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Friday, November 12, 2010

Who I like, New England version

Heath Miller returned to practice Friday for the Steelers, so that's one problem averted.

New England's defense is awful, having given up 400 or more yards in half of the Patriots' games this season. This isn't your father's New England club.

The Patriots can score, to be sure, but they've also limited just one opponent to under 20 points this season.

Tom Brady is also hobbled with a foot injury, something the Steelers may be able to take advantage of.

Finally, New England's pass rush has generated just 13 sacks. Even with two new starters on the left side of the Steelers' line, the Patriots may not be able to take full advantage.

I'll give a nod to Brady to keep things close, but I like the Steelers to win, 27-24.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that about Heath!!
Have the Steelers brought any linemen in for tryouts??

Patrick said...

Dale you really don't like picking against the Steelers do you?

I don't see this D keeping up with Brady and friends for too long. Couple that with the O having to deal with the loss of Starks and Kemo for the first week and it doesn't matter what NE's pass rush looks like. I can see Ben throwing a pick 6 and NE taking it 30-20.

Dale Lolley said...

Let's see, I picked against them vs. Atlanta, Tennessee and New Orleans. That's three out of nine times.

Brady's completion percentage in the past four weeks has gone like this; 61.4, 59.4, 59.3, 52.8.

He's been sacked eight times in those games, a lot for a QB that used to rarely get hit.

The difference? Those are the games without Moss.

They aren't going to run the ball against the Steelers. And who's the guy who's going to beat anybody deep?

Anonymous said...

Should be a good matchup. It's strength against strength (Patriots O vs. Steelers D), weakness against weakness (Steelers O vs. Patriots D).

The Steelers absolutely have to play a cleaner game than they have the last three weeks. We know Belichick will coach circles around our guys, so the one thing we can't afford to do is help them out by making stupid mistakes.

Dale Lolley said...

I think the Steelers offense is more dangerous than the Patriots defense.

Dan said...

The Patriots will max protect and throw against the Steelers 60 times, exploiting the Steelers' patented 10 yard CB cushoins. The pass rush won't get there, the Steelers will never adapt, and Brady wil be 50 for 60.

Meanwhile, the Steelers' inconsistent offense will be even worse behind the makeshift O-line. The Pats will blitz the heck out of the Steelers, but the O will still run 7 step-drop deep patterns.

Patriots 31- Steelers 13

Anonymous said...

Dale's right, this isn't your mom's New England team. Steelers win by double digits. I'm more concerned about Oakland next week.

Dale Lolley said...

What receivers are they throwing the ball to?
Welker's averaging under 9 yards per catch this season and has admitted he can't push off like he could before the injury.
Deion Branch is old and hurting.
Aaron Hernandez? I'll take my chances against a rookie tight end on a defense that includes Troy Polamalu.

Dan said...

"What receivers are they throwing the ball to?"

The Dolphins almost beat the Steelers with Chad Henne throwing primarily to luminaries such as Davone Bess and Brian Hartline.

Troy and Ike can't be everywhere. Give Brady some time and he can find the mismatch against Farrior of take advantage of the absurd CB cushions. The Steelers Defense is more vulnerable to shifty, tough WRs who can run sharp routes and catch quick passes than it is to the deep threat.

On top of that, I have no confidence that the Offense will be able to do much of anything. Jonathan Scott, Ramon Foster, and Trai Essex as starters? Yikes.

I hope you're right, Dale, but I think you're wrong.

Scott said...

Dan said...
"What receivers are they throwing the ball to?"

The Dolphins almost beat the Steelers with Chad Henne throwing primarily to luminaries such as Davone Bess and Brian Hartline.

-Funny how you don't include their best receiver - Brandon Marshall.

Dan said...

"-Funny how you don't include their best receiver - Brandon Marshall."

That's my point. I didn't include him because he wasn't the biggest factor. He was basically shut down, yet the no-names gashed the Steelers' pass D, with Chad Henne (unquestionably a lesser QB than Brady) throwing to them.

The fact that the Pats don't have a Randy Moss or Brandon Marshall does not ease my mind. The Steelers don't get dominated by the big play star, they get sliced by the 3rd, 4th, and 5th guys. Even if the Steelers shut down Brandon Tate and Deion Branch, I can see Wes Welker, Gronkowski, and the Danny Woodheads / Julian Edelmans of the world causing us problems. Belichick won't even try to be balanced- he'll throw short over and over until the Steelers stop it. He's done that in the past.

Dan said...

Whoops. Switch the positions of Welker and Tate when reading my prior post.

Anonymous said...

Davon Bess is hardly a no-name. Maybe you haven't heard of him, but he leads the NFL in third-down catches this season. Pretty much has all season long.
Peter King had him on his mid-season all-pro list.

Anonymous said...

Brady's foot injury could be important. Can't know the extent of it. The bad ankle had something to do with the Giants killing him in the Super Bowl in 2007. Not everything, just something. He's not exactly Mike Vick, but you know, moveable pocket, slide a foot or two to the left, etc., he's quite good at. The point being, get to Brady, knock him down, rush him, sack him, or lose.

I also think the Pats will try to run more than people are thinking.

I think 27-24 Steelers sounds about right. All week I had been thinking we would get killed. Changed my mind, hope I'm right. (One of our TDs will be defense or special teams, I can't trust the offense to score more than 20.)

Dale Lolley said...

Stephen Neal has been declared out for the Patriots. That's a big loss.

Anonymous said...

Dale, what have you heard about Harrison's back spasms?

Dale Lolley said...

I expect him to play. He'd have to be nearly dead not to.

Anonymous said...

I read an article on the trib that says McFadden is in danger of losing his starting job. Any truth to that?

marc said...

it doesn't matter if they don't have anyone to throw it deep too. the steelers can't cover short to intermediate routes and the pats will eat them alive throwing the ball 70% of the game.

Anonymous said...

lol who is going to take McFadden's spot? Gay?



Dale Lolley said...

Right, lose his job to who?
To lose your job, there has to be a viable replacement.

Dan said...

Yikes. Looks like I was right, unfortunately. Gronkowski killing the Steelers.

Anonymous said...

According to the article I read, you guys were supposed to have seen something in practice that you can't talk about. It sounded in the article as if the replacement would be the younger guys.

I would say that if the kids still aren't ready or aren't good enough, they need to start looking for a corner in the draft or free agency.