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Old 11-01-2017, 00:44   #1
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Who can spoil Patriots perfection Only t

The Patriots just escaped with a one-point win against their old nemesis, the Giants. It also means for the second time in nine years, they are in great position for another undefeated regular season.Theres only one team that can spoil the perfection before Super Bowl 50. It also happens to be the first team they faced this season: the Steelers.MORE: Week 11 picks against the spread| Week 11 power rankings |Updated Super Bowl oddsThe Bengals looked like they could do the job, before all doubts returned with that first lo s at home to Houston. The Broncos looked like they could do itwith dominant defense, but that was Trent Murphy Jersey before Peyton Mannings injury-induced freefall.The Colts, perhaps cursed on the other side of Deflategate, will be overmatched if they meet the Patriots again. The Ravens, the biggest recent thorn to the Patriots, wont be returning to the playoffs. But how about either the division rival Bills or Jets getting a wild card? Next.That leaves Pittsburgh as the last best option to keep New England from getting one for the thumb with an unblemished record.To refresh your memory, the Steelers didnt have running back LeVeon Bell or wide receiver Martavis Bryant in that Thursday night Week 1 game in New Englad, which Pittsburgh lost, 28-21. It still racked up 464 yards of offense in defeat.The Steelers wont have Bell for the rematch, but barring more injury, they will have Bryant to go with Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and Bells supersub, DeAngelo Williams.Had it not been for few uncharacteristic mistakes and a couple of bad mi sed-field attempts early, the game would have been completely different. The Patriots didnt see the Steelers pa sing game atits best, either, without Bryant.Like those pesky Giants, the Matt Jones Jersey Steelers have a Super Bowl-winning coach and quarterback combination that isnt intimidated by the Patriots dynastic air. Unlike the Giants, in addition to a cool, red-hot QB working with multiple receiving threats, they can balance what Roethlisberger does with exceptional power running.Without those elements, a team can forgeteven thinking about upending Tom Brady and the Patriots when they are playing at this po se sed level. Bill Belichicks defensive trademark is eliminating an element from an offensive game plan. The Steelers and Roethlisberger are just fine playing a game of pick your poison.It comes to back to what Tony Dungy, whose Colts often couldnt solve the Patriots, laid out last month.Challenging the Patriots, you have to be able to do a couple things, said Dungy, the former coach turned NBC Sports analyst. Youve got to be diverse on offense, because Coach Belichick is great at taking away a team that can only do one thing or only has one weapon.Youve also got to be able to rush the pa ser without blitzing, or youre not going to beat the Patriots.It should be clear to everyone that the Steelers at near full strength have the offense part down pat. Whats no so obvious is just how much they have improved on defense.First-year coordinator Keith Butlerhas dialed down the blitzing with fewer linebackers dropping back in coverage, and has raised their playmaking quotient against the pa s in the proce s. They are more effective in rushing four, and its limited exposing theiri sues in the secondary much like New Englands defense.Consider that in 10 games in 2015, the Steelers already have 28 sacks and 9 interceptions, in contrast to 33 and 11 through all of 14. They have also become even stronger against the run, No. 5 in the NFL while allowing just 3.8 yards per carry vs. 4.4 last season.Looking back at the Patriots opener, the Steelers struggled most to cover tight end Rob Morgan Moses Jersey Gronkowski, who scored three times. But versatile running back Dion Lewis also created equal major problems. Now Lewis is out for the season, and the Patriots dont have a good replacement.Theres also no guarantee wide receiver Julian Edelmans foot will be healed in time for a potential second-round playoff meeting. The banged-up offensive line already has had to go makeshift without tackle Nate Solder.When you account for the combination of offense, defense and moxie, Chris Thompson Jersey a team led by Roethlisberger and Tomlin fit the overall profile, similar to what Joe Flacco and John Harbaugh had figured out.Does this mean if the Steelers come through and get the job done, they would go on to win the Super Bowl themselves?Not nece sarily, because other potential matchups may not work as well in their favor.But they're the only ones who can do the dirty work ahead ofwhoever wins the NFC.Before the playoffs, the Patriots have three division rematches and games against the Eagles, Texans and Titans, in addition to the Broncos. None of them can pose a complete enough threat to stop New England from going 16-0.Pittsburgh is once again being dubbed as the most dangerous team that no one wants to face in the playoffs. Thats especially true forthe one that will be the heavy favorite in the playoffs.
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