Tedy Bruschi in Sports Illustrated
Eats Roethlisbergers for Breakfast
(Sports Illustrated Cover Photo)
Dr. Z Gives Pats All 'A's'
"How about New England being favored over a 16–1 Pittsburgh team that’s playing at home? That ought to get the Steelers mad enough to ... to what? Put up more points? Figure out a way to crack a defense that stopped the Indy machine dead in its tracks on Sunday?
"No, I don’t think that’ll happen. I don’t like a rookie quarterback, even one as formidable as Ben Roethlisberger, against a Bill Belichick defense. Of course I said the same thing in October, when I picked the Pats to win. But Pittsburgh beat a crippled team that played without Corey Dillon (144 rushing yards against the Colts) and was without both tackles by game’s end. If your tackles can’t stand firm against the Steelers’ outside rushers, you’re dead meat, and that’s what happened to New England. Pittsburgh’s wingmen, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans, were turned loose and gave Tom Brady a rough afternoon.
"Belichick and defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel had two weeks to prepare for the Colts, and the result was devastating for Indianapolis. I’ve got to believe that during that time, they were doing a workup on the Steelers as well. The Patriots win it and meet the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX."
— Paul Zimmerman, Sports Illustrated