By: Jordan Kneen
Tomlin is not Belichick. Rothlisberger is not Brady. Jesse James is not Gronkowski and the Steelers are not the Patriots. Once again the Steelers reminded us why the Patriots are the Patriots and everyone else is not.
They are prepared. Game winning drives, incomplete passes in the end zone, fake spikes, you name it, they’re ready. The Steelers and the rest of the NFL are not.
This isn’t about whether it was or wasn’t a catch (which, by rule it wasn’t), this is about be prepared for the moment. The Seahawks weren’t in the Super Bowl and the Steelers weren’t Sunday night.
Brady and company were ready to drive the length of the field, score and convert a 2-point conversion.
Butler was prepared to run the length of the field to tackle Juju Smith-Schuster and save a touchdown.
The Patriots were prepared for what would happen in the event that James did not have possession on the potential touchdown and last but not least, they were ready for Rothlisberger’s throw as the clock wound down.
By contrast, like the rest of the league, the Steelers puked all over themselves when the moment got too big for them.
They had no answer for Gronkowski who had 3-catches for 69 yards on the final Patriots drive.
Sean Davis, a Pittsburg defensive back, was then humiliated by Gronkowski on the 2-point conversion.
The entire drive was an indictment on Head Coach Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff. I understand that Gronkowski may be the best tight end to ever play, but they did nothing to attempt to stop him. It seemed as though everyone knew where the ball was going, except Tomlin.
With less than a minute to go, they caught a break after Smith-Shuster broke a big play to get them into the red zone and field goal range to tie or take the lead.
Once again, the Steelers were not prepared. As the clock wound down, Rothlisberger and the coaching staff did not know what to do. The quarterback claimed that he wanted to spike it but calls came in from the sideline to run a play. As a result, half of the team didn’t know what was going on and watched as the Patriots intercepted Rothlisberger’s ill-advised throw.
It was utter chaos. The Steelers couldn’t cope and the Patriots could. The difference in the game was that the Patriots have been there before. They know how to execute at the end of games and the Steelers don’t. The Patriots win these games before they even begin. They are prepared for everything and expect nothing. This game was won because of coaching and Mike Tomlin isn’t a good coach.