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Game Recap: Steelers defeat Patriots, 33-10

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patriots.com

Ugly, butt ugly. Plain and simple.  That was some really bad football by our Patriots.  But, before I get into it, anyone who lays this on Cassel wasn't watching the game.  Sure, he had his share of mistakes, but overall he played solid ball.  When the cast around you CAN'T...HOLD...ONTO...THE...BALL, there's not much you can do.

30 unanswered points.  You read that right; Bill Belichick's Patriots haven't done that in like 5 years.  Just poor football on our part and a Steelers' team ready to create and take advantage of opportunities.  Outplayed, big time.

Positives

  • Mike Vrabel's interception to setup a TD.
  • [EDIT] Kevin Faulk with 6 for 73, one gain a 41 yarder

Negatives

  • Gostkowski, usually money, misses a 27 yarder with 21 seconds left in the half.
  • Matthew Slater muffs a kickoff return catch and Pittsburgh recovers.  Two plays later, Hines Ward muscles his way into the endzone.  I was wondering why he was in there instead of Hobbs or Faulk or Welker.  Was BB trying to rest the other guys?  We'll never know.  All I know is Slater will be catching about 412,378,954,123,315 kickoff return balls in practice this week.  Or maybe he won't...which would be worse for him.  Being ignored is a death sentence.
  • Pittsburgh OLB James Harrison is allowed in the backfield on Cassel's blind side and manages 2 strip sacks.  That side of the O line fell apart on keeping track of him.  What's his contract status?  Can we pick him up? :-(
  • Our receivers, so hot in the last couple of games, simply couldn't find the handle.  Randy, with two sure touchdown catches, is the most guilty of them all.  Those were not only lost points, but momentum killers.  Make those kind of catches and the opposition is demoralized.
  • Third down efficiency was 1/13.  JHR caught this in the open thread and I think he's right: this was a MAJOR factor in this loss.  Third and some yardage?  Let's just throw every time, which leads me to my next point...
  • Why the hell were we passing sooooooo much when Kevin Faulk was having such a good game?  I mean, 6 for 73 with a 41 yarder...and you're throwing the ball?!?!?  We were running against one of the best run defenses in the business.  Aarrgghh!!!
  • Deltha O'Neal is a serious liability.  If not a shutdown corner, Asante Samuel was pretty darn close.  O'Neal is a "throw it here" corner.
  • 1 for 4 in the redzone.  Couple that with a horrid third down efficiency and we were in for a long night.
  • We have no answer for the RB pair of Mewelde Moore and Willie Parker.  Combined, they blasted through us for 154 yards.
  • Time of possession for the Steelers' was 35:05 vs. the Patriots' 24:55.  Our defense was on the field too, too much. 

Using Shake's wildcard standing post, we're still in the mix.  I just hate relying on other teams to lose for us to make it.  I think I need a drink.