Sunday Night wrap-up: Patriots stand on the gas, beat Steelers

AP

The old guy is about to get more help.

Such that he needs it.

It’s hard to imagine the Patriots playing any better offensively, but that possibility is before them when wide receiver Antonio Brown officially joins the team tomorrow.

Tom Brady and the Patriots cruised to a 33-3 win over the Steelers, passing the ball efficiently throughout the night.

They actually opened the game appearing interested in running the ball, but that quickly faded.

Brady was 24-of-36 for 341 yards and three touchdowns. The 42-year-old also hit a number of chunk plays throughout the game, even when it was comfortably in hand (which was, oh, about halftime).

Phillip Dorsett had a pair of long touchdowns (25 and 58 yards), and he’s likely the odd man out when Brown joins. Josh Gordon had their first touchdown of the night and a 44-yard reception later, and Julian Edelman‘s going to continue to do Julian Edelman things (like his 32-yard pass and catching tipped balls in stride across the middle) no matter who signs.

It’s a talented group, and indicative of the way the Patriots continue to win. They seem to change personnel and schemes annually, proving their enormous advantage at the two most important spots on the field (quarterback and coach).

And you get the sense because of the respect those two carry —and performances like Sunday — Brown likely won’t make such a big deal about some of the issues that bugged him so while he was working his way out of Oakland.

Here are five more things we learned during Sunday Night Football:

1. The Steelers didn’t do much offensively, in part because of their own issues.

But Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore had a lot to do with it as well.

The Patriots put their top cover guy on Steelers wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster; in the slot, outside, wherever. And it took Smith-Schuster a long time to shake free. He had a 19-yarder late in the first half for his second reception, which was the only pass play of more than 9 yards the Steelers were able to register in the first 30 minutes.

Without him making plays, the Steelers stalled.

After ridding themselves of Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers projected confidence in the replacements. And while James Conner had his moments last year and they hope James Washington grows into a productive target, they’re clearly not ready to continue as the Steelers had. But to put it all on them would be wrong, because of the work Gilmore did.

Gilmore is not a flashy player, actually exceedingly normal. That seems old-fashioned, but he is able to change a game on his own, and clearly has the trust of Bill Belichick.

2. The Steelers played this one (excessively) conservatively throughout the night, with the tone set in the second quarter.

Trailing 10-0, they elected to punt on a fourth-and-1 from their own 30 yard line. While not converting would have been a field-position disaster, they have a 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback. Those are the kind of people you put behind the center, and let them lean forward for what should be an easy first down.

Then in the third quarter, trailing 20-0, they elected to kick a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the Patriots’ 1.

Again, coming away from their first promising drive of the night with no points would have been hard to swallow, cutting the lead to 17 did them no favors.

3. Patriots safety Patrick Chung was indicted on cocaine possession charges in August, and hasn’t commented about the case since pleading not guilty.

That’s apparently not an issue for the Patriots.

Chung started, so there wasn’t even a token benching. He gave it the Belichick “on to Cincinnati” treatment when asked during the preseason, and apparently that’s the end of it as far as the team’s concerned.

4. If nothing else, Ryan Izzo is the answer to a trivia question.

The Patriots tight end was the guy to replace Rob Gronkowski in the starting lineup.

The 2018 seventh-rounder spent last year on IR.

He had one catch for 3 yards against the Steelers, which leaves him 520 catches and 7,858 yards short of the guy he replaced.

Izzo may never have much of a role in the offense, as they have enough talent at receiver soon to make any production from their tight ends a luxury. But the kid needs to have a good spike ready in case (or, who are we kidding, whenever) he scores.

5. The Steelers had bigger problems, but they had to start one of the eight former AAF players who made initial rosters in the NFL.

With safety Sean Davis inactive, the Steelers started Kameron Kelly in the secondary.

Kelly was in camp with the Cowboys last year, and spent part of the spring with the San Diego Fleet (before they sunk, along with the rest of the league).

103 responses to “Sunday Night wrap-up: Patriots stand on the gas, beat Steelers

  1. You’d think this would quite the Steeler fans for a while, but it never does. They will be on here shortly claiming some kind of cheating must be the only explanation for another utter beatdown.

  2. Two of the Patriots 5 regular season losses last year were against Pittsburgh (17-10) and at Miami. New England plays at Miami next week. It looks like the Patriots will remedy those two losses in short order.

  3. Pats looked good! And usually, they have a tough early season game in Miami. This year? Hard to imagine any struggles next week against whatever they call that thing in Miami this year.

  4. Brady missed some throws early but got hot when he started looking Gordon’s way. Run game was nothing, but the defense was off the charts great especially covering Schuster. Miami better watch out next week especially if Brown is caught up on the scheme.

  5. No respect for that weirdo little creepy nerd Belichick and the Pats after they sold their soul to acquire the classless and dishonorable Antonio Brown just so they can win a few more foosball games.

  6. Wait til Pats get a couple more of their starters back and really start clicking. They could be really good by midseason.

  7. Take the Eagles horrible first quarter on offense and then imagine playing like that for all 4 quarters. That was the Steelers tonight. They probably dropped more passes tonight than all of last year.

  8. I don’t see how this team can be stopped. Gordon, Dorsett, Edelman, Brown, White, Burkhead, eventually D. Thomas. Even Gronk is dropping hints at a comeback.

  9. I particularly loved the fact that on the “everybody false starts” play, the center just stayed in place and kept holding the ball, because there was no longer any point to snapping it. Sort of an “in for a penny / in for a pound” situation.

  10. Steelers MIA in Foxborough, Brady looking immortal and the Patriots defense has now allowed 6 points in their last 8 quarters of meaningful NFL football.

    In other words, nothing new.

  11. icnocal says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:36 pm
    No respect for that weirdo little creepy nerd Belichick and the Pats after they sold their soul to acquire the classless and dishonorable Antonio Brown just so they can win a few more foosball games.

    Oh no.. how they go on??

    Some crybaby on the internet says he has no respect for them because they sighed a player. How will they handle this? Will it ruin then

    Passsssasd …. if the Patriots didn’t get him someone else would have.

    But hopefully they read your comment just so they k ow how you feel

    You know , because it really matters

  12. The Pats won a super bowl last year with Patterson filling in at running back and Hogan as the #2 receiver. The talent is vastly improved this year except at tight end. Actually, KC’s gameplan in the AFCG last year was hold Gronk”. Brady is back to sharing the rock with more options. Injuries, except one to Brady or a slew of them to the offensive line, won’t derail them.

  13. Horrible display Pittsburgh. Great game New England. Nothing else needs to be said. Back to the drawing board for the Steelers.

  14. 1 down 18 to go….
    & we’re on to Miami….
    Hopefully Cannon is ok & Karres needs to work on his shotgun snaps getting back faster to Brady….

  15. jjfootball says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:32 pm
    I don’t watch games with the corrupt Patriots in them!

    ————————
    Cool. Then tonight’s was fine for you.

  16. firecracker87 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Miami should get absolutely obliterated!
    ————————————————————————————-
    Whatever happened this week will have nothing to do with whether they win or lose next week. If they turn it over a bunch of times and play like garbage in Miami (as has been the case in past years) they could easily lose down there again.

  17. Coaching again on both sides of the ball for Pittsburgh was absolutely common. No surprises, no aggression. If the Steelers don’t clean house and soon of their coaching staff, it’s going to be a losing season. That said ….

    NE looks like they are going to repeat… what i don’t understand is why they think they need to sign the cancer that is Antonio Brown. No matter how good the guy is, all he brings is drama. NE is better off without him.

  18. Is that the best team in the AFC North or no? Tough division, I tell you.I’m glad my Patriots don’t have to play them twice a year. I bet pittsburg(L)s punter is tired right now.

  19. Can you imagine what the team will look like when D. Thomas and Harry join them. Now imagine Gronk wanting in — which could happen if the team is undefeated late in the season.

    I love you all. Even you Jets fans.

    High on the Patriots. They are like a wonderful drug.

  20. We all know the Steelers have the worst secondary by far, so no surprise there. Most of us also knew that losing AB and Bell would ruin their offense, again, no surprise there. We all know Tomlin is a terrible coach, surprised yet? The only thing surprising is that Steelers stans actually believed that “we’re drama free now” gossip Trip was pushing.

  21. It finally caught up to them. You don’t just replace players like Bell and Brown. That Steelers offense looked very average. Conner is a very good 2nd running back and JuJu is a 2nd or 3rd receiver not a number one. Going to be a long season for the Steelers.

  22. Steelers fans thinking everything was going to be fine without AB was straight up delusion, welcome to reality.

  23. Josh Gordon plays the role of Stallworth, AB as Moss, Gronk when he unretires and comes back, Belichick as Miyagi, Brady as Mr Constant – 2007 regular season deja vu?

  24. DOn’t think I’ve ever seen the Steelers play worse. And after a whole off season to prepare. Guess you just can’t lose three great players (Bell, AB & Shazier) and come back (unless you are a Belichik coached team).

    Or are the Pats that great?

  25. #2 .. The Steelers were more concerned about the shutout than trying to win by that point. Any coach trying to win goes for it on 4th and goal from the 1 down by 20.

    Ben looked like a sleepy 40 year old guy who just woke up from a nap most of the night. While his receivers dropped plenty of balls on their own, his ball placement, especially on the deep passes was horrible.

    There wasn’t any one reason the Steelers loss, it was a team loss as they got outplayed in every phase of the game.

    Thank god AB was ineligible to play or there probably would’ve been a brawl at midfield.

  26. In the past, Mike Tomlin always seemed obsessed with beating the Pats. It was as though each week the Steelers focused on their scheduled Sunday opponent but also spent at least one day studying film on the Pats. Perhaps this is why they lost to the Jags in the playoffs? Too focused on outsmarting Belichek and Brady to take the Jags seriously.

    Anyway, last night looked different. Tomlin looked defeated five minutes into the game. He no longer coached to win, he coached to avoid a blow out. Despite the Pats record against the Steelers (especially at home), I always considered The Steelers a dangerous team. After last night, it’s clear that the Patriots are in a class of their own.

  27. Patriot football was on full display last night skies the limit for this team one game at a time! Tip of the cap to big ben and company but the pats were the better club last night .

  28. Remember when loser Pittsburgh fans where saying their team should have had the Thursday night game to kick off the year?

    We had a much better game Thursday, thanks.

    Steelers maybe get 6 wins this year, if they’re lucky.

  29. I particularly loved the fact that on the “everybody false starts” play, the center just stayed in place and kept holding the ball

    I was that guy once. You never forget it.

  30. I can’t believe anyone on planet earth thought the Steelers would go into the Pats’ stadium on opening night, or just about any time, and win. If I thought the Steelers could go 0-16, and Tomlin get fired, I would hope they do. But, I doubt even that would work. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting them to win up there, but at least put forth some effort. Taking nothing away from the Patriots (they have owned the Steelers for quite some time), but Tomlin doesn’t game plan it’s all gut feelings, and BS. The players are never ready to go, especially in the first part of the season. 100% the fault of the coaching staff. I don’t give a crap about his record, it’s meaningless. Apologizing to Steelers’ fans should be one of the highlights of his press conference.

  31. Flash flood warning in Pittsburgh this morning. Steeler fans’ tears are pouring into the streets. #1FieldGoal

  32. The biggest concern for the Patriots is how bad Marcus Cannon injury os and hopefully no more injuries on the offensive line going forward.They already lost 2 starters and season just began

  33. i just cannot respect the New England Patriots. the way they go about their business is abhorrent IMO. Antonio Brown case and point.

  34. rogergoodellmyhero says: LMAO Patriots homers already thinking they won the SB.
    —————
    Apart from one non-Pats fan saying Pats might reach the SB, you are the only one above who’s calling them the winners already. Obsessed much?

  35. steelers need to fire tomlin and start a rebuild. he has no idea what hes doing. i could see him as a motivational speaker or preacher. but this football thing isn t working out for him

  36. The Steelers have been a second-tier team for several years, but it’s time Pittsburgh fans get ready for a looooooong slog of being third-tier. This team isn’t beating NE anytime soon, or KC, or BAL, or LAC, or even Indy.

  37. Patriots best seasons have been when they start slower, build during the season and peak in the playoffs.

    Bursting out of the gate in week 1 is fun to watch as a Patriot fan, but is very hard to sustain for an entire season.

  38. Though it’s a living-in-the-past statement, Tomlin is second to Belichick in winning percentage – so the ‘Tomlin is a bad coach’ stuff is not supported by the data. Tomlin says some prescient things about football and has a sober view of winning and not winning.

    NE was unbeaten at home last year, for example. Mahomes did not win at NE and he didn’t win in KC. Is Reid also that bad? Is everyone bad except Belichick? It seems that way sometimes.

  39. “i just cannot respect the New England Patriots. the way they go about their business is abhorrent IMO. Antonio Brown case and point.”

    Because they signed a free agent.

    Seek help.

  40. The Patriots looked sharp and great in every phase of the game, a refreshing change from some of the teams playing their first game of the season. You almost think that the AB acquisition was unnecessary as it may negatively impact the chemistry of this team. But man, if he’s able to keep those negatives in check, this team really could be threatening the Dolphins’ perfect season.

  41. Where are all of the “Two Yard Tammy” proclaimers? Have they ever watched a Patriots game? how many 40+ yd completions did he make last night? and for tuddies!

  42. That false start was awesome… I had the tv muted socializing with friends but I knew what they were saying in the booth… lol False start everyone but the center lol

  43. The questions is does Brady get 1 or 2 more rings before he hangs it up? I say at least 1 more and maybe 2.

  44. jjfootball says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:32 pm
    I don’t watch games with the corrupt Patriots in them!

    ———————

    Too bad. You missed a clinic last night.

  45. armlesshippy says:
    September 9, 2019 at 9:43 am
    “i just cannot respect the New England Patriots. the way they go about their business is abhorrent IMO. Antonio Brown case and point.”

    Because they signed a free agent.

    Seek help.

    —————————

    Patriots hate has reached irrational levels here.

  46. weepingjebus says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:44 pm
    Tomlin ‘bout to spin his Wheel of Excuses so hard it’ll take off like a helicopter

    ———————-
    Actually Tomlin was quite honest and direct in his press conference last night, he called it for exactly what it was. Thats actually the one piece of encouraging news for Steelers fans because if he puts away the excuses and instead looks at the problems to solve and faces them head on then that is the first step to turning things in a better direction. I think the excuses and denials of the past are what led to the team backsliding these past few years because when one thinks like that they don’t address stuff.

  47. I used to be concerned when the Pats were scheduled to play Pittsburgh. I always thought it would be a tough game and the Pats chances of winning weren’t very good. What was I thinking???? Must have been moments of delirium. For the past 19 years, Patriots teams have always been super prepared for their opponents. THAT is what’s called great coaching.

  48. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:28 pm
    Best defense since the 2000 Ravens during the time when league rules favor offenses.
    —————————————
    NE has a good defense for sure but don’t get carried away. The Ravens themselves have had defenses better that the Pats’ defense since 2000.

  49. PersonaNonGrata says:
    September 9, 2019 at 10:01 am
    armlesshippy says:
    September 9, 2019 at 9:43 am
    “i just cannot respect the New England Patriots. the way they go about their business is abhorrent IMO. Antonio Brown case and point.”

    Because they signed a free agent.

    Seek help.

    —————————

    Patriots hate has reached irrational levels here.

    ———————
    Yeah but it was a free agent he did not want to see wind up with the Patriots though. You have to see how it looks from his side. Its like when the opposing pitcher strikes you out by throwing good quality pitches. How can you respect him after that?

  50. captaincakeman says:
    September 9, 2019 at 8:28 am
    How does Mike Tomlin have a job? Worst coach in the NFL.

    15 7 Rate This

    ——————–

    Maybe not the worst, but certainly a poor leader and empty suit. I mean, he created Antonio Brown with his poor leadership.

    Their fans constantly think he’s great referencing a record beating up on mediocre or bad teams all the time, as most of the NFL plays a bad brand of football, and they think their players are all HOFers.

    TJ Watt, Heyward, etc, while solid players, make a top 100 NFl list, while Flowers or Van Noy, etc, do not.

    This is what I am talking abott…If you know football, watch it, etc, you know how good NE’s players are compared to Pitt’s.

    You could put Pee Wee Herman in a Steelers uni and their fans would claim he’s the bestest.

    Meanwhile, people are so jealous of NE, they underrated their players. Been going on for decades.

  51. Through the 1st half of the season, that was the Patriots only opponent that finished last season with a winning record (9-6-1). Sure seems like favorable scheduling to me.

    That aside, the Patriots looked like the defending champs that they are. Tom shows no sign of anything other than consummate Professional.

    The Steelers looked like AB and Le’Veon just left yesterday. Expect more beatdowns Steel-Town.

  52. For all of the haters out there who’s team never makes the playoffs or the big game here’s some milk and cookies. Wanna lose your mind over the A.B signing then be mad at Oakland they are to blame. All they had to do was suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team, and A.B. is sitting at home with no guaranteed money, and a bunch of fines waiting for him if he ever decided to return. Then the RAIDERS control his destiny not A.B controlling his own, but they didn’t do that they cut him which gave him his freedom. Of course the Pats swooped in and signed him it’s a GREAT business move on their part. If he works out they have the best offense in football, and if he acts like a clown then Bill will send him home suspended, and the PATRIOTS will then control where he goes next

  53. It’s silly to crown anyone yet.
    Guarantee Belichick isn’t celebrating any victory four months before the playoffs. This will be a distant memory by then.

  54. “The questions is does Brady get 1 or 2 more rings before he hangs it up? I say at least 1 more and maybe 2.”

    2 more, this year and next year (BB will complete the ultimate super-team for 2020). Brady retires, Luck comes out of retirement and signs with the Pats.

    Could happen 🙂

  55. The Raiders screwed up, the Pats took advantage of it. If you want all the teams to avoid signing “bad character” players,then convince the league to put it in the rules.

  56. As a Steelers fan, I am embarrassed and ashamed that Mike Tomlin was once again allowed to field a completely unprepared team. This has been the “standard” as he likes to spout every year, and the results are always the same. Unprepared, undisciplined, uninspired play from his players. While I’m not happy AB and Bell left, I understand why they left. The Steelers have all the talent in the world, and literally no one to guide them.

  57. I can see the Steelers thrashing the Rams and the Chargers then loosing to the Dolphins or Arizona. Playing down to teams. Its one thing to get beat by the Pats but not be prepared. That is on Tomlin

  58. bcraze says:
    September 9, 2019 at 9:34 am
    If Bill Belichick were that great of a coach, he wouldn’t need Antonio Brown. Just saying…
    ———————-

    i agree you just said that.

  59. rogergoodellmyhero says:
    September 9, 2019 at 7:25 am
    LMAO Patriots homers already thinking they won the SB.
    —————————

    Of course not, the SB is not until February. We can read a calendar.

  60. The Steelers can’t beat the Pats because it’s a bad matchup for them. They rely on talent and execution to win. That run the same offense and D for yrs.The Pats eat that for breakfast.

  61. Severus13 says:
    September 9, 2019 at 12:37 pm
    rogergoodellmyhero says:
    September 9, 2019 at 7:25 am
    LMAO Patriots homers already thinking they won the SB.
    *************************************

    Actually, as Pats fans, we know exactly when the SB is held because they’re usually playing in it…

  62. Good as the Patriots looked, the Steelers looked bad. They have no player that gets a double-team or earns a stacked box, and their playbook pretty barren without such a factor. They had two of those players two years ago, one a year ago, and none this year. Man does it show.

  63. Great win last night Pats against a declining Steelers team. Mark it down, you’ll be taking on a young and hungry Cowboys team in the Super Bowl.

  64. Wow look at all of the knee jerk reactions from the Pats homers after week 1. Remember after week 1 in 2017 when the Patriots got spanked they were all using the excuse “well it’s week 1, onto whatever team” and yet here they are gloating.

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