Opening Night was a success! Gillette Stadium was rockin'! The crowd was wild with jubilation over Tom playing and the championship banner being unfurled. Patriots greats Ty Law, Troy Brown and Willie McGinest came out with the first three Super Bowl trophies and then owner Robert Kraft with No. 4.
The Patriots made fewer mistakes than the Steelers, who had their opportunities but didn’t take advantage of them. Tom threw 3 touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski and 1 to Scott Chandler, both tight ends. Julian Edelman made 11 catches and was a thorn in the Steelers’ side all night. Dion Lewis was our new running back and did a fine job. There were three rookies on the offensive line and they played very well.
The Steelers were on their first drive and marching down the field but stalled when inexplicably the coaching staff sent in a trick play that didn’t work. They also were at the goal line later and the Patriots shifted their defensive line, causing a Steeler to jump off-sides. Steeler quarterback Ben Rothlisberger had a fit at the penalty. One of the Pittsburgh wide receivers caught the ball in the end zone but one foot was on the white line so it was ruled incomplete. And this guy was all alone without a Patriot in sight! So the mistakes just added up.
Every team in the division won in Week 1, so the standings look like this:
New England 1-0
Next week: the Pats face former Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan and the revamped Buffalo Bills in Buffalo!
Since it's obvious we're going to have whining from our opponents all season, I thought a running tally could be kept week-to-week for 2015.
Week 1: New England Patriots 28, Pittsburgh Steelers 21 (1-0) (Thursday, September 10, 2015)
1) Mike Tomlin cried about headset issues coach-to-coach. Good excuse to cover his coaching staff's failure to order their players TO COVER A WIDE-OPEN GRONK! He added for good measure that this problem happens all the time in Foxboro. This from a guy who a few years ago deliberately tripped an opponent running with the ball. Stuck his foot out from the sideline! He was fined $100,000 (no million bucks and no draft picks taken) and just laughed it off. So did his colleagues.
2) NBC fell over themselves hurrying to get the information out that there were problems with the headsets, conveniently leaving out the NFL controlling said headsets. Michaelson and Collinsworth were very stern as they reported that Tomlin was very angry! You could hear it in their voices: those cheatin' cheaters!
3) Big Ben whined about the Patriots defense shifting at the goal line and thought it was against the rules. It isn't, Ben, but he added the qualifier that it could be an UNWRITTEN rule. He also said that he'd seen it on film.
4) The Steelers official website had something accusatory against the Pats.
No one, of course, is reporting that the headsets are under control of the NFL and that the Patriots had problems, too, as BB said. P.S. Reports of headset problems were numerous during several games yesterday.
Okay, next week against the Bills is on the road. There can't be any accusations, right? WRONG! The Patriots will limit their cheating on the field, like pump fakes, fake hand-offs, double secret reverses, etc. Though they may be guilty of bringing their own warm Gatorade and switching it with the Bills'. Who knows with these cheaters? Stay tuned!