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Same old story as Steelers suffer blowout loss to the Patriots at Gillette Stadium

It was deja vu all over again, Sunday night, as the Steelers were blown out by the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. It doesn’t matter who plays or coaches, the story always ends the same way.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Tom Brady completed 29 of 43 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns, as the Patriots shellacked the Steelers, 30-14, at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

I must apologize. Apparently, I Googled the wrong box score, which was from Week 1 of the 2002 season, when Pittsburgh helped the Patriots open up their new stadium just months after winning their first Super Bowl (also with the help of the Steelers).

Brady’s box score from Sunday night, a game that helped usher in the 2019 season (and New England’s latest title defense), was actually 24-36 for 341 yards and three touchdowns, as Pittsburgh fell, 33-3.

Pretty similar, though, right? I’m sure if I researched Brady’s box scores from every single game in-which he and the Patriots faced the Steelers at Gillette Stadium, they would all look eerily similar.

I do know Brady has never lost a game to Pittsburgh at Gillette. I also know the Steelers defense has never intercepted him there, not one single time. That’s kind of amazing, same for the almost two decades-long trance the Patriots have had as an organization over Pittsburgh when the venue for the match-up has been the one sponsored by the shaving company and not the one sponsored by the ketchup company.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Bill Cowher or Mike Tomlin standing on the sidelines. It doesn’t matter if it’s Kordell Stewart or Ben Roethlisberger under center. It doesn’t matter who’s designing the defense. It doesn’t matter who’s calling the plays on offense.

Hines Ward or Antonio Brown. Alan Faneca or David DeCastro. Joey Porter or T.J. Watt. Aaron Smith or Cam Heyward. Ike Taylor or Joe Haden. Zone blitz or man-to-man. Wes Welker or Julian Edelman. Chris Hogan or Phillip Dorsett. Mike Vrabel or Chase Winovich.

It just doesn’t matter. The story never changes.

Same old Steelers when they set foot in Gillette Stadium.

Seriously, did you think that defense was going to stop Brady once he got going? Did you think Roethlisberger was going to rally the team back from a 20-0 halftime deficit, especially when Tomlin elected to kick a field goal on fourth and goal from the one with just over 25 minutes left in the game?

Were you surprised at all when New England answered that gutless call (and that’s what it was) with a touchdown just four plays and 2:12 later?

Were you shocked at all with how easily the Patriots receivers were running open underneath, intermediately and deep? Were you surprised by how lifeless the offense looked? Were you shocked when James Conner was stopped short on third and one, not once, but twice? Were you surprised that Donte Moncrief dropped two passes that may have altered the direction of the game? Were you caught off guard by Roethlisberger’s inaccuracy on deep throws?

Were you blindsided by the defense’s inability to tackle? Were you frustrated with the inability of the pass rush, one that was going up against a battered and depleted offensive line, to barely even breathe on Brady?

Were you shook up by how out of sorts Pittsburgh looked from beginning to end?

You shouldn’t have been. Again, it was the same old story.

You want to blame rust—especially for Roethlisberger’s inaccuracy and the defense’s tackling issues?

Yeah, maybe, but that doesn’t explain January of 2017, when Pittsburgh couldn’t have been hotter, as it rode a nine-game winning-streak into Gillette Stadium for the AFC Championship Game. It didn't matter. Brady didn’t throw a pick. Roethlisberger didn’t look all that elite. New England receivers were running wild. Bill Belichick totally out-coached his counterpart across the field.


It was the same old story.

It doesn’t matter if it’s 2002 or 2007. 2013 or 2015. 2017 or 2019.

The story always ends the same way.

As for your 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers and their prospects moving forward? You better hope Sunday night was just the latest example of their ineptitude at Foxborough and not an indication of how most of the next 15 games will look.

If it is just the former, and this team really does have what it takes to make it back to the playoffs, you better hope another trip to Gillette Stadium isn’t part of the deal.

I think you know how that story will end.