There has been plenty of talk in recent weeks about the Steelers looking past opponents to their showdown with the Patriots. After the Patriots lost on Monday night to the Dolphins, the first question from reporters for coach Bill Belichick was whether his team was looking past their opponent to Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.
“No,” Belichick said, shaking his head with a look of disdain (then again, he looked that way throughout the press conference). “Give me a break. Any questions about the game or not?”
There were questions about the game, even if the assembled reporters were more reluctant to ask them than the Cowardly Lion was to venture down the hallway to see the Wizard of Oz. As to their 0-for-11 struggles on third down, Belichick said, “Not good enough.”
And as to an unconventional (and unsuccessful) onside kick attempt, which had all players clustered around the kicker and a slow-rolling Bocce ball that had no chance of going at least 10 yards, “They recovered it.”
Yes they did. And the Patriots will now have to recover on a short week for a game at Pittsburgh that suddenly looks like it may not be a blowout for the Patriots. And that would allow the Steelers to take a huge step toward clinching the No. 1 seed.