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hawaiiansteel
10-24-2011, 08:34 PM
What the Pittsburgh Steelers Have to Do to Beat the New England Patriots

By Thomas Hanlon on October 24, 2011


This week, the Pittsburgh Steelers play the team that seems to have their number, the New England Patriots.

More often than not, the Patriots come out on top in these contests. The Patriots have beaten the Steelers twice in AFC championship games in Pittsburgh. We've only beaten Tom Brady once, in 2004 to end a record winning streak the Patriots were on at the time. In 2008, the Steelers went to Foxborough, Mass. and stomped a Patriots team that was being lead by Matt Cassel since Brady was out with a season-ending knee injury.

Last season, the Patriots came in and absolutely killed the Steelers, 39-26, and the score is much closer than the game actually was. The Steelers scored 23 points in the fourth quarter, but the Patriots also added 16 points to the 23 they already had through the first three quarters. You can really say that the Steelers scored their fourth-quarter points in garbage time.

Now the Patriots come back to the Steel City, and the Steelers are hoping for a different outcome.

Here is what needs to happen for the Steelers to walk off the field victorious over their kryptonite, the New England Patriots.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/472/372/106879953_display_image.jpg?1319478704

First and Foremost, Get to Tom Brady

When the Patriots lose games, it's often because teams get to Tom Brady. When he's getting sacked, hit and pressured....that's when he makes mistakes. When his jersey is clean and he's got days in the pocket to find an open receiver, that's when he picks you apart.

Look at his lone playoff game against the Jets. In that game, they were constantly in his face. He started to get happy feet and his throws were off.

I know they say don't blitz Brady because he'll pick you apart, but I don't think that's true. You have to force him to throw it before he wants to, otherwise before you know it, you'll be down by a couple of scores.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/472/373/106880034_display_image.jpg?1319479423

Steelers Offense Has to Score

Last year, the Steelers offense struggled for most of the game. They scored all of three points over the first three quarters. If the Pittsburgh Steelers plan on winning this game on Sunday, they have to score early and score often.

Tom Brady and the Patriots offense are going to score points. But the Steelers offense needs to be able to hang with them.

The New England Patriots defense is one of the worst in the league right now, though cornerback Kyle Arrington is second in the league with four interceptions. The Patriots rank last in total defense, last in pass defense and eighth in run defense.

Before the season, everyone thought the Patriots were going to have a big season on defense, with Vince Wilfork and Albert Haynesworth in the middle of the defensive line wreaking havoc in the backfield. But Haynesworth has turned out to be a huge bust, so far only recording two tackles this season. Wilfork hasn't been wreaking havoc, but he has 12 tackles and two interceptions on the season.

The Steelers might have some trouble running on the Patriots, but the passing offense should be able to have a big day.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/472/374/129926873_display_image.jpg?1319480623

Be Weary of Wes Welker & the Tight Ends

In the crazy offseason, the Patriots made a trade with the Bengals to get wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. People were going nuts, envisioning a lineup of Deion Branch and Chad Ochocinco on the outside with Wes Welker being the monster mismatch in the slot.

However, it hasn't worked out like that. Ochocinco isn't in any type of rhythm with Tom Brady. He has only 136 yards on the season (that's less than 25 a game) on nine catches with no touchdowns.

Branch hasn't been more than what people thought he would be, a possession receiver who will make catches when the ball's thrown his way. On his 26 catches, he has 369 yards (average of 61.5/game) and two touchdowns.

And then you have Brady's favorite target, Wes Welker. He has 785 yards on the season, an average of 130.8 per game with six touchdowns. That includes tying an NFL record with a 99-yard TD reception in the season opener against the Miami Dolphins.

The other big passing weapons Brady uses are his tight ends.

Rob Gronkowski has 401 yards on the season with five touchdowns. Aaron Hernandez, who has played in only four games this season, has 289 yards (72.2 yards/game) and three touchdowns.

The Steelers currently have the best pass defense in the NFL. But here comes the biggest test of the season. If we can hold the Patriots offense in check, especially the tight ends, then we should be victorious on Sunday.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/472/375/130154505_display_image.jpg?1319483602

Run the Football When We Have a Lead

If and when the Steelers get a lead, especially if we get up by two touchdowns or more, we have to take the air out of the ball some.

