AUBREY BRUCE
COURIER STEELERS CENTRAL

The Nov. 12 game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium was supposed to be a

“yawner,” no drama and no trauma type of game; yet the Steelers just squeezed by the Colts by the score of 20-17 with the Steelers’ place kicker, Chris Boswell, sealing the win.

Fast forward to Heinz Field in Pittsburgh last Sunday night in prime time, Nov. 26, where Pittsburgh, with the help of the platinum leg of Boswell, again eked out a win despite more than a few “defensive discrepancies” just squeaking by the Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay Packers, 31-28.

When the Steelers had difficulty finding the formula to defeat Indianapolis, many people (after the fact) said that it is much harder to win on the road than it is to win at home. OK, even if we accept that premise, wouldn’t that have also applied to the visiting Green Bay Packers?

Instead, it was the Steelers again caught holding the short end of the stick, residing in the land of “no AFC home field advantage” for a substantial part of both contests. During the Steelers games with the Colts and the Packers, Pittsburgh faced two second-tier quarterbacks who had nowhere near the experience nor the offensive talent pool that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has at his disposal, yet both of these “meaningless games” were uncomfortably too close to call, with the Steelers only snatching victory from the jaws of defeat during the final minutes of both contests.

Is there something wrong with this scenario? Even the “allegedly” cheating New England Patriots grudgingly command my respect when it comes to being ordinary or extraordinary. Patriots legendary quarterback Tom Brady may occasionally face a little drama, but Tom “terrific” usually tries to employ his “beat down” stick when facing any opponent, good or bad. When you see that Brady “sneer” surface on the sideline, usually something bad happens to his opponent’s defense shortly thereafter. Tom Brady is not comfortable with just getting by. His desire is to leave opponents psychologically and mentally scarred when presented with only the possibility of facing him in battle. There is something to be said when soldiers have to cross a battlefield strewn with corpses in order just to face the opponent in battle.

I have a sneaking suspicion that opposing defenses may be more afraid of the offensive arsenal that the Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger possess as opposed to the man that has his finger on the trigger or the button. Trust me, opponents fear facing Tom Brady, I have personally seen it in their eyes. Brady is ever dangerous because of his patience. He is also as methodical and patient as he is talented. Roethlisberger seems to want to be spectacular on almost every play. Why doesn’t he take a page from Tom Brady and just be spectacular when normal? Taking whatever, and I mean, whatever the defense gives you is the key to legend. If you don’t believe me, ask Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Steve Young, Dan Marino, Drew Brees, Joe Namath, Jim Plunkett and Roger Staubach. Oh, and by the way, while Steeler nation has to often wait for Roethlisberger to warm up, Brady, Brees and a few other signal callers enter the game with propane torches blazing. Things like coffee and a burger are meant to be warmed up, not NFL offenses.

 

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