Re: nice pick Cowah
1. Pittsburh has fewer rushes of 20+ than NE. This means that the average is skewed. Pittsburgh is quite content to get 3-4 a carry. Thats their style. In fact, its surprising that NE doesn't hold a greater than .1 yard advantage.
2. # of sacks, gimme a break. Pittsburgh passes mainly on 3rd and longs. NE passes on all downs. Of course there will be more sacks on a team that throws when expected. Also, the number of sacks increased when Burress was out and teams played 8 in the box without the long threat. 2 things are important to look at, the number of sacks per game while Burress played ( since he will play today ) and the number on Brady when Pittsburgh played NE. Looks like Tom will be eating frozen turf.
3. NE forced 4 more sacks, big deal. Pittsburgh running style does not lend itself to going ahead by 20 points. Talentless opposing teams are not forced to pass as soon against the Steelers where teams like NE really pad their stats. Even though Pittsburgh doesn't usually get up by 20 early, the NE game was an exception. Against a patchwork hurt defense they scored often and at will. Then, they ran the ball down that defenses throat when the entire stadium knew they would run. That's not going to change.
Talk about 'genius' game plans all you want, the truth is this. NE got a close knit team of players to have their whole be greater than the sum of its parts. Right now, they have key pieces hurt and are not as good as in previous years. Noll quit being a genius when he lost his core team of the 70's. Belichick was no genius in Cleveland and with that banged up secondary, he ain't no genius today.