There are no moral victories, or so the saying goes in professional sports. Ben Roethlisberger said as much in the immediate aftermath of the roller coaster ride that was the Patriots’ win over the Steelers, Dec. 17.
“I’m not into moral victories right now. We just lost a game. It doesn’t sit well.”
Normally, I’d agree. I don’t think moral victories typically exist, but in this rare circumstance, I think it does. The Steelers were riding an eight-game winning streak; it’s hard to keep an extended streak like that going in the NFL, almost impossible, especially when you’re playing the defending champions who are coming off a very poor loss the week prior.
The Steelers rarely, if ever, beat the New England Patriots. The odds were stacked against them coming into the game. Compound that with the fact that Antonio Brown was lost for the game to injury and the weight of defeating the Patriots got that much heavier.
But the Steelers DID beat the Patriots, they just didn’t beat the refs. The touchdown to Jesse James should not have been overruled, in my opinion. If the zebras don’t overturn the call, the Steelers win the game, period.
The touchdown was overruled, the Steelers lost, they will move on. But this time, I think they can move on with a moral victory. This game was theirs for the taking. It didn’t happen on this night, but it can happen toward the end of January and it doesn’t matter what field they play on. The Patriots are beatable, especially if Brown is on the field (his calf injury should not keep him out for the playoffs).