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Insider Only What We Learned: Steelers Out-Classed, Look like pretenders against the Champs

Steelers – Patriots What We Learned

It was Groundhog Day once again for Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers tonight at Foxboro.

There were just no answers as Pittsburgh was out-classed in all phases and talk about a talent discrepancy that wasn’t supposed to be the case.

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Tom Brady was doing Tom Brady things as the Patriots built up a 20-0 halftime lead, en route to a 33-3 win on Sunday night.

Picks, crossers and play-action torched the Steelers where Pittsburgh was completely out-manned and stuck in constant confusion. Tom Brady has always been masterful at spreading the Steelers out, picking on the weak ones with his eyes and he was exceptional again in that area. Pittsburgh’s LB’s, notably Devin Bush, biting on play-action fueled Brady’s big first half.

In the first half Brady was 6/7 for 2 touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 QB rating against the blitz.

Think some adjustments were made coming out of the half?

First series of the second half for the Patriots, Brady connects for a 58 yard bomb to Philip Dorsett who didn’t have a Steeler 10 yards from him. Kameron Kelly was caught in no-mans land as the Steelers fell behind by 24.

Want to talk about getting out-schemed?

Following the Dorsett touchdown, Brady comes out on his next series and drops a beauty of a deep ball to Josh Gordon in the middle of the field for 43 yards with Vince Williams in man-to-man coverage.

Says it all.

Just imagine this offense if Antonio Brown buys into the Patriot way and keeps his head straight.


— There will surely be a ton of Monday Quarterbacking of how conservative the Steelers game plan was offensively before the Steelers were totally ran out of the building.

You’ll always have that and deservedly so with some of the play-calls that were so low percentage in short-yardage situations.

What was most alarming with the offense was the lack of explosiveness and it’s a legitimate question of whether it’s a personnel problem to worry about or the Patriots defense is just that good.

This wide receiver group is built to be a move the chains offense not the type that takes the top off and tonight the play-calling just wasn’t able to out-scheme the Patriots defensive game plan that made this group slower than they probably are.

When you breakdown the tape, there’s likely going to be a reason Vance McDonald had zero targets through the first three quarters.

There was just no creativity and movement within 3-5 yards to try to create separation which was most disappointing with how the offense operated. Even Ben Roethlisberger looked awfully slow with his movement/presence in the pocket which the Steelers better hope was just a one week thing.

Outside of Juju Smith-Schuster, the receiver group lacks game breakers who can turn a 5 yard pass into a 20 yard reception. Diontae Johnson had some moments tonight where you can see the ability he has to make plays with the ball in his hands when defenders are in tight but all others raised big flags. These dink and dunk passes going to Ryan Switzer need to be going to Johnson and starting right away in week 2. How Switzer has a role in the offense continues to be one of the great mysteries.

James Washington had a 45 yard catch down the right sideline, we know he can get deep, but all he is right now is a fly pattern receiver and go. As Mike Tomlin says, he’s a one-trick pony.

Donte Moncrief had a very disappointing game that the Steelers better hope was just jitters or something. Multiple drops in high-pressure situations was alarming. He has to be that blanket to get a first down, make the tough catches in coverage and he came up extremely small. Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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