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Week Ten Game Thread #2 (Patriots at Steelers)

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Second half game thread for the Patriots/Steelers week ten match-up.  Some first half thoughts:

  • The way the Patriots came out of the gates today was the anti-thesis of the way they came out last week against the Browns.  They forced the Steelers into a three and out, then drove straight down the field behind the arm of Tom Brady.
  • So far, on offense, Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Deion Branch have all had good starts.  The Patriots have been hurt by a few drops from the likes of Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Tate, and Wes Welker.  The running game hasn't done much for them, except for one strong run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis on the opening drive.
  • Defensively, the Patriots, for the most part, have done a great job shutting down the run on first and second downs.  Of course, the story of the game so far has been the pressure that the Patriots have applied.  Working out of multiple looks, the Patriots have gotten big contributions from Shawn Crable, Mike Wright, and Tully Banta-Cain on the rush.  Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, and Patrick Chung have all had a big impact against the run.
  • When all is said and done, some crucial penalties have cost the Patriots some points on offense.  Despite the 1st half domination, the Patriots only find themselves up 10-3.  With the team getting the ball to start the 2nd half, hopefully they can get going and stretch the lead.