Five takeaways from Patriots-Steelers

Recapping the Patriots' blow out win on Sunday Night Football over Pittsburgh

WGR 550
September 09, 2019 - 1:25 am
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Louie DiBiase
Twitter: @DiBiaseLOE

 

The New England Patriots' defense of their 2018 Super Bowl championship couldn't have gotten off to a better start after a 33-3 Sunday Night Football win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium.

Pittsburgh fell into a 20-0 hole in the first half that they could never climb out of.

Is this a sign of significant regression for the Steelers? Are the Patriots as strong as ever on offense? 

Here are five takeaways from the first Sunday Night Football matchup of the 2019 season:

 

1.) Stop predicting when the end will come for New England 

It seemingly happens every year. At the slightest sign of regression, the questions start to fly. Is this the end of the Patriots dynasty? Has father time finally caught up with Tom Brady? 

It happened in 2014 after a blowout loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. New England won the Super Bowl a few months later. The questions resurfaced as recent as last year after Brady didn't put up the world-beating numbers in the playoffs that he had in previous years. 

Then, a game like Sunday night's rout over the Steelers takes place. Tom Brady throws for 341 yards and three touchdowns and the dynasty continues. 

Yes, it will happen eventually. Brady and Bill Belichick will not rule the NFL forever. The predictions every year however, should come to an end because this is a dynasty unlike sports has ever seen. 

 

2.) The Patriots offense looks elite.....and they add Antonio Brown next week 

Four different New England pass-catches surpassed 50 receiving yards Sunday night. Wide receiver Josh Gordon looked like the receiver from Cleveland that led the league in yards six years ago. Wide receiver Julian Edelman continued to be one of the most reliable targets a quarterback could find. 

Even Philip Dorsett, once considered a first round bust, caught two touchdowns and led the Patriots with 95 receiving yards. 

Add two dynamic running backs to the mix in James White and Sony Michel? Brady has a deep group of weapons. 

The scariest part... New England is about to add an elite wide receiver next week in Antonio Brown. 

The 2007 Patriots that went 16-0 had the likes of Randy Moss and Wes Welker. The argument could be made, however, this core of  Brown, Gordon, Edelman, and company might be the best one Brady has ever had. 

 

3.) Two big shadows hanging over the Steelers huddle 

The way Belichick prepares his defense week-after-week is something the NFL has only seen a few times in its 100-year history. When that is the opponent, star power is often the only thing that can overcome it. The Steelers looked like a team that needed their former stars in Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. 

Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner have promising futures, but neither seemed up to the challenge of taking over. Smith-Schuster had 6 receptions for 78 yards, but failed to make any real impact plays.

Conner ran for just 21 yards on 10 carries.

Bell and Brown were missed in this one. 

 

4.) Steelers-Patriots can't be called a rivalry 

New England and Pittsburgh have both been atop the AFC for decades. There are 12 Super Bowl titles combined between the two storied franchises. They even met in the AFC Championship three years ago. 

Many would consider this a rivalry. It isn't. 

A rivalry has to be competitive to some extent. The Steelers have gotten a victory over the Patriots just once since 2011. 

 

5.) Sony Michel fantasy owners could be in for another long season 

Michel has a ceiling in New England he wouldn't have in the majority of backfields around the league. Fellow running backs Rex Burkhead and James White both had five receptions, an area Michel can't seem to find an opportunity in.

The 2018 first round pick led the backfield with 15 carries, but Burkhead and White combined for 12 carries of their own. 

The second-year runner can be extremely efficient with his touches, those touches just seem like they will always have a low ceiling. 

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