Sunday, January 23, 2005

As expected, the Pats whupped up on the Steelers. I didn't expect the game to be as high scoring, but Pittsburgh's defense wasn't as good as I thought. I don't think much of Pittsburgh's 27 points, since most of those points came after the game was decided and the Pats played softer.

The game was decided in the first 10 minutes when the Pats established their dominance at the point of attack and shut down Pittsburgh's running game. It was their number one mission, of course, because it pinned the responsibilty for moving the ball on Big Ben, which made Pittsburgh vulnerable. Predictably, Ben played nervously and made several errant throws, one of which was an 87 yard interception return for a TD by Rodney Harrison, who baited Big Ben beautifully (BBBB).

Brady is just an amazing quarterback. His accuracy is uncanny. That pass he made to Givens (which he didn't quite catch, and the play was overturned) was just unbelievable - 35 yards down the field in absolutely perfect position. I don't think television broadcasts are able to show how hard it is for quarterbacks to do what they do. The new "hovering" camera is big time improvement, but they don't use it nearly enough. I wish they would make that hover camera angle available at all times, because it really shows the game play much more clearly.

I feel bad for Cowher. He was the Chiefs' defensive coordinator before he took the Pittsburgh head coaching job, and I've always had positive feelings about him because he played a big part in the Chiefs renaissance of the early 90s. He's lost a lot of big games, but I don't think he's a poor big game coach like Schottenheimer or Edwards. He's not a conservative play caller, his game management is solid, and he clearly gets the most of out of his team. I think he's just been snakebitten. I hope he finally gets a championship someday.

Pats-Eagles should be a great game, but again I think the difference is in the quarterback play. Brady is an all-time great, while McNabb is very good but makes too many boneheaded plays that will hurt them against a great defense like the Patriots. Even if TO plays, it won't make that much of a difference. The guy is hobbled and won't be the same.

Early pick: Patriots 34, Eagles 17.


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