Ok. Here's the question. As Steelers fans do we really want to see Tom Brady suspended for the 2015 season opener?
Part of me says yes. It's clear he cheated and you can't just cheat and get away with it. You have to respect the rules and uphold the integrity of the game. Yeah. Ok. I get all that. I understand the rules are there for a reason. I understand that the Patriots seem to be a shady organization lately and that they seem to get way too many breaks, or at least they do through the eyes of a Steeler fan.
But hear me out on this one. We all know that the Pats have a good chance to defend their *title with a win over the Steelers as long as they have Tom Brady in the lineup. It seems to have been a sure thing of late, but is it?
Pittsburgh may have a raw secondary, but I would no longer call it depleted. On the other hand, depleted is exactly the word I would use for the Patriots right now considering the amount of talent that's no longer there.
Three of the Steelers veteran CB's have significant game experience and have been able to contribute in their time with the team. New England's top three corners are not exactly rockstars in the nfl and the depth behind them is not incredible. Butler and Arrington are probably decent at best. Now I'm not saying Pittsburgh has an edge here. I'm just saying it's a wash in my eyes.
Pittsburgh has an up and coming front seven that could be much better than that of the Patriots. Jarvis and James could be a great rotation. Moats has proven to be effective in spot duty and can occasionally switch with Dupree for a breather. There is a plethora of guys to hold down the middle linebacker spot. The line is young and definitely on the rise. It looks good, or at least hopeful in the steel city.
I'm not saying that New England is gonna lay down. It will be a tough and physical game. What I am saying is that we are all generally aware that what was considered their strength last year is now more probable than not to be their weakness. (See what I did there?)
We all know that both offenses have the potential to be prolific, so I won't go too deep into that. Instead I want to look at the Pats front seven going up against the Steelers O line.
The front seven is where the Pats D will have to step up to win games. Thry are a solid group and they have some good pass rushers, though they don't get to the QB as much as you might think. Their line should be decent, though not as good as it was with Wilfork. And though i think they'll be a decent group, I don't think they'll match up favorably with an offensive line that has become a strong point for the Steelers under the tutelage of one Mr. Munchak.
Overall, the Pats will be leaning on these guys up front to make their coverage look better. Sound familiar? It should. We all saw how bad that can make you look the last time these two teams met. In that 55-31 loss the front seven didn't do much and left a mediocre Steelers secondary at the mercy of a *hall of fame QB. This time the shoe could be on the other foot.
In summation, I really think that the Steelers could knock off the *champs in this game. That sentiment now leads me to the whole reason I wrote this article.
Besides having that W in the win column, which is nice but still not guaranteed without Brady in there, there aren't many good things about winning against a team playing with a backup QB.
But... if the Steelers win while Brady is in there, well them's braggin' rights friends. And isn't that what it's all about?
I can already hear the arguments between fans...
Pats fan: "Well, they would've clobbered the Steelers if they had Brady there!"
Steeler fan: "Well they didn't and he's a dirty cheater! Stupid Cheatriots!"
Pats fan: "Remember last time when Brady did play?"
Steeler Fan: "...."
There's no getting around it. As Steeler fans, we need a win over Brady. Besides, win or lose, wouldn't you want them to play the best and beat the best. I know that's what I want. But what do I know?