[NFL] Week 1: Domain undisputed (Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots 3-33)
In contrast with the tradition, who wants to the winning team of the Super Bowl to open the dances of the season, the run-up to the confirmation of champions of the New England Patriots begins on Sunday Night of the first day. After leaving the space of rivalry, the oldest and felt of the league (Packers and Bears) on the occasion of the one hundred years of the NFL, the Patriots are preparing to face a season that started in a quite unusual way. If the withdrawal of Rob Gronkowski, plagued by injury problems, was at least predictable, the merry-go-round departures and arrivals in the park receivers is atypical for a team and a coach who would like to have the pink available for all of training camp and the games of the preseason.
Julian Edelman has suffered a broken thumb that kept him out for most of training camp, Josh Gordon is back available after the umpteenth disqualification of the league, only before the last day of the preseason, the first pick in the draft, So Keal Harry was placed on the disabled list a week from the onset and will not come to gocare before Week 9, and, to crown all, the shocking arrival of Antonio Brown, signed on the eve of the first match seasonal, a few hours after his release from the Raiders. The only fixed point on which New England can always rely on the stainless Tom Brady. The-old native of San Mateo, CA, is back from his sixth ring but it does not seem to have any desire to hang the helmet on the nail.
The first obstacle on the difficult path that leads to the confirmation are the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is a year of renewal for the Steelers, who have decided to cut ties with their most talented players (commanded her Veon Bell and the same Antonio Brown) in the hope of removing all the “drama” that has them marked in the last few years and find a little serenity, as well as the playoffs escaped last year to the last day. The explosion of JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner has certainly facilitated the decision of the property to sell Bell and Brown, but the two young playmaker will prove to be the height now that they are the indisputable number one, respectively, between the WR and the RB yellow-black. To oversee this new course were both Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin, absolutely determined to change the statistic that sees them leaving always defeated by Foxborough. In five games played at Gillette Stadium since the QB and the coach of the deductible of Pennsylvania, between the regular and post-season, Pittsburgh has, in fact, suffering five defeats.
After the ritual ceremony for the plaque of champions of Super Bowl XXXI, the match begins with the kick-off entrusted to confirmed even criticized the kicker of the Steelers Chris Boswell. Since the first drive, the rust from the first game of the year is evident: both Brady and Roethlisberger are wrong some of the launch and is not intended for the receivers, facilitating the work of the two defenses. Already from the second possession, however, New England is back to being the machine oiled are they capable of winning six Super Bowl in seventeen years. Brady begins to find with regularity, its receivers, by exploiting, as usual, the RB coupled to the LB in the outlet from the backfield. Then McDaniel pulls it out of the cylinder a spin that displaces completely the host defense: Brady throws it back to Edelman who receives and, after fintato the passage in depth, serves James White surrounded by men of the line the convoy up to the red zone opponent. A double pass screen pass – so we could call it – from 32 yards that is a prelude to the first signature seasonal Patriots. The Steelers will send a blitz to Brady but you forget the marking of Josh Gordon, who runs a drag route and receives completely alone. After evading the tackle not perfect Haden, Gordon brings the ball up to the endzone for the touchdown that, combined with the extra-point to Gostkowski, that is the 7-0 victory for the hosts.
If Brady and his troupe to shake off the numbness of the first drive, the same can't be said for Roethlisberger and his companions. Pittsburgh builds up the misery of 77 yards during the first half, with just four first downs and a failure to convert the fourth down. The Patriots, however, will be able to sign the other three markings in the course of the second quarter: two times thanks to the foot of Gostkowski and a on the axis Brady Dorsett. And the play-action, played key to the attack of the house, to work to perfection; first free Julian Edelman for the two gains important and allows Dorsett to get the perfect launch from 25 yards from Brady for the touchdown. At the half the score reads a merciless 20-0 to New England.
The visitors try to rouse them at the beginning of the third quarter with the first drive worthy of note of the day. About the only deburring of a secondary pretty much perfect, Roethlisberger connects with Washington on a roll deep from 45 yards which leads the Steelers in the red zone for the first time. The attack was not able to finish the possession with a touchdown but is still the first points of the game with the foot of Boswell. The kicker made no mistake from the 19-yard and puts on the board its with the field goal of 20-3. The reaction of the hosts is instant and the shot of the KO. Brady shows how his arm is not deteriorated by centering perfectly on the run with a bomb from 58 yards and a Dorsett, who had cut in speed his marker. Reception and touchdown, which is worth 27-3 and the white flag of the guests. Brady and teammates stretch, still on the possession later thanks to another reception from more than 40 yards, this time of Josh Gordon, and at the foot of Gostkowksi that makes the third field goal of the match.
The fourth period serves only to update the statistics, with the interception to Devin McCourty against Roethlisberger, and the final score with another field goal for Gostkowski. Thus ends 33-3 a game much more one-way than expected. Trial capital of the reigning champions, who will apply forcefully to a leading role, and a decidedly subdued for the Steelers who seem to need more time to metabolize the departures of Bell and Brown. Impressive performance of the defense of Belichick that leaves Roethlisberger cleaning of touchdowns for the first time since 2017. The attack led by Brady scares already the entire league and with Antonio Brown, which will be available from Week 2, is in danger of becoming unstoppable.
Tom Brady closes his performance with 341 yards and 3 TD, giving the impression that they are still among the best QB's in the league, despite his age. Meanwhile, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman and Phillip Dorsett combined for 13 catches, 251 yards and 3 TD, while James White confirms his importance in the game plan of the Patriots with 82 scrimmage yards. On the other hand the match to quickly forget for Roethlisberger that ended with 276 yards and an interception. JuJu Smith-Schuster conquest, 78 yards, but he expects much more this season.
Next week the Patriots will visit the Miami Dolphins for the first time in the divisional championship, while the Steelers will open for the season, Heinz Field, hosting the Seattle Seahawks.