Tom Caron: Patriots' wake-up call was disguised as a win

Things only get worse for the Steelers when they travel to New England. Not only did the Patriots win, they actually covered the spread.

Bell has gained 288 of his 337 yards between the tackles for an average of 5.9 yards per rush. Houston had the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL.

The Steelers are headed to Foxborough this Sunday, but that trip to Kansas City was awfully bumpy. And all four have some Super Bowl history on their side. He had more touchdowns than interceptions in just one of the games, last year's wild-card victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. When the Patriots reach the red zone, they need touchdowns.

Guard David DeCastro said the team needs to be better and running back Le'Veon Bell said they'll need "better than our A-game".

Roethlisberger goes through his reads, pump-fakes to Bell, looks back over the middle of the field, gets flushed out of the pocket and ultimately throws it out of bounds toward a well-covered Bell. He is known for taking away a team's top option. His 170 rushing yards broke his own franchise playoff record.

For the third time in the Belichick-Brady Era, the Patriots will be trying to step over the Steelers to get to a Super Bowl.

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The spokesman said Toomey supports a two-year transition before phasing out the Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits. As we noted, the Affordable Care Act offers some benefits that the Republican majority in the House seems to appreciate.

The Steelers are also streaking, have won nine consecutive games, including two in the postseason. The second came one season later with the Steelers turning the tables at Three Rivers Stadium, winning 7-6. However, I've seen the Steelers' defense with some vulnerabilities, including in Week 17 against the Browns. Patriots fans who felt overconfident heading into this past weekend are a lot more concerned about the game ahead. When the Steelers blitzed Brady in Week 1 of 2015, he was 8-for-10 for 63 yards and four touchdowns. The best way to illustrate it: When Cook is on the field, Rodgers has thrown touchdown passes at about twice the rate that he did when Cook was injured. Meaning if Nate Silver is right, the Falcons will play the Patriots while President Clinton watches from a private suite.

But with plenty of time between now and the kickoff, it's always worthwhile to zoom out and compare the Patriots to the rest of the league during what has been a historic run that does not appear ready to end any time soon. Maybe the Patriots don't spy Bell out of the backfield, or a Pats linebacker like Kyle Van Noy doesn't shadow Bell as well as Houston did.

New England has advanced to the AFC Championship Game for a record sixth year in a row and the 11th time in 16 seasons.

But when it comes to the Steelers, it hasn't mattered where, or what round, Brady has faced them. - Green Bay's Mason Crosby, who kicked a 51-yard field goal to lift the Packers over Dallas 34-31 after Aaron Rodgers marched the offense down the field in the closing minute to set up the winning score. With the weapons Brady possessed and the stingy defense, New England is on the driver seat. But the Pro Bowler has been extremely effective all season.

Belichick will spend this week reminding them the lessons of Saturday night, that you can't expect to win an National Football League playoff game unless you are completely prepared and ready to go.


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