Monday, January 24, 2005The Day After...AFC Style
First of all I hope I don't have to read another self-righteous piece of drivel from Bill Simmons this week, last week's "column" was borderline embarassing. Simmons has to remember that trying to pass himself off as a journalist isn't a column-to-column thing, either you are or you aren't.
Also there's a fine line between being a fan and being obnoxious.
That being said...The Patriots were particularly good on Sunday...I've got a few ideas why.
-- I felt like the one thing the Steelers had going for them was the fact that New England could not bully them physically like they did with the Colts. However, taking a 24-3 halftime lead pretty much took away any physical advantages.
-- Pittsburgh going for 4th and 1 early was a great call and a terrible play. Why not run the QB sneak with a 6'7, 245 pound quarterback? Especially one who needed the confidence boost at that point?
-- The field goal call in the fourth quarter was one of the most gutless plays in NFL coaching history. At worst the Steelers get stuffed and the Patriots have to start at their own 1-yard line. The field goal did NOTHING, they were still two scores behind.
-- "I'd do that again," Bill Cowher said of his fourth-down decisions. And that's EXACTLY why he's 1-4 in AFC championship games.
-- BTW, Cowher has no one to blame but himself for these failures...Five AFC championship games at home, four losses and the victory was thanks to the heroics of Neil O'Donnell (!!) and a dropped hail mary pass.
-- Let's hope this is the beginning and not the end for Ben Roethlisberger. At least some of his fans can already appreciate the year this rookie had.
-- As for New England, Deion Branch was finally able to show what kind of ability he can possess when fully healthy. Branch missed the majority of the season, but the Patriots refused to put him on IR. Good move.
-- With Ty Law done for the playoffs and Richard Seymour inactive with a bad knee sprain, who do the Patriots turn to on defense...Mike Vrabel...Who else??
-- Tom Brady continues to be in a class of few when it comes to clutch performances. While I think the comparisons to Elway and Montana are laughable at this stage of his career, Brady has improved so much from his first Super Bowl season.
-- The rest of the NFL should send thank you notes to Notre Dame and Cleveland for breaking up the best coaching staff in the league. And yes I think Belichick gets more credit than he deserves.
-- And if the loss wasn't bad enough for Steeler fans, they couldn't even drown their sorrows in beer during the second half thanks to Aramark's snap policy.