Who will Bill Belichick try to take away from Steelers offense?

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When it comes to devising a defensive game plan, Patriots coach Bill Belichick has a simple approach: Take away what the opposing offense does best. So what will he try to take away from the Steelers on Sunday?

Putting the clamps on running back Le’Veon Bell could open up a passing game that features quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and receiver Antonio Brown. Taking away the passing game means Bell could run wild.

One of Belichick’s best game plans came when he served as the defensive coordinator of the Giants in Super Bowl XXV. He persuaded the New York defense to buy in to an approach that invited Bills Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas to run the ball, allowing Thomas to have a big day on the ground but slowing down the quick-strike K-Gun offense. Fifteen years ago, when facing the Greatest Show on Turf in Super Bowl XXXVI, Belichick focused on taking away the passing game, dropping extra players into coverage and daring coach Mike Martz to run the ball. Martz, too stubborn to deviate from what we wanted to do, refused to adjust.

So what will Belichick do against the Steelers and Bell? Sunday night’s 170-yard output from Bell resulted in zero touchdowns for the team, so maybe Belichick should be willing to let Bell get his yards with a bend-don’t-break effort to avoid big plays and easy scores in the passing game.

49 responses to “Who will Bill Belichick try to take away from Steelers offense?

  1. Who will Bill Belichick try to take away from Steelers offense?
    ———
    Seriously? He’ll take away dumbBell.

  2. Bell reminds of Marshall Faulk. Belichick will likely employ the same tactics he used to defeat the Rams in the Super Bowl when they had Faulk.
    Expect a lot of “Kraft Media” and “Kraft photography” at the steelers walkthrough practice.

  3. The key will be to pressure Ben to throw. No words are being spoken, but I think the more important injury in the Miami game was his shoulder, hence the problems throwing against KC. I say the Pats will try to make the Steelers beat them with Ben’s wounded wing.

    But I doubt it’ll be that one dimensional. I imagine the conversation in the room with Patricia is the same as it always is — take away “big plays”. That’s what “bend but don’t break” is. They won’t stack the line against Bell, and they’ll double cover Brown with a tight corner and safety up top.

  4. .
    If you take away Bell and force them to be one dimensional, your 90% home free. If Bell starts rolling and the play action starts working, your offense better be ready for a shootout.
    .

  5. Belichick/Patricia defenses force the supporting role players on offense to step up. Brown is going to be contained. So the Steelers other receivers and tight ends have to step up. The complimentary receivers in Pittsburgh would be nobodies if not for Roethlisberger. Rogers and company are as generic as it gets.

  6. A lot of how the Cheaties D defends the Steelers offense will be based on how much holding the refs allow them to get away with. Every year, the Cheaties D gets better in the post season because the refs allow them to all but check the oil with no flags thrown. Call the PI/Holding, refs!

  7. crownofthehelmet says:
    Jan 16, 2017 4:40 PM

    It won’t matter what BB does, Steelers will still drop 40 on em.

    The Steelers are going to kick 13.3 field goals? LOL!

  8. Hahaha on the Steelers having generic WRs and that Ben makes them. I don’t think a single Pat WR would be a starter on another team in this league. Brady makes them they are all generic.

  9. I hoping Bill takes everything…this nonsense of making a team one dimensional is absurd. Bill wants to shut down the hamburger stand.

  10. Bell is the obvious answer. He’s the far more dangerous player than Brown. Bell can hurt you in many more ways.

    Plus, Malcolm Butler can follow Brown around all night and at least hold him in check. Nobody is “shutting down” Brown but Butler will make him work for everything he gets.

  11. crownofthehelmet says:

    Jan 16, 2017 4:40 PM

    It won’t matter what BB does, Steelers will still drop 40 on em.
    —————-
    Lots of confidence for a team that just went without a TD last night.

  12. Brady vs the Steelers since 2001

    In nine regular-season games, dating back to the 2001 AFC Championship Game, here’s what Brady’s done against the Steelers:

    238-for-342 (69.6 percent)
    2,826 yards
    24 touchdowns
    3 interceptions
    114.2 passer rating
    8.26 yards per attempt

    Brady’s games against Pittsburgh when the games are played in Foxboro. These are his stats from the Steelers’ visits in 2002, 2007, 2013 and 2015:

    109-for-154 (70.8 percent)
    1,413 yards (353 yards per game)
    15 touchdowns
    0 interceptions

    Look for this to continue….if I am a Steelers fan I would be nervous
    If you say you’re not, you’re not being honest

  13. thesteelhurtin says:

    Jan 16, 2017 5:16 PM

    Hahaha on the Steelers having generic WRs and that Ben makes them. I don’t think a single Pat WR would be a starter on another team in this league. Brady makes them they are all generic.

    —————-
    Edelman would start on every single team in the NFL, best slot WR in the NFL today.

  14. Last time they played Bell had 89 rushing yards on 21 carries

    And Brady OWNS the Steelers
    Look for that to continue…

    Hey Flash, I guess you forgot you won by 11 against Landry freak Jones……you may be right but I want to spoon field you some well deserved humility if you are wrong. You are an example of why the Pat’s are hated……it’s the plethora of similar a-holes in need of humility.nwin with class……your team does.