I don't mean take the foot completely off the throttle, but the best defense against the Patriots is the ability to sustain long drives and keep the ball out of Tom Brady's hands. And to do that, you have to run the football.

The Steelers run game has been hot and cold. Rashard Mendenhall has had just one 100-yard game, against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Patriots' defense is dead last in yards allowed, it is eighth against the run.

I don't see one of our backs having a 100-yard game, but I think they can do the job to chew up some clock and keep the Patriots defense on the field.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/472/376/129022617_display_image.jpg?1319484723

Stop the Patriot Running Game

The Patriots surprisingly rank 10th overall in the NFL running the football. Yes, their offense is focused on the passing game with defending league MVP Tom Brady at quarterback, but they can run the ball effectively when they need to.

As a team, the Pats average 27.2 rushing attempts a game. They have a total of 744 yards (124 yards per game) and average 4.6 yards a rush. They also have six rushing touchdowns on the season.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis is their starting back, and while he's only averaging 65.2 yards per game, he has five of their six rushing touchdowns on the season. Stevan Ridley is averaging just 30 yards per game with one touchdown.

The Steelers historically have always been strong against the run, but this season they haven't been that great in that department, ranking 11th in the league with an average of 107.1 yards a game. They have also allowed five rushing touchdowns on the season.

I think the Steelers can keep the Patriots running game from being a factor in this game. They don't have a single back that's outstanding like an Arian Foster. However, if the Steelers don't keep their gap integrity on Sunday, Green-Ellis does have the skills to make us look silly at times.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/472/377/127886435_display_image.jpg?1319485943

Let Troy Polamalu Be Himself

In the past against the Patriots, the Steelers have had Polamalu playing more passive. His style is aggressive and flying all around the field.

While he hasn't been making a lot of amazing plays that just make Steeler Nation say "wow" this season, and he did drop an interception that hit him right in the hands against Arizona, he's still the guy that makes this defense what it has been over the course of his career.

Now, against Arizona he was more of a "center fielder," and I think that's because he was coming off of a concussion.

We need to have Polamalu flying all over the field on Sunday afternoon hitting the daylights out of people, putting himself in position to make turnovers and generally making Tom Brady's life a living hell.

Using him in a passive scheme obviously hasn't worked, so I say let him loose and see what happens. The result can't be any worse than the last time we played New England.

http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/001/473/195/terrible-towel_display_image.jpg?1319486687

The Prediction

The Steelers are going to walk off the field victorious on Sunday.

Big Ben is going to throw at least three touchdowns with no interceptions. I see another 100-yard game for Mike Wallace. Our running backs are going to combine for around 100 yards and at least a touchdown. The Steelers will also own time of possession.

On defense, the Steelers will be successful in pressuring Tom Brady and making him uncomfortable. Wes Welker will have a good game, but the tight ends will be shut down for the most part. Chad Ochcocinco will be held without a catch. And Brady will throw at least one interception.

Steelers 35, Patriots 24

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/9086 ... e-patriots (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/908665-what-the-steelers-have-to-do-to-beat-the-patriots)

Dresden
10-25-2011, 12:22 AM
What do the Steelers need to Beat the New England Patriots ?

At least 3 db's with the will, talent, speed, intelligence, courage, ball skills and true confidence to execute their assignments.

At least one consistent STUD pure 3-4 end next to a space eating STUD NT.

One TRUE stud backer inside and one outside.

An intelligent, consistent and accurate field general of a QB whom is productive for at least 3 quarters.

An offensive coordinator that attacks the Patsies from the opening bell and does not relent on any possession until the final one which basically runs out the clock.

Mister Pittsburgh
10-25-2011, 10:33 AM
Here is the part I do not agree with at all and that will potentially lose us this game....

Run the Football When We Have a Lead

If and when the Steelers get a lead, especially if we get up by two touchdowns or more, we have to take the air out of the ball some.

I don't mean take the foot completely off the throttle, but the best defense against the Patriots is the ability to sustain long drives and keep the ball out of Tom Brady's hands. And to do that, you have to run the football.

