I was watching the CBS NFL pregame show yesterday and Boomer Esiason was asked "Which team would be better head to head? The Steelers or the Patriots?" and without much hesitation, Boomer said the Patriots. Why? Tom Brady. Its the answer everyone in the media gives whenever asked about the Patriots.
Who will win the Super Bowl?
Because of Tom Brady
What about the aging defense?
What about the poor offensive line and the lack of a running game?
I'm sick of it! Enough is enough! Its been 5 years since the Patriots won their last championship and the media still talks as if we're in the middle of their dynasty. Ben Roethlisberger has won two Super Bowls since the last time Brady held the Lombardi trophy, yet every year, its "the Patriots are the favorites because they have Tom Brady". Instead of just blindly throwing out the name "Tom Brady" when asked about the Patriots, actually take a good long look at the team around him. Lets compare the Steelers and Patriots as they are right now:
Ben Roethlisberger vs Tom Brady:
Brady is a great QB. He owns the record for TD passes in a single season. He won three Super Bowls, two SB MVPs awards and was the league MVP once. But right now, he's a great pocket passer, that can't really move that well and his offensive line is old, slow and isn't doing a good job of protecting him. Meanwhile, Ben is a playmaker. If he's given time to sit in the pocket, he'll kill you. If the pocket collapses, he can run around, make a big play and kill you that way. Pick your poison. I'm not going to go as far as to say that Roethlisberger is better than Brady right now, but he's pretty close. Advantage: Tie
Steelers RBs vs Patriots RBs:
The Steelers running game has gotten bad over the past couple years, but its better than the non-existent one of the Patriots. Brady has thrown the football 100 times so far this season. For you math majors out there, that means he's throwing an average of 50 passes per game. Who could blame them though? The offensive line gets virtually no push and the guys handling the ball are an over the hill Fred Taylor and a never will be Laurence Maroney. Meanwhile the Steelers have Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall, and Mewelde Moore who are all victims of a poor offensive line, but should that line suddenly get better, these guys are a much better option than what's in New England. Advantage: Steelers
Steelers WRs vs Patriots WRs:
Randy Moss is one of the best in the game today and Wes Welker is a great underneath receiver that makes a lot of tough catches in heavy traffic. On the other side we just have a couple of Super Bowl MVP's. Holmes is really breaking out since the Steelers have decided to pass more and Hines Ward is the toughest receiver in the NFL and nobody makes tougher catches in heavy traffic better than him. The Patriots have a decent third receiver with Joey Galloway, while the Steelers have a great TE in Heath Miller. Really tough to decide this one. Advantage: Tie
Steelers OL vs Patriots OL:
What can you say about these guys? Neither can open holes for the running game. Neither can protect the quarterback that well. Advantage: Tie
Steelers DL vs Patriots DL:
Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren and Jarvis Green are good, but they're not Casey Hampton, Brett Kiesel and Aaron Smith. Hampton is probably the best nose tackle in the game and Kiesel and Smith are very difficult to contain and open up a lot for their linebackers. Advantage: Steelers
Steelers LBs vs Patriots LBs:
Ha!!! This isn't even close. The NFL defensive player of the year James Harrison, tackling leader and big run stopper James Farrior and two young dynamic LB's that get better each week Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley. Adalius Thomas is the only good LB on the Patriots defense. No question who's better here. Advantage: Steelers by a lot
Steelers secondary vs Patriots secondary:
This is something that the Patriots keep patching together and it ends up working out, but I think ole Bill Belicheat is out of duct tape. They have never really been that impressive since Ty "I'm allowed to commit pass interference" Law left. The Steelers on the other hand have a great shutdown corner with Ike Taylor and the best saftey combo in the league by far with heavy hitting (just ask Wes Welker) Ryan Clark and the tasmanian devil Troy Polamalu. Not even close. Advantage: Steelers
You can feel free to dispute this, but you'd be wrong. The Patriots are a shadow of the team that won the Super Bowl in '04 and the '07 seems just as distant. They've lost a lot of key components; Mike Vrabel, Teddy Bruschi, Ty Law, Richard Seymour, Rodney Harrison, Asante Samuel and they've been replaced by garbage. Defense wins championships and the holes on the New England defense is why they haven't won one in 5 years.
So while the media keeps boasting Tom Brady this and Tom Brady that, reality will definitively show the world that Tom Brady is NOT the answer to everything.