“I think they went out there and did some things, were able to convert on a few third downs and help us move the ball”, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. Hats off to that team. But this year, maybe more than any previous season, he will nearly certainly present formations, units, and plays that the Steelers can’t possibly prepare for because the Patriots have not used them all season.
The 6-foot-1, 225-pound Bell carried 29 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns against Miami and 30 times for 170 yards last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, both Pittsburgh records for rushing yards in a playoff game. He threw for more than 300 yards for the 11th time in a postseason game, the most all-time. DeAngelo Williams stepped in and had 34 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown but the offense didn’t seem to recover without Bell. “I will say that this timing was right for us”, Irsay said. “You look at what you have available to you and you look at how the other team plays you or you think that they’re going to play you in those groupings and then try to make the best decisions you can to gain the most advantage”.
Fast-forward to Sunday, and Hogan, 28, turned out to be Tom Brady’s primary target. “We know, coming into this environment what we were up against”. So many New England weapons finished the AFC Championship with low stats, but it didn’t matter because the Steelers couldn’t contain the three hottest players.
With Brown taken out of the game for the most part, re-establishing these players for a more practical use isn’t easy.
As for the approach against Brady, Dupree said the defense wanted to attack Brady up the middle, but the Patriots running backs did a good job picking them up.
New England defeated the Steelers 36-17, with the point total the Patriots third-highest of the season, exceeded by two separate 41-point performances during the season.
“We fell behind and then we got into a game you just don’t want to play especially in this stadium. I’m going to start training as soon as I get home”. “I went for the stiff arm, and I’m not a stiff-arm connoisseur, so my thumb kind of slipped through his facemask and his helmet was on loosely so the helmet came off”. “I don’t have any reason to believe why I wouldn’t be (back)”. It’s disappointing we couldn’t get this one for Mr. (Dan) Rooney. The pressure you get you have to get it 1-on-1. It was a little bit inconsistent.
There will be a lot of factors that decide a game like this, but when you have the best offense in the league against the best defense, you know it should at least be entertaining.
The Green Bay Packers, winners of the first two Super Bowls, and the New York Giants have done well in their berths, each getting four Lombardi Trophies in five visits.
Receiver Sammie Coates said more surgery for his fingers could be in store. A “sneaky” receiver, Hogan found too many holes in the zone, Burns said.