The Steelers run game has been hot and cold. Rashard Mendenhall has had just one 100-yard game, against the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Patriots' defense is dead last in yards allowed, it is eighth against the run.

I don't see one of our backs having a 100-yard game, but I think they can do the job to chew up some clock and keep the Patriots defense on the field.

Bullcrap. This isn't the Jerome Bettis offense that can get 4 yards a clip. This is the Rashard mendenhall offense where he gets 1 yard, 1 yard, no gain, 40 yard gain, 1 yard....etc.

If you get a 2 touchdown lead, how about you don't shut it down and end up punting once Ben misses a 3rd and 8 pass and try and make it a 3 TD lead, 4 TD lead, keep piling it on. When you get a two TD lead in the second Qtr and start concentrating on trying to eat up clock and shut down the rythmn of the offense only to see it isn't working and you are putting the ball right back in Brady's hands anyway due to a lack of running game and punts, and then expect to just turn it back on....that don't work. Keep doing what is working until the clock strikes zero or the Patriots adjust. Don't change up what is working just to eat clock.

NorthCoast
10-25-2011, 12:52 PM
what i want to see, a bubble screen with Sanders, Brown, and Wallace in the game!....pick your poison, who do you cover? (have we seen this yet in a game this season?)

RuthlessBurgher
10-25-2011, 01:19 PM
Wilfork hasn't been wreaking havoc, but he has 12 tackles and two interceptions on the season.

How does their freaking NOSE TACKLE have as many interceptions as our ENTIRE TEAM?!?!?!

flippy
10-25-2011, 01:34 PM
The only way we get to Tom Brady is if Troy times the snap count on every play and leaps over the center. Otherwise the ball will be in Welker or a TE's hands immediately.

I hate to say it, but Dick Lebeau's system against the Pats is the problem.

Heck it's the problem against Brady, Rodgers, Brees, etc.

And since Dick isn't changing, the only hope we have against these types of QB'd teams is to outscore them. We have the weapons. We just need the consistency. Wallace, Brown, and Sanders should be undefendable by the end of the season.

Heck, everyone on the planet knows Wallace is going deep and he keeps beating the coverage even with a safety over the top.

We should unleash hell on the Pats and go 5 wide no huddle the whole game. It's indefensible.

RuthlessBurgher
10-25-2011, 01:39 PM
We should unleash hell on the Pats and go 5 wide no huddle the whole game. It's indefensible.

Until Ben gets killed after the 3rd or 4th play back there in an empty backfield where the defense can just pin their ears back and tee off on him against our OL since there is no threat of a run whatsoever.

hawaiiansteel
10-25-2011, 02:22 PM
Steelers ready to face nemesis Brady

By Scott Brown, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-10-24/tombrady1-a.jpg

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is 6-1 in seven career starts against the Steelers, and he's dominated them in the two most recent meetings.

The Steelers have reeled in the New England Patriots, who visit Heinz Field on Sunday, just one time with Tom Brady playing quarterback.

Some fans will attach an asterisk to Brady's dominance of the Steelers because of the illegal videotaping the Patriots engaged in during the height of their success.

But since Spygate has been exposed and its practice presumably halted Brady has been better than ever.

At least against the Steelers.

In the Patriots' past two games against them, dating to 2007, Brady has completed 70 percent of his passes for 749 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions.

Brady has been so good against the Steelers that what looks like a good matchup on paper the NFL's leader in passing offense against the No. 1-ranked pass defense may in fact be a lopsided one.

That is not a knock on the Steelers' secondary as much as it is a nod to what Brady did last November in New England's 39-26 win here.

The two-time NFL MVP made it look easy against D!ck LeBeau's defense, playing pitch and catch at Heinz Field as if he were in his backyard.

The key for the Steelers this time is keeping Brady from entering that same comfort zone.

"We know what we've got in the huddle," Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor said. "We know what we've got in the organization. We know what we have as a secondary."

Actually, the jury is still out on that one, despite the pass defense's lofty ranking.

The best quarterback the Steelers have faced this season is Houston's Matt Schaub, and the Texans were content to run the ball in that game.

Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb threw for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the Steelers' 32-20 win. He easily could have been over 300 yards with another passing touchdown.

Brady won't miss some of the open receivers that Kolb did a couple of days ago. That is one reason why Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that he still doesn't know how good his secondary is.

"We will see here real soon," Tomlin said.

3 PLAYERS TO WATCH

BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB: Mike Wallace's college teammate and good friend had the most rushing yards (87 yards on 18 carries) against the Steelers last season. Green-Ellis is still the No. 1 ball-carrier in New England, even though the Patriots drafted running backs in the second and third rounds in April.

Rob Gronkowski, TE: Fifteen of the Woodland Hills High graduate's 71 career catches have gone for touchdowns. The Steelers haven't forgotten that three of those came against them last season. Neither have the Patriots.

LaMarr Woodley, OLB: Woodley has been on a sack binge since playing arguably his worst game of the season Oct. 2 in Houston. The Steelers have to hope his sacks continue to come in bunches Woodley leads the AFC with seven and that he is in Tom Brady's face all game Sunday.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1boM9jU6n (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_763644.html#ixzz1boM9jU6n)

ter1230_4
10-25-2011, 02:28 PM
An offensive coordinator that attacks the Patsies from the opening bell and does not relent on any possession until the final one which basically runs out the clock.

If you get a 2 touchdown lead, how about you don't shut it down and end up punting once Ben misses a 3rd and 8 pass and try and make it a 3 TD lead, 4 TD lead, keep piling it on

Both of you are exactly right. In last year's game the Steelers spent most of the first half doing exactly what NE expected them to do on offense. On first and second downs the Pats had all their run stoppers in, 8 or 9 guys in the box, and the Steelers would obligingly run right into it. Then on third and long the Pats would put in their nickle and blitz. While the Steelers offense went nowhere, the Pats offense attacked from the beginning, built up a lead, and the Steelers spent the rest of the game chasing. This time the Steelers need to attack the weakest part of the Patriots defense, the secondary, from the very first play. Where is it written that the Steelers have to run on every first down? Brady and the Pats sure don't, and neither do Rodgers and the Packers. Let's get a lead and make the Patriots chase us instead. And once we get a lead, don't take the foot off the accelerator, keep attacking the Pats secondary. The Steelers have the QB to do this, and the QB has the weapons he needs.

brothervad
10-25-2011, 02:58 PM
I always figured that D. Lebeau doesn't have the talent on the field but it could just be stubborness.

I mean the Pats are a precision offense. You got to mess up the timing. I just don't see the Defense changing to bump & run man to man coverage disrupting the WR's at the LOS.

Marcia loves to pick apart zone coverage. I imagine he smiles whenever he sees a Steeler DB give a 5-7 yard cushion on his WR's.

So yeah we need to get to Brady, but we also need to disrupt the WR's running routes. I just don't think Sensei Lebeau will change.

Brothervad

hawaiiansteel
10-26-2011, 12:51 AM
Ed Bouchette's Steelers chat transcript: 10.25.11

TUESDAY, 25 OCTOBER 2011 WRITTEN BY DAN GIGLER


Ed Bouchette: Good afternoon, let's begin.

Ed Bouchette: While I wait for the questions to download, you know that Casey Hampton is scheduled to practice on Wednesday but four others are out: james Harrison, Jason Worilds, Chris Hoke and Doug Legursky.

Bruce: Do you think the Steelers regret having drafted Jason Worilds over Sean Lee?

Ed Bouchette: Some do, some don't. Remember, he's an inside linebacker in Dallas.

Donnie Iris: Hi Ed-What's the update on Hines?

Ed Bouchette: They are going to see if he can go. He did not play against New England last season but the Steelers are in better position if he cannot play this time around with the more mature Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown and Jerricho Cotchery.

Tim: What are your thoughts on rookie Cortez Allen ?

Ed Bouchette: They like him, and he finally got into a defense on Sunday.

Steel Curtain Rising: Ed, the Steelers OWNED Bill Belicheat when he was with the Browns. Aside from the fact that Tom Brady is an obviously upgrade from Vinny Testaverde, what else do you think has changed to make Billy B. a better coach?

