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Safety Troy Polamalu, the Steelers version of Bob Sanders, was out with a knee injury.WR Santonio Holmes, the Steelers leading receiver, may have played, but it was obvious to anybody with two corneas that he was significantly limited. Patriots versus Cowboys: No CB Anthony Henry, DT Tank Johnson or WR Terry Glenn.Now if you are telling me that significant rushing disparity will have no impact in cold, crappy January weather at Gillette Stadium, I have no problem telling you that you’re nuts! The New York Giants (8-4) are looking to finish off the Eagles and all but lock up a wild card spot with a win.The Giants will be in the same situation in Week 16 when they will look to knock the Washington Redskins (6-7) out of playoff contention.
Pittsburgh gets beat deep on two long TD passes and struggle in the passing game. (3) Considering Pittsburgh injuries and despite awful play-calling in the second half from the Pittsburgh sideline, the Steelers still racked up 349 yards of offense at 5.2 yards-per-play against the Patriots.
The “Monday Night Catastrophe” marked the second straight week that the Patriots needed their opponent to beat themselves.
If you remember just last weekend, the Patriots needed an off-side penalty by the Philadelphia Eagles (5-7) when New England punted inside their own 20-yard-line, then an awful play call by Andy Reid when Philly was ready to at least send the game to overtime.
Translation: When the Patriots do not have a big lead their defense simply is not that good. The last two weeks we are talking about average offensive teams playing backup quarterbacks that went up and down the field against the Patriots defense.
We have said repeatedly on this blog that the Patriots will lose to Pittsburgh, and the reason is that the Steelers do well what the Patriots do poorly.