  15. The Steelers will NOT score 40 points.

    The may get 100 yards on the ground.

    Malcom Butler handles the social media King (AB) one on one pretty well over the last few years.

    Pats need to score 32 points to win.

  16. pastabelly says:
    Jan 16, 2017 5:15 PM
    Butler will be on Brown and they’ll focus on Bell.

    ______________

    Not judging by how they have played coverage lately. They will probably put Ryan on Brown and bring safety help. Butler will likely get Heyward-Bey to himself.

  17. Cant wait for anothet pats win. Deep down all steelers fan know it is coming. Brady owns the steelers but keep talking a big game cause it will be over soon

  18. crownofthehelmet says:
    Jan 16, 2017 4:40 PM
    It won’t matter what BB does, Steelers will still drop 40 on em.

    —-

    Pats played the #1 Defense (#11 Scoring D) and scored 34 points (In a very bad showing)

    Steelers played the #24 Defense (#7 Scoring D) and scored 18 Points

    The Pats are the # 8 Total Defense, and #1 scoring defense…

    If one of these teams is dropping 40 points, I’d say it’s the #3 scoring offense vs. the #23 scoring defense.

  19. The Pats standard run defense is good enough to limit Bell to a nice but not game-changing performance. They might add a Bell spy, like Elandon Roberts, but they don’t need to if they would rather shut down Brown, which they can do. Pittsburgh is not a two-trick pony, though, and will make the game competitive with the other receivers.

    The difference is probably the defenses, and the Pats D is the better unit. It is a close call, but the Pats are the better balanced team.

  20. Take the ball away from Beel and force it into Ben’s hands. He’s not great on the road or in the playoffs. Forces too many throws, can get antsy. Ben is 8-0 in the playoffs if he throws for 225 or less. I think he’s 1-6 if it’s more.

    So make him throw it.

    And I’m a Steelers fan. And yes, to previous posters, of course I’m worried about Brady. He’s had our number. BB is better than Tomlin and Brady is better than Ben. Doesn’t matter if Bell, Brown and a bunch of other guys we have are studs. Hoping for a good tilt. And a win. The Patriots have hung too many on us. We’re due.

  21. Bell hasn’t been involved in the passing game lately – look for that to change.

    The Pats D is tough but they’ve played a ton of lousy QBs this year.

  22. For those of you that still may not be familiar with him, watch out for Dion Lewis. Yes, Bell is outstanding, but The Patriots running game is being overlooked, Blount was still not feeling well on Saturday. I believe he and Lewis are going to neutralize Pittsburgh’s rush and then the play action pass is going to gut the heck out of The Steelers vulnerable secondary. No smack talk here, just an observation.

  23. Steelers offense = overrated. Didn’t score a single touchdown against KC, but we’re now talking like they can’t be stopped, you can only hope to contain them. Lol.

  24. “Ben is 8-0 in the playoffs if he throws for 225 or less. I think he’s 1-6 if it’s more.”

    Stats like that are probably more the result of playing from behind and thus needing to pass more.

  25. The steelers are going to kick 13.3 fieldgoals?LOL

    Yeah because the patriots D is comparable to the chiefs. The best Qb the pats faced this year was russel wilson and the pats lost. After that it was andy dalton and ryan tannehill. Not making any outlandish predictions this game but the pats certainly haven’t seen anything like whats coming.

  26. 3xapple says:
    Jan 16, 2017 5:05 PM
    A lot of how the Cheaties D defends the Steelers offense will be based on how much holding the refs allow them to get away with. Every year, the Cheaties D gets better in the post season because the refs allow them to all but check the oil with no flags thrown. Call the PI/Holding, refs!

    this poor fella has already thrown in his terrible towel.

    Anyway, Pats rank #4 in run dvoa and they are deep up front and rotate a lot of guys there so “limiting” Bell to mere mortal RBs stas shouldnt be too much to ask for. AB is a beast and he’ll be well covered too,. Pats will make the other guys have to beat them. Pats should be able to put up 30 and hold the Steelers below that if all goes well.

  27. Lots of Steelers fans crying and making excuses already. I see a lot of insecurity behind all that chest thumping.

  28. They called BB and his Team a bunch of a-holz.

    BB will take EVERYONE out in this game –

    EVERYONE

  29. Bell. He IS their offense.

    No brainer.

    Pats offense of course will light up that mediocre Steeler secondary regardless. Stop Bell and there won’t be any shootout.

    🙂

  30. The Pats D is tough but they’ve played a ton of lousy QBs this year.


    Well they played some great QBs in their Super Bowl run a couple of years ago…and they still got lit up by Jump Ball Joe and were a Malcolm Butler pick away from giving away another Super Bowl.

    Just sayin 🙂

    Can only play your schedule.

  31. As long as Belichick keeps the refs from awarding the game to the Steelers, the Patriots will be fine.

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