Re: OL had a rough day
Apart from the last quarter both O-Lines took a bit of a hammering - the aggresive blitzing of the Steelers had Brady on his ass more than once in the first half.
The main differences as I see them are -
1. Steelers got beaten on time of possesion - combine an aggressive D with a D that has spent almost 60% of the time on the field and you have problems regarding D stamina.
2. In game adjustments - The Pats look there for the taking with two rookies on the left side of the O-Line when Matt Light went off injured - but the Pats worked some new protection schemes, including some 3-TE sets to give Brady time to throw.
3. Playcalling - Cowher ,in some respects, is just as bad as Mike Martz for making stubborn playcalls - Martz is determined to win through the air come what may - even if his team has a HOF running back and is dominating.
Cowher on the other hand is determined to grind out runs on 1st and 2nd down nearly EVERY series - sure this might be Steelers football - but in some games it is going to be losing football.
Pretty much everytime Ben went back to pass in the 2nd half it was a pass-only situation - its much easier to generate a pass-rush when there is no threat of the run.
They've been great for a while now, three Super Bowls' worth of great. But only this season have the New England Patriots become The Show, the must-see team of stars, pretty boys and reformed bad boys. Suddenly, the Patriots are not simply great; they're compelling, fascinating, appearing to be almighty and a touch lawless.
The Patriots didn't bother with swagger to start this NFL season; they went straight to defiant. Either you're one of them or you're about to get crushed.