Ed Bouchette: Better personnel and more experience as a head coach.

James_Taiwan: Are we currently seeing the Steelers future defense minus James Harrison?

Ed Bouchette: Not really. They drafted Jason Worilds to be his replacement.

Andrew: Chris Hoke's injury seemed to be downplayed at first. Is there something more to it that we don't know yet?

Ed Bouchette: I was just chatting with Gerry and we were both surprised he will miss this week. He had a "stinger" and those usually don't last this long.

Guest: Ed, what are your keys for the Steelers to finally beat the Pats this week?

Ed Bouchette: Pretty simple. Get to Brady, intercept Brady, or be prepared to score 40.

Guest: Is Jericho Cotchery a bust?

Ed Bouchette: Not at all. He plays when they go to 5 wide receivers, just as I said and wrote that's how they would use him when they signed him. He's not going to leap over any of the other four unless there's an injury.

Guest: Will we see McFadden at all this year?

Ed Bouchette: Special teams.

Hombre De Acero: What is the update on Hines Ward?

Ed Bouchette: He has a sprained ankle. He may or may not play.

Steel Curtain Rising: Based on your reporting, do you expect Casey Hampton to suit up?

Ed Bouchette: Based on listening to Mike Tomlin that he's scheduled to practice Wednesday, yes.

Guest: Do you think the league should change the rule whereas a player like Woodley would get credited for a sack for causing an intentional grounding play in the endzone like last week?

Ed Bouchette: Yes. That would be an easy one.

JerseySteel: Ed, what percentage chance do you give Harrison and/or Worilds playing this week? I would like to have as many pass rushers available.

Ed Bouchette: Bluto Blutarski chance: 0.0

Donnie Iris: Any chance we see more Redman this week given Mendi's disappointing performance?

Ed Bouchette: No, because nothing's changed. He's had sub-performances in 5 of his 6 games and Redman hasn't gotten the ball more except the one he missed.

Guest: Bill Cowher to Miami. What do you think?

Ed Bouchette: I think it would be a good move for both.

midniterambler: Do you feel the game plan this week will include Ike blanketing Welker all game?

Ed Bouchette: No. Ike covers the receivers on the outside, not those in the slot like Welker.

Jack Splat: Love your chats, ED. What in the world is wrong with Worilds? He is missing a golden opportunity to compete. Any plans for the D to move Timmons inside this week to get better speed match ups with the NE tight ends?.

Ed Bouchette: Worilds has a thigh injury. Probably a little more serious than a Charley Horse.

Casper: How does the Steelers defense get pressure on Brady, we can't give him the amount of time we are giving these other qbs?

Ed Bouchette: They couldn't do it with James Harrison in the lineup, I don't know how they're going to do it without him.

dr. funke: Any chance McClendon is a legitimate option to be the nose tackle of the future? Or is he more the Hoke of the future?

Ed Bouchette: Sure, there's a chance if he keeps playing the way he did in Arizona.

Andy: It seems that all the talk is about Brady and the Steelers defense but the Patriots always seem to win the turnover battle and score on defense or special teams. Which is a bigger key for the Steelers to win this game, Steelers D or Steelers Offense and ball security?

Ed Bouchette: Steelers offense and ball security. They need to score and do it often without giving the Patriots extra series by turning it over.

lee: Legursky's injury seems more serious than what the Steeler's are saying? your thoughts?

Ed Bouchette: No. It's a dislocated toe that did not require surgery. MT said he's be out a "number of weeks" and that number is now 2.

Andy: Any lineup changes this week? Surely we cannot be starting the same offensive lineman in their same positions.

Ed Bouchette: Same one.

Ed Bouchette: Thanks for many good questions today. See you next Tuesday.

