by Scott Benson
Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin may be a rookie coach that was pretty much helpless for much of the afternoon yesterday, but afterwards, he showed a veteran’s command of the obvious.
“If that is the measuring stick,” a grim Tomlin said of the New England Patriots, “we’re not close.”
Nope, evidently not.
*When the crowd started chanting “GUAR-AN-TEE” at the end of the fourth quarter, it sounded like “M-V-P” on television. Perhaps that’s what they should have been chanting, because there isn’t a better player in the NFL today than Tom Brady. 400 yards, 4 td’s and no sacks against a defense that was supposed to take what the Eagles and Ravens did to the next level. Instead, Brady carved them up with an attack that threw the ball 84% of the time yesterday. How is it after three Super Bowls and eight years he keeps getting better? He’s not mortal.
*With apologies to Benjamin Franklin, there are now three things in this world that are certain: death, taxes, and the stupid Steelers getting burned on the deep ball. For crying out loud, they bit on a play action fake to Laurence Maroney, which set up Randy Moss’s 63 yard touchdown in the second quarter (which put the Pats ahead for good). I mean, come on! The Patriots aren’t going to give the ball to Laurence Maroney, you idiots. And I knew the minute Moss fielded Brady’s one hop lateral and got it back to him, there would be a Patriot (Jabar Gaffney in this case) twenty-five yards beyond the Pittsburgh secondary. Sure as hell, there he was. Because in this world, nothing can be said to be certain – except that.
*Raise a glass to the entire Pats defense, who held the Steelers scoreless over the final 32 minutes. The Patriots are supposed to be old and tired, right? Then how come nobody can score on them in the second half? Rodney Harrison raised hell with Pitt’s red zone offense as everybody saw; but how about a toast to Tedy Bruschi? He may be in the twilight of his career, but he yesterday, he ran around the field like the old Tedy. His best game of the year for sure.
*I think the Patriots told us after the game just what they think of guarantees and the like. How about Belichick? “We’ve played against a lot better safeties than him, I’ll tell you.” Oh, snap! Roll your eyes at your own peril, non-believers.
*So the Pats clinched a first round bye with the win, meaning all that’s standing between the Pats and home field advantage all the way through the playoffs is the New York Jets. Oh, dear.
*I don’t know how I feel about an offense that is 64/36 in favor of the pass over the last eight games. I guess those little flips to Wes Welker in the second half yesterday are just as good as a running play – I guess.