Saturday, January 22, 2005

Pats Will Win Thanks To 'Big Ben'

Pats run thru Steeltown
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
I was a little off the mark with the AFC, though. Corey Dillon actually ran for the most yards in Patriots history and their nose tackle did just fine. I also picked the Pats second in the East with a wildcard. I picked Pittsburgh, on the other hand, fourth in the North, but wait! I did say Ben Rothlisberger would be good. C'mon.

Here's what I wrote in the LFR on September 12, 2004:

"I don't buy into the whole Patriots dynasty talk. RB Corey Dillon will turn out to be a dubious addition to a team that values cohesion. With DL Ted Washington gone to the Raidahs, how will they stop the run? Many football people are raving about rookie NT Vince Wilfork, like Vilma a product of Miami (FL). I think it's hard to count on a rookie to play nose tackle on a contending team. Aside from that, they have head coach, BIll Belichick and QB Tom Brady. There will be no Super Bowl letdown for the Pats."

"At first glance, the Steelers seem solid. QB Tommy Maddox should hold the starting spot nicely until Ben Rothlisberger is ready (he's going to be gooood). Pittsburgh is trying to do the retro thing on defense. Former defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau, is back, but he doesn't have the same personnel. The defense will be like fitting square pegs into a round hole. On offense, RB Duce Staley will do fine until about Week 7, then, I don't know how RB Jerome Bettis can still perform to his former level."

This game is wonderfully matched. On one hand, how can you go against the defending Super Bowl Champs. On the other, how can you go against a team that's won 15 straight games?

The intriguing question is how can a quarterback that has won his first 14 games possibly be viewed as shaky? This game will come down to the Steelers' QB Rothlisberger. Is his thumb bothering him? Maybe. More likely, the pressure is bothering him. If the Jets can put so much fear in his game, can you imagine the seasoned Patroits defense feasting on young Ben.

This game will not be easy for New England. Pittsburgh will still grind the ball on the ground with Jerome Bettis and eat up a majority of the clock. The difference will be multiple interceptions from the rookie QB and possible TD returns coupled with the sure-footed kicker, Adam Vinatieri.

New England will try for their third title in four years on Feb. 6th.

No comments: