No Hard Feelings
Another NFL Playoff season means playfully teasing and bashing friends' teams who didn't make it to the playoffs. It means the progression of excitement from the divisional and championship rounds is likely to end with another Lombardi Trophy in New England.
All there's left to do is hope that somehow the Steelers keep the Patriots from making it to Super Bowl LI. It doesn't seem like Big Ben Roethlisberger has a chance to out quarter back the Terrific Tom Brady, but an upset is not as outlandish as it might seem.
The Patriots will roll into Sunday and play in an NFL record sixth consecutive conference championship game, while the Steelers are battling drama with their star player. Antonio Brown Facebook Lived himself and his teammates in the locker room after their win over Kansas City last week while head coach Mike Tomlin was holding a private meeting. The act violates both team and league policies.
In their previous games, New England scored 34 points and the Steelers scored 18. It seems like the makings for a blowout in the Patriots' favor, but Brown will not be punished until the season is over and the Steelers will score touchdowns this week. All of the 18 points against the Chiefs came off the foot of field goal kicker, Chris Boswell. In order for them to win against the Pats, they have to make their way into the end-zone and there is no reason to believe they won't.
With the help of his supporting cast, Roethlisberger won't have to out quarter back Brady. Brown will be open down field, and Le'Veon Bell will run it up the gut. What the Steelers have to worry about is making stops on defense so that the offense has a chance to keep up with the high scoring New England team.
In the regular season the Steelers averaged just 2.7 less points than the Patriots, so in theory, they should be able to keep up. Not only does Pittsburgh have a great offense, but Tomlin is innovative in his play calling.
One of the most underrated coaches in the NFL will give his team a chance to win.
The Patriots are the football equivalent of the New York Yankees. There is no neutral feeling when it comes to them. People are either on board the New England train or they want nothing to do with it.
Whether for or against the Patriots' success, it is amazing that they have overcome the drama surrounding deflate-gate. Brady's four game suspension and the way he and Bill Belichick kept the ball moving this season is impressive.
If the Patriots lose on Sunday, most NFL fans will be happy, and bashing the Patriots and their fans will probably become more than a playful act.
It will be dramatic for us who wish for nothing more than a Super Bowl without the Patriots and traumatic for New England fans.