|Patriots win in Pittsburgh|
by Dean Nicosia
The Patriots bounced back in week three and overcame the worst of odds that would have sent most teams home with a loss.
At Heinz field facing one of the best teams in the AFC, and facing a QB who had yet to lose in the regular season, the Patriots suffered the lost of Harrison, the leader on Defense, and Matt Light the leader on the offensive line, and yet were able to pull one out in the closing seconds to win on yet another great Vinatieri kick. That was a mouthful, yet it hardly described the incredible victory that the Patriots came away with today to remain the team to beat in the NFL.
If you were trying to teach your kids about perseverance and you wanted to do so by using an sports team as an example, you could look no further than our very own New England Patriots. What can you say about a team that losses on the road to Carolina and then has to listen to the critics all week calling for the end of the Dynasty. Then they go on the road to arguably the worst place to play, and one of the toughest to even kick a field goal, and they lose 2 key starters to injury and manage to pull out a win without even being able to get the running game going. That's called perseverance and it's about finding a way to win, and not letting yourself be sidetracked by adversity.
That's what I told my Godson Dylon when he called, I told him that this team was all about finding a way win and not making excuses. They are about not letting the bad things that happen to you, stop you from achieving, and that's a great lesson in life for all of us. I told him that, and I'm sure even he, at his age, thought I was being cheesy, but what can I say? I'm a fan of the game, but I'm also a fan of winning in life and defeating adversity, and of course, I am the king of cheese.
The Patriots when stopped on the ground, took to the air with Brady throwing for 372 yards on 31 completions out of 41 attempts. Brady threw to 8 different receivers but on this day favored Givens who made some huge catches in traffic. On one such play I thought he was Ben Watson, and I started to compare him to Ben Coates before I realized that it was Givens. Givens is slowly turning into that big target at receiver that we have been looking for the past few years. The Patriots always have a lot of small fast receivers in the mold of Troy Brown, but they haven't had a big receiver in years.
One of the troubles that the Patriots overcame today was a 85 touchdown reception by Ward in the first quarter which was the longest pass play the Patriots have given up in 15 years. The last time they gave up a play that big, the Patriots were 1-15, and I was working at a little place called Eata Pizza, and a little place called TM Design, and I had my first apartment. (TM Design, turned into my career, and I can't quite believe it's been 15 years.) I remember telling my new boss Todd, who at the time I worked for part time in his attic printing Frisbees and mugs, that I was a Patriots fan, and I remember him giving me that look of "I'm sorry about that".
They were 1-15 and they stunk bad, and that was the last time they gave up a play that long in the air.
When the defense got it's footing, even without Harrison, they managed to contain Roethlisberger pretty good until he drove the Steelers to a score, to tie the game 20-20 late in the fourth quarter.
Lucky for us, we have the NFL's newest version of the "comeback kid" in Tom Brady who entered with a minute and a half and drove the Patriots to the winning field goal, leaving 1 second on the clock. He made some key throws to guys that found a way to get out of bounds. (I think I could hear Eric the Steelers fan yelling at the TV, saying "How can you let them get out of bounds you !@@#$'s) They got the yardage they needed, in the perfect amount of time, and kicked a field goal as the clock winded down from 10 to 1 second, leaving the Steelers no time to do anything.
That's our World Champion Patriots for you...
Let's hope they can on a roll, and don't forget to join us down at What's on Second for all the Patriots games. It's way better to watch the game with friends, even when they are on local TV.
God Bless and Go Patriots!!