Tedy Bruschi in Sports Illustrated

Eats Roethlisbergers for Breakfast

SICover_012405_PatsDefense.jpg

(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

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. All posts are by Steve Silva unless otherwise indicated.

Boston Globe:

Hanley enjoying his return > Victorino slowly getting up to speed > Ramirez fitting right in > Manuel Margot in stars in Salem

Boston Herald:

Pablo Sandoval struggles against lefties continues > Buchholz says he's sorry for the effort > Red Sox doing more right than wrong > Miley put Sox in hole

ProJo:

Brentz walkoff helps PawSox win at McCoy > Marrero more aggressive > Vic ready to make impact > Workman receives PRP injection

NY Post:

The latest way ESPN ruined Sunday Night Baseball > Girardi dusts off Mike Stanley story for Jeter's panicked replacement > Yankees all-in on Carlos Beltran, and that's a problem

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