On Sunday, the New England Patriots have improved their record to 6-1 by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road 27-16. The Patriots did not play their best game of the season, but in the end a win is a win; especially when it comes to beating a rival for the AFC’s top playoff seed on the road.
Or, as head coach Bill Belichick put it in the team’s post-game locker room video:
It’s tough to come in here and win. It’s a battle, every time. It’s tough to come in here, it’s a tough football team. They’re well coached, they’re disciplined, fast and they’re big.
It was indeed a tough day for the Patriots, who did not make it easy on themselves with fumbles and untimely drops. But in the end, the team was able to prevail by making the big play when it needed to make them.
Like cornerback Malcolm Butler’s first-quarter interception just four plays after wideout Chris Hogan gave the ball away on a fumble. Belichick pointed Butler’s pick – the fourth of his career (including playoffs) – out during his post-game address to the team:
How about Malcolm? We catch ‘em in practice, we catch ‘em in the game. It all starts right there.
Belichick was visible happy with Butler’s pick before turning his attention to another key performer: running back LeGarrette Blount.
That’s a way to run the rock L.G., that’s a way to run the rock. Nice job.
After talking about how tough of a football team the Steelers are and how hard it is to beat them at Heinz Field, Belichick turned the focus to the Patriots’ next opponent, the Buffalo Bills before Matthew Slater took the floor to lead the post-game huddle:
Hey, fellas, that’s a big-time character win. We learned a lot about ourselves today. We proved a lot today.
So, how do the Patriots feel about being 6-1?