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Patriots try to explain how Steelers were able to beat them | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

Patriots try to explain how Steelers were able to beat them

Tim Benz
| Tuesday, December 18, 2018 6:30 a.m
AP18351046938362
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) lines up behind center during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. The Steelers won 17-10. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

We have heard a lot from the Steelers — and about the Steelers — in the wake of their victory over the Patriots.

But what are the Pats saying?

We are all very familiar with some agonizing Tuesdays with the Steelers, when they first make themselves available to media, trying to describe why they lost to New England.

For a change, it was the Patriots on a Monday trying to explain how the Steelers managed to get a win.


Bill Belichick was asked on WEEI what the Steelers did to limit Rob Gronkowski to five targets on Sunday.

“They doubled him in some situations,” Belichick replied. “They were certainly aware of him. They mixed it up.”


You may have seen a minor scuffle between Antonio Brown and New England defensive back Stephon Gilmore during the game.

Gilmore says he was upset because Brown pulled a “dirty move” on him.

“He did a little dirty move, grabbed my helmet, threw me down,” the Pats corner said. “That was super dirty. But other than that, just competing on the field.”

NESN also points out some Pro Football Focus stats that claim Brown had just two catches on four targets for 8 yards when he was matched up against Gilmore.


On Joe Haden’s red zone interception, some were wondering whether Tom Brady was trying to throw the ball up for grabs to Rob Gronkowski or if he was attempting to throw it out of bounds. Brady confirmed on his WEEI radio show that he was trying to throw it away.

“Yeah. I was kind of in the pocket,” Brady said. “I was looking left. And I felt a guy (Cameron Heyward) on the left. And I felt a guy on the right (T.J. Watt). And I didn’t want to take a sack (Stephon Tuitt up the middle). I threw it. And another 5 yards is what I needed. I just miscalculated it.”


Brady also was asked about the game-ending incompletion and why he was throwing it into the end zone as opposed to throwing it underneath and trying to get out of bounds.

“At the time we were fighting the clock because any completion in bounds you’re scrambling to run plays,” he said. “We threw the ball out of the back of the end zone. It was a tough situation.

“I think they played it pretty well.”


Defensive lineman Trey Flowers was asked on WEEI whether the Steelers used Jaylen Samuels differently than they did James Conner as the running back.

“It was kind of a funky run game. Some of the things they did they had been doing,” Flowers tried to explain. “I wouldn’t say we were preparing for Conner because we knew he had an injury. We were prepared for whoever was going to play. We were getting knocked back, setting the edge, forcing back into the teeth of the defense. We struggled with that.”

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