their strengths and played better football.

    I hope they build on this game plan for this Sunday night’s game and they’re going to have to with Woodley out or at minimum not playing 100%.

  25. wdm says:

    Lebeau had a nice scheme, but honestly, the Jets gave everyone the blueprint for beating the Pats last year in the playoffs. Kudos to the Steelers for executing it beautifully.

  26. David says:

    this was a good win and a very good confidence builder for the 2nd half of the season, kinda glad the bye comes late this year to help us get some kinda rythem and flow going, i think we are heading in the right direction for a rematch with Greenbay, i know thats looking abit to far ahead, but the feel is no different then last year,

    ravens are crying we haven’t played anybody and thats why we have the wins we have, they just don’t realize they are playing the same schedule we are as far as common opponents so i hope someone in black and purple can read, so they can relay that message to the other feather bearing driods…..

    Go Steelers!

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