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/inde ... ipt-102511 (http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/112767-ed-bouchettes-steelers-chat-transcript-102511)

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
10-26-2011, 08:54 AM
Do not call down and distance football against the Pats between the 20's on 1st & 2nd down...That's number one. What I mean by that is 1st & 10 should be looked at as 2nd & 10 based upon what I say next about personnel. Do not count 12 personnel (Rob Gronkowski & Aaron Hernandez on the field) as 12 personnel between the 20's. That is DC biggest mistake against the Pats. That personnel group should be counted as "11" and should see nickel between the 20's. Belichick & Brady's counter to that adjustment is to audible to run. THAT IS WHAT WE WANT. Problem is we are slowly coming around to the run on the DL but there is no coming around up the middle with Timmons on the outside. Not the same defense we once were at ILB and it really shows. Hampton playing might actually hurt the front 7 against the Pats. McClendon is much better at coming down the line on a stretch than Hampton or Hoke and when Hampton is on the field, expect Brady to keep him there and go no huddle or muddle and he will become a non factor quickly. Only time base 3-4 should see the field between the 20's is when we see a personnel group in the 20's or 13 personnel. The third TE would be another TE or when the Pats go to an OL who is elligible. We want the Pats to test their will at staying patient and running the football against our nickel. Take Brady out of his game...They will press to pass out of it and DL needs to dial up blitzes out of the nickel to make them pay for it when they do. Pressure, hurries, and most important...Knockdowns. Brady does not like picking himself up off the ground.

Another key I would do is move Troy to LB in nickel. Have Taylor, Gay, & Lewis in the secondary with Clark. Woodley, Hood, McClendon, & Keisel front line with Troy, Farrior, & Timmons in the box at LB. Troy flopping to Welker side to Jam at LOS, blitz, or stay underneath Welker side. CB will be stacked behind to cover Welker off jam. More often than not, Welker & TE on same side work of rub routes underneath and having Troy in the area could cause Brady to hold so he could throw his receiver open. Important zone blitzes can come out of this grouping. Woodley & Keisel on the edge can be counted presnap in protection and drop shallow while a combination of 2 of the LBs blitz. Same side overload could be a very good blitz if Brady sets his RB wrong side. But again...Want them to counter the nickel & run. I believe that counter is a win for the Steelers because although I don't think we will be able to completely shut down the run out of this...It will slow the offense down and cause Brady to play away from his strength. This game is going to have lots of offensive stats but making the pats go 8 plus play drives and run the ball will limit their posessions as long as the Steelers O can move the chains. When they get inside the 20's call down & distance football against their personnel.

On of the biggest keys this week will be for DL to sit down with Keith Butler, John Mitchell, & Carnell Lake and say, "Give me something...Lots of something!" Great coaches know when they need to go to one of their position coaches and get their wrinkles. This is DL's adversary.....He needs as much new input and "against the grain" gameplanning as he could get. It is time for Keith Butler to add his thumb print.

The feeling I am getting is it will take a defensive touchdown or ST touchdown to turn the tide in this game. Let's hope it will be the Steelers celebrating one of these on Sunday.

hawaiiansteel
10-26-2011, 03:36 PM
This week's result all in the numbers

Wednesday, October 26, 2011
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


What exactly will shake out Sunday at Heinz Field when the Steelers and the New England Patriots conduct their three-hour examination of each other's AFC worthiness is not easy to say, at least nowhere near as easy as identifying what you will not see.

You will not see a 6-3 final and you will not see 12-7, two combinations that came up this past weekend in NFL numerology.

The question of the week is simply this: What is the number?

How many points does Mike Tomlin's team need to beat the Patriots? In the Tom Brady Era, the Steelers never have beaten the Patriots without the number being at least 33, and that was with backup Matt Cassell struggling to answer with 10. In the only game the Steelers won with Brady on the field, the number was 34, coming on Halloween Night, 2004.

What is the target number this week, 35, 37? In November 2010, 39 would not have won it because Brady three threw touchdown passes and ran for another at Heinz Field to administer a 39-26 beating that was nowhere near that close.

Football coaches, particularly those with a defensive pedigree such as Tomlin, do not like to entertain pregame notions that suggest they might need five touchdowns to win, but the head coach said Tuesday he will not discount such a necessity.

"I would hope not," he said at his weekly news conference. "I hope I wouldn't let pride or ego or some comfort zone prevent me from considering all the possibilities. I fashion myself as being more intelligent than that. We'll see."

I had just wondered out loud if Tomlin ever thinks, "Ya know, this week I'm gonna need 41 points."

There was a notable lack of scoffing, it happens.

