Patriots 41, Steelers 27

Monday, January 24th, 2005 @ 12:31 am | Sports

If I’m correctly remembering what I heard earlier in the week, then I should’ve taken the Over.

Seriously, I didn’t expect a game like this. I was stunned when the Pats jumped out to a 21 point lead.

I expected the Pats to have a decent rushing game. Considering the Pats had a not so grand total total of 5 rushing yards on 6 attempts, “decent” wasn’t all that strict a standard to meet, relatively. In fact, 3 of the 5 Patriots credited with rushing attempts exceeded the Patriots total from the previous Pats-Steelers match-up.

Against a tough defense like the Steelers, 126 yards is definitely a good showing. The Patriot’s final 2 scoring drives covered 10:32 and 13 of the 20 plays were running plays (13 runs, 7 passes, 1 field goal). On the final scoring drive, 9 of the 10 plays were running plays. The Steelers had a roughly 3 minute edge in time of possession, but the Patriots were able to run down the clock and score points when the Steelers cut the Patriots’ lead to 11 points.

The improved running game also kept the Steelers from sitting back in pass coverage, which may have helped the Patriots convert on several long pass plays.

The big difference in the game was turnovers. Ben Roethlisberger threw 3 interceptions and Jerome Bettis had a fumble (though it was on what would have been a failed 4th down conversion). The Patriots didn’t have a single turnover. The Pats converted the Steelers’ miscues into 24 points.

I’ve watched Roethlisberger play a few games this year and I think he’s the real deal (well, duh). Personally, I’d love to see him outplay both Eli Manning and Philip Rivers over the course of their respective careers. Overall, he had a rough game, but you can’t help but be impressed by how he came out in the 3rd quarter. He led the Steelers on scoring drives the first three times they had the ball in the second half. There are a number of quarterbacks in the NFL who wouldn’t have been able to do that.

Of his three interceptions in tonight’s game, only the final one seemed truly egregious — Roethlisberger overthrew his intended receiver and Eugene Wilson made a tremendous diving catch. Roethlisberger’s first INT was thrown a bit behind the receiver, but it was still deflected twice before Wilson came down with the ball. On the second INT, Rodney Harrison simply cut in front of the intended receiver and had basically clear sailing to the end zone.

I think the Steelers are looking good for the future. They have a young quarterback with a good head on his shoulders. Their defense is solid. They have depth at wide receiver so they can spread the ball around. They move the ball well on the ground. Assuming they can adequately manage their salary cap, I expect them to be among the AFC‘s elite for the next few years.

This year, though, the Patriots are heading back to the Super Bowl, this time facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles. Thus, I think Robert Kraft will be hoisting another Lombardi Trophy above his head in 2 weeks. Of course, that prediction isn’t anything new for me.

3 Responses to “Patriots 41, Steelers 27”

  1. Chris Lawson Says:

    I quit watching at halftime because I (correctly) figured the game was over. So I didn’t see the third INT from Big Ben, but I’m gonna have to disagree with you about the most egregious of the three anyway. I’m not sure that ANYTHING could have been more egregious than the second one, which was thrown short, slow, and low, with a DB just lurking right there for a pick. In short, Big Ben NEVER should have thrown that ball.

    I told my best friend a few days ago that if the Pats won this one, you could just hand them the trophy. After seeing the Eagles today, I won’t be changing that prediction. Not that the Eagles are bad; I think an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl would have been a very good game. Just that the Pats defense is a juggernaut right now, and their O-line is so much better than Atlanta’s (did Brady get sacked even once today?) that I don’t see Philly’s excellent defense having much success.

    cl

  2. David Siebecker Says:

    If I remember correctly he was sacked twice, both in the second half.

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    イーグルス VS ペイトリオッツ

    今年のカンファレンス・チャンピオンシップの2試合とも見所満点でしたね。 私の感想は、「ドノバン・マクナブおめでとう」「ペイトリオッツ、相変わらず総合力1位」という感じです…