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Slaying the Giant; Steelers Stomp Pats 33-10 to Move to 9-3

When the Steelers 2008 schedule came out, looking at the last five games was like looking at trying to walk over broken glass. You just knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Well, game one of the final five is in the books, and not a lot of people thought the Steelers would pull off what they did Sunday, a complete 33-10 trouncing of the New England Patriots in Foxborough.

They didn’t make it look as easy as it sounds, as they trailed early 7-0, and were only tied 10-10 at the half. But the second half the team made the proper adjustments, brought the heat against the national media’s new darling – Matt Cassel, and they used the run game to dominate the Pats, outscoring them 23-0 in the final 30 minutes.

The offense made critical plays when it had to, going 8-for-16 on third downs, putting up 333 yards to 267 for the Pats, and turning the ball over just once. The Pats on the other hand, had a tough time against the best defense in the league, as Cassel was harassed all day, and as a whole the team had five second half turnovers.

Ben Roethlisberger threw a pick on the teams first drive, but then settled in, throwing 17-for-33 for 179 yards with two TD’s. Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore combined for a very solid day on the ground, going for 87 and 67 yards, a combined 154 yards on 28 carries (5.5 per carry). Heath Miller led the pass catchers with four catches for 60 yards.

The defense did the job against Cassel, who had thrown for two straight 400+ yard days against the Jets and Dolphins. He was 19-for-39 for 169 yards with two picks and a QB rating of 39.4. To make matters worse for Cassel, he had the ball knocked out of hands twice and both times the Steelers recovered the fumbles.

With the game tied at 10, the Steelers drove 79 yards in 7 minutes and kicked a field goal to make it 13-10. The Pats then lost the ball on the kickoff, and the Steelers struck two plays later, with Roethlisberger hitting Hines Ward for a score to make it 20-10. One play later it was another fumble, one of two for Cassel, and the Steelers kicked another field goal to make it 23-10.

They put the game away with another Reed fourth quarter field goal, then after Lawrence Timmons picked off Cassel and took it back to the Pats one, Gary Russell scored to wrap up the final at 33-10. The Steelers six second half possessions went – field goal, TD, field goal, missed field goal, field goal and TD.

For the Pats, the second half was a nightmare, as they put up 121 yards, but had three fumbles, two interceptions, a punt, and the final possession ended the game. For now, the team will put away any such talk of replacing Tom Brady with Cassel.

For the Steelers, they are now 9-3, and await the Dallas Cowboys at home next Sunday, another big game. With the Jets choking at home to Denver, the Steelers now again own the #2 seed in the AFC.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. herm

    December 1, 2008 at 9:53 am

    Two words: Wes Welker


  2. Brett

    December 1, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Yeah, that was one brutal hit!

    I was amazed at how horrible the announcers were for the game (the national one’s, of course). It was clear they didn’t do any prep for the game at all–I remember in the first drive after Ben’s interception they said that “wasn’t very characteristic of Ben.” I love Ben, but if they knew anything about the last few games, they’d know that it was anything but!

  3. mark

    December 1, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    O.K fellow Steeler fans, we all wanted that one BAD!! It was a great and important win for the Black and Gold, thats for sure. I have been talking all day about the positives but lets look at a few negatives. O.k, there werent too many to talk about huh? Well, there were too many dropped balls. Holmes and Washington dropped balls that were probably TD’s. The Washington drop on 3rd down was a great throw by Ben and would have put the game away 10 minutes earlier. Ike Taylor drops too many potential INT’s and Moss was open a few more times then I would have liked. T.O comes to town next and Taylor needs to be GREAT against him. Hopefully Mcfadden returns to give the secondary a boost, although they have all played very well for weeks now. The running game can be frustrating, but like I said in an earlier post, I think Arians has brought a bit more balance to the offense in the past 3 or 4 games now. I am not going to dwell on these negatives, we all know the Steelers are far from perfect, but that was an impressive display in all phases last night. James Harrison is a beast, Timmons is on the verge of being a star. Woodley is a great bookend to Harrison and Polamalu is playing at another level. Dont forget Ryan Clarke either, very dependable player and Im sure Wes Welker will attest.(If he rememebrs what happened?)One other point, the O-line has played well in the past month. Better pass protection and Moore and Parker are finding holes. These 4 games will determine the path of the 2008 Steelers and last night showed they can play at a very high level on ALL sides of the ball.

  4. Jay

    December 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I agree totally. I’m wondering if max Starks is good enough to be a long-term (contractually) LT for us or is it a case of teams not having enough film of him at LT yet. Would love to see him long termed at LT. I too am sick of these refs calling these personal fouls. If the ball is tipped up and will potentially land in a ten to fifteen yard radius of where the hit takes place and will be up in the air for a good 2-3 seconds, you can’t tell me that a receiver cannot locate a ball and run 15 yards in 2-3 seconds when they all run 40 yards in 4 or 5! I don’t care if he gives up on the play. Maybe the ball lands in his hands or maybe he suddenly goes after it. He hit him with his shoulder and it was legal! I will be the first to admit WITH my team 9-3 in lieu of like 4-8 or something abysmal like that that the NFL is or has become bullshit, period and I only watch because I love the Steelers. There’s no way teams or players should get flagged for doing what they’re supposed to just because the league wants to preserve its “money-makers.” What do you think the new “Play 60” ads are, altruism!? Ha-Ha-Ha! It’s the NFL’s way of saying, “Gee, boys our future talent and cash cows are sitting on their fat asses and eating munchies all day while becoming transformed into automatons by mindless video games! We, we better do something and do it fast or we won’t have a league! Oh, and make it look like we care by sending our athletes into schools!”

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