Patriots Fall to the Steelers But 'Battled All the Way From the First Play to the Last,' Belichick Says
Posted by: Gronkowski
It’s hard to be positive after the Patriots' loss to the Steelers on Sunday, but lets try.
As the world and it’s mother knows, the Pats floundered at Heinz Field and gave Pittsburgh their first win against Tom Brady and co. in seven years with a final score of 10-17.
It’s been a rollercoaster season for both teams – with the Steelers having beaten the Pats and lost to the Raiders in an eight-day span, and New England having fallen to inferior teams like the Jaguars and Titans while also felling the red hot Chiefs.
While no one is using it as an excuse, the Pats were penalized a season-high 14 times for 106 yards, three of them of which were holding calls.
“He said they’re trying to call those tighter," Brady said in the post-game press conference when asked about his conversation with one ref, NESN reported. "I don’t have the replay of them, so I don’t know how tight they are. Obviously, there is holding on every player in the NFL. That’s what we do. Sometimes they call them, sometimes they don’t. If they are calling them tight, then they’re calling them tight.”
A slew of other issues hounded the Pats on Sunday including dropped passes (notably by Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon); a struggling defensive line especially against rookie running back Jaylen Samuels (who had 142 yards on 19 carries); and of course, double coverage on Gronk throughout the afternoon.
“They were doing double teams, zone defense,” Rob said after ending the day with two passes and 21 yards. “They did a good job and just gotta make more plays on the road in order to get a win like that in a game like this.”
Another notable lowlight was Brady’s first interception on a play in the red zone in two seasons during the fourth quarter.
From @ESPNStatsInfo: That's the first interception Tom Brady has thrown on a play in the red zone in the last 2 seasons.— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) December 16, 2018
“I was trying to throw it away, and I didn't,” Brady said.
“We’re obviously not playing well enough to win,” he continued. “Just didn't get the job done. We have to figure out a way to do better. Two important ones coming up, they won't be easy, so we have to grind out. Tough loss."
For all his blustering when they win, Belichick had positive words for his players in the wake of such a devastating loss. “First of all, give the Steelers credit. They played well, did a good job. It’s a good football team,” he told reporters afterwards, according to Patriots.com. “I was proud of our guys, how we battled all the way from the first play to the last. In the end, we just came up a little short. They made a few more plays than we did.”
Of course, when asked how he is responding to suffering five losses so far this season, Belichick replied: “Getting ready for Buffalo this week.”
With both the Bills and the Jets coming to Gillette for the last two weeks of the season, where are we now when it comes to the playoffs? The Pats are in the rare position of having to win at the end of the year and having fallen behind the Houston Texans in the AFC, they are likely not to have a first round bye for the first time since 2009.
However, the good news is that a win in either of the two remaining games guarantees we clinch the AFC East, and wins in both up our chances of earning a bye week in January. If the Pats lose to both the 5-9 Bills and the 4-10 Jets, then honestly, we all have bigger issues to worry about.
Check out this handy chart created by The New York Times to help understand what's at stake.
Before you go...