In the recent history of Brady-to-Canton Express, the available methods of beating New England have been limited to two. You either score a bunch of points (eight of the past 10 teams to beat Brady scored at least four touchdowns, including the Cleveland Browns, of all people, who hung 34 on New England Nov. 7 and won by 20) or you put Brady on the ground five times.

The New York Giants, staring down an 18-0 opponent in Super Bowl XLII, got to Brady five times and wound up turning an impossible David Tyree catch into a 17-14 victory. The New York Jets did the same thing -- five sacks -- in eliminating the Patriots from the AFC playoffs last season.

Tuesday, Tomlin hinted that the five-sack solution is less than full proof.

"I don't know that sacks determine success against them," Tomlin said. "If they are in [an] empty [set] all the time and the ball is coming out fast, sacks might not be part of the equation."

But just a month ago Tuesday, a third way to beat New England emerged and shockingly so because no one knew it was possible. The Buffalo Bills intercepted Brady four times and won, 34-31. Of course, I wouldn't try this at home, not with the Steelers secondary in its current incarnation. Talented as it is, interceptions have not exactly been its trump card. Four picks on Brady? You would be asking for double the interceptions in one afternoon as the Steelers managed the first seven weeks.

With the sack solution called into question and the four-pick fantasy merely that, the Steelers must turn to putting up a big number, like 41.

Most weeks, 41 will work, I've found. Done only twice in the Tomlin era, against Cleveland and St. Louis, five touchdowns and two field goals would come in very handy against New England, which has scored between 30 and 38 in every game but one.

Tomlin was not entertaining any suspicion, however, that these Patriots are susceptible to that kind of yield, never mind all kinds of empirical evidence that suggests the opposite.

"That's a function of them just whacking people," Tomlin scoffed (there is a good scoff in every Tomlin news conference). "Teams are getting way behind, and they're throwin' the ball around and accumulating some yardage. It's insignificant."

Even though Tomlin was, at that moment, finally beginning to sound like a former secondary coach and defensive coordinator, I think he is right because that is exactly the kind of circumstance in which Ben Roethlisberger piled up a season-high 387 passing yards against New England last year, with a season-high 30 completions in a season-high 49 attempts. It was highly insignificant. That all happened essentially because as the third quarter drew to its close, New England led, 23-3.

So 41 won't be easy; it is merely the best option. I'd like to say 40 would win it, but no, I really can't vouch for 40.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11299/11 ... z1buWOtlcv (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11299/1184937-150-0.stm#ixzz1buWOtlcv)

Pahn711
10-27-2011, 11:32 AM
The only way we get to Tom Brady is if Troy times the snap count on every play and leaps over the center. Otherwise the ball will be in Welker or a TE's hands immediately.

Exactly, getting to Brady is not gonna be the answer. If we blitz a lot he will spread 'em out and get rid of the ball fast. Tomlin even said in his press conference that they will not judge the success of this game by sacks and pressures.

I'm also not confident that stopping the run is as important as the author implies. If we had to pick our poison, I'd say let them run more if it means they aren't scoring tons of fast points in the air. If they are forced to mix it up, I'd say it should give the defense more opportunities to make plays and possibly force some turnovers.

I remember reading something about Taylor not being able to shadow Welker all day due to Welker lining up in places out of Taylor's comfort zone. I can't remember where I read that but am wondering how much of an impact that could be.

steelz09
10-27-2011, 12:30 PM
I don't like Brady... but you have to respect him. This stat alone is incredible:

"In the Patriots' past two games against them, dating to 2007, Brady has completed 70 percent of his passes for 749 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions."

If that's not an indication that our past approaches do not work against Brady (as well as Brees and Rodgers) then I don't know what is.

It's no secret that Brady will beat us 5 yards at a time and he's done that over the years. You can't play the bend but don't break defense and allow the 5 yard slant passes every down. Unlike most QBs, Brady will take that every time. And he will be us everyime if we allow him to do it. I want those DBs locked up tight on those WRs/TEs. That is the way you beat the Patriots. You discrupt their timing because it requires Brady to wait a second or two longer to throw the ball. That second or two is when guys like Woodley and Farrior need to get to Brady. If you do that, you have an EXCELLENT chance at beating Brady. However, if we play off the WR's and expect Brady to make a bunch of bad throws or mistakes, he will torch us and torch us badly. He's done it before (many times before), and he'll do it again.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
10-27-2011, 07:07 PM
I don't like Brady... but you have to respect him. This stat alone is incredible:

"In the Patriots' past two games against them, dating to 2007, Brady has completed 70 percent of his passes for 749 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions."

