After all the hype, all the interviews, the trash-talking and the comparing of numbers, the New England Patriots did what they do best. Win big games. The game held no resemblance to the expectations of the low-scoring, defensive, grind-it-out-in-the-trenches game that was talked about all week. This was a rout.
The last time these two teams played, the Pats were looking up from a 21-3 deficit after the first quarter. That’s how the Steelers wanted this game to go, get a lead and run the crap out of the ball. The Patriots had other ideas. They broke out early on big plays to Deion Branch for leads of 10-0 and 17-3. Late in the second, Pitt was driving to get within a touchdown when Rodney Harrison picked off Rothliswhatsisname and took it 86 yards for a touchdown. During the runback, Mike Vrabel laid out the rookie QB with a block, and Harrison literally walked into the endzone. In my mind, game over. The Steelers got within 11 in the second half, but it was never really close.
In two weeks, New England will face the Eagles in Jacksonville. After the beatings administered to Indy and Pitt, I don’t see how Philly can win. Which means a third Superbowl victory in four years for the Patriots. There has been a lot of talk about “dynasty” and “football genius” and “legends”. Semantics. Whatever you want to call it, this is a great time to be a Boston fan.