The Pats-Steelers game was crazy. CBS commentators Jim Nantz and Tony Romo called this game the most anticipated game of the season, and that was for good reason.
First of all, the stakes? The Pats get the number one seed in the AFC off this win, which is huge. With the number one seed, you get home field advantage for the rest of the playoffs (except for the Super Bowl). When the playoffs come, playing on your home turf is critical. If you were watching this game, you saw how loud Steeler fans can get and if the Patriots were to play on Heinz Field again, I think we all know the stadium will be even louder. Heinz Stadium was so loud that Brady even lost his composure and had to look and see why the fans were cheering so loud. Against any team, the home stadium will be loud. Take the Jags for instance. Being in the playoffs for the first time since 2005, the Jags fans will get loud.
Second of all, I think by now we’ve all seen the last sequence of the game. Tom Brady leads the Pats down the field, with the help of Gronk, to get a touchdown. However, they left about a minute on the clock. With one timeout, Ben Roethlisberger and the Antonio Brown-less Steelers drive down the field in two plays. TWO PLAYS. One huge catch (69 yards) by JuJu Smith-Schuster set up a touchdown catch made Jesse James. But the thing is, it wasn’t a catch. YAY, we get to confuse ourselves even more of what a catch is. The refs ruled that it wasn’t a catch because James lost control of the ball when he stretched out to the end zone (why did he even stretch out? He had the first down and they had time on the clock to get a touchdown…). Now, some would argue that this is correct, and cannot be a catch if he didn’t have FULL control of the ball going down (think of the Cowboys-Packers game with Dez Bryant’s no-catch). Others would argue he had control while he broke the plane, so it should be a touchdown. And then most would argue that the catch rule is dumb, and since he had the ball in his hands, it’s a catch. Anyways, the Steelers had the ball after the call back, and there was still time on the clock. Now with the score being 27-24 Pats, the Steelers should just try a safe pass, and it won’t matter if it’s incomplete or not, because they can just kick the field goal to send the game to overtime. Well… Roethlisberger decided to throw the ball to Eli Rogers with THREE Pats defenders around him, and you can probably guess what happened. Interception. Duron Harmon. Game over.
Third of all, HUGE game for Gronk coming off of the suspension. 9 catches. 168 yards. No touchdowns, but he did get a two-point conversion for us, which made the lead three points.
Fourth, did anyone else get deja vu from this and Super Bowl 49? Big play for Smith-Schuster setting up a potential game-winning/tying play. Jermaine Kearse sets up a potential game-winning play in the Super Bowl when he made the circus catch. Then, Roethlisberger gets picked off on the last play off of a slants route. In the Super Bowl, Russell Wilson gets picked off on the last play off of a slants route. In both cases, something different should’ve been done by the opposing team. In the Steelers game, a field goal should have been attempted, or at least a safer pass. In the Super Bowl, we all know the ball should’ve gone in the hands of the dominant number 24, Marshawn Lynch, who the Pats just could not stop.
Overall, just an unbelievable game, and a huge win for the Pats