If that's not an indication that our past approaches do not work against Brady (as well as Brees and Rodgers) then I don't know what is.

It's no secret that Brady will beat us 5 yards at a time and he's done that over the years. You can't play the bend but don't break defense and allow the 5 yard slant passes every down. Unlike most QBs, Brady will take that every time. And he will be us everyime if we allow him to do it. I want those DBs locked up tight on those WRs/TEs. That is the way you beat the Patriots. You discrupt their timing because it requires Brady to wait a second or two longer to throw the ball. That second or two is when guys like Woodley and Farrior need to get to Brady. If you do that, you have an EXCELLENT chance at beating Brady. However, if we play off the WR's and expect Brady to make a bunch of bad throws or mistakes, he will torch us and torch us badly. He's done it before (many times before), and he'll do it again.

:Agree :Agree :Agree

I think we will know within the 1st 3 defensive calls D!ck LeBeau makes whether we will lose this game or not.

Then for us to WIN it three more things will have to happen:

1) Good Ben will have to show up.
2) STs will have to at least hold their own.
3) Our RB, who I guess will be Mendy, will have to make plays when the Pats* dare us to beat them on the ground (yes, I said it ... I think they are going to try and take away our passing game ... wouldn't you?). Maybe Kemo will actually be the hero of the game - the one trick that pony has might be just the thing that springs Mendy through the right side for 140 yards rushing, including a 60 yard TD run.

:tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2 :tt2 :tt1 :Steel :tt1 :tt2

SteelAbility
10-27-2011, 09:19 PM
How 'bout we start with what we DON'T DO ... which is what we have done in the past.

hawaiiansteel
10-30-2011, 08:39 PM
Steelers figure out Tom Brady as Ben Roethlisberger picks apart Pats

Associated Press


PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers found a way to beat Tom Brady: Don't let him get the ball.

Roethlisberger completed 36 of 50 passes and led the Steelers (6-2) on a series of clock-chewing drives, effectively keeping Brady and the NFL's top-ranked offense off the field. Pittsburgh held the ball for more than 39 minutes and survived a late rally to win its fourth straight following a 2-2 start.

Brady passed for two touchdowns but threw for a season-low 198 yards and couldn't get into any sort of rhythm while losing to the Steelers for just the second time in his career.

The answer, it appears, is the latter, even if the Steelers solved Brady using un-Steelerlike methods.

Rather than pound away with running back Rashard Mendenhall, Roethlisberger -- who never met a deep ball he didn't like to throw -- did his best Brady imitation, moving the chains with a controlled passing attack that took yardage in small bits.

The Steelers didn't complete a pass over 26 yards. They didn't have to. Roethlisberger consistently found Antonio Brown (a career-high nine receptions), Heath Miller (a season-high seven grabs) and speedster Mike Wallace (seven catches) on short and intermediate routes.

The West Coast-style approach worked perfectly.

Pittsburgh's five scoring drives lasted 11, 16, 10, 14 and 11 plays. The Steelers converted 10-of-16 third downs and Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals as Pittsburgh kept Brady on the sidelines for long stretches.

When he did get in the game, the Steelers were able to disrupt his timing just enough. Pittsburgh sacked the two-time MVP three times and kept Wes Welker in check. Welker, on pace to set a league record for receiving yards in a season, finished with six catches for 39 yards.

Brady fell to 6-2 against Pittsburgh as the NFL's top offense was held to 213 yards, less than half New England's average of 474. The loss kept Brady and coach Bill Belichick tied with Miami's Don Shula and Dan Marino for the winningest coach/quarterback combination in league history.

The duo is stuck on 116 for at least another week while the Steelers, an afterthought early in the season, appear to be peaking.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=311030023