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2017 Season Blog.

Defending

Super Bowl Champs.

Pats Vs Pitt: Part IV. 

By TOM

Greetings Pats Fans,

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4th Quarter.

By TOM

Pitt lined up to start the 4th with a long way to go. The Pats Defense played very well, but just couldn't stop them on 3rd down consistently. 3rd and 3 from the Pats 22. Pitt lined up in a 4-Wide Strong shotgun. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with all six guys crowding the line. They sent all six. Harris, Wise, and Chung got pressured and knocked Roethlisberger off his feet. But he was just able to loft the ball outside to Bell for the first.

Bell tried to cut back on 1st down, but François and Guy took him down. On 2nd down, Bell was stopped by Flowers. 3rd and 4, Pitt lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. Pats matched up in a 4-2 Nickel. Roethlisberger got pressure inside by a stunting Flowers and Butler, and took off for the first.

They ran Conner on 1st down, But a Hold was called for straggling François. 1st and 20, they ran Connor again. Wise, Harris, and Brown stopped him at the line. 2nd and 18, Pit jumped off sides. 2nd and 23, they ran a Draw for very little. 3rd and 21, Pats go Prevent. Roethlisberger threw underneath to Bryant. But the Pats played it smart, and corralled him down to force the punt.

The Offense came out in trouble, down eight. They lined in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun, but two of the Wides were TEs. They ran a Draw to Dion. He followed a pulling Thuney to the left. Then danced back to the right. 2nd and 7, Empty. Brady had time and hit Cooks right at the marker. But he was coming back to the ball, so they marked him short.

3rd and 1, the Pats lined up in a Big-I. They ran a Smash to Dion. He cut behind Gronk, Fleming, Cooks, and Develin, and found a lane to the 2nd level. He almost reached midfield.

1st and 10, Pats motioned into a 4-wide Weak shotgun. They ran a draw again. Lewis went right. Then saw Thuney three yards down field in front of the Mike. He cut back as he creased midfield for another nice gain. 2nd and 3, Pats motioned empty. Brady lofted a perfect pass to Cooks 35-yard down field. He pulled it in beautifully, and slid inside the Two. But he stepped out of bounds running down the sideline.

3rd and 3, Pats lined up in a Trips right Weak Shotgun. Gronk lined up alone on the left. Brady never took his eyes off of him, and lofted a floater down the sideline. Gronk was interfered with so bad that he couldn't bring it in, and forced the refs to unfurl a flag.

1st and 10 at the 21, 4-Wide Weak. Brady tried to force it in to Amendola. But it was overthrown. Then he tried to back shoulder fade it to Cooks. But the DB punched it out. Then Brady was sacked to force the field goal. Pats-19. Pitt-24.

The Pats are still in big trouble. They not only cannot allow Pitt to score, they cannot let them move the ball at all and work the clock. Pitt ran Bell to start. He is hit first by Gilmore behind the line. Then Harris, and then McCourty and Lee. 2nd and 9, Roethlisberger is pressured by Brown. Then grabbed and should have been sacked by Lee. But he somehow escaped both, and ran for five.

3rd and 4, Roethlisberger had to throw underneath to JuJu. Harmon hit JuJu and knocked him back. Then Eric Rowe grabbed him, and kept him moving backwards. Until Lee ran over and knocked him off his feet sideways to force the punt. That was a huge clutch three and out.

1st and 10, the Pats lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun with Gronk on Brady's right. He jammed into Sean Davis. Then cut over the middle. Brady threw it right behind Davis for the drop. 2nd and 10, Gronk lined up on the left Seam. He ran straight down the seam. Then jammed Davis's shoulder with his outside arm, and was gone. Brady finally spotted him, and hit him on the 45. He was barely tripped up by a diving Davis.

Pitt went back to Davis in straight man on Gronk. Gronk lined up just outside the left seam. They blitzed Davis. He almost got Brady. But Gronk ran down the seam, and cut inside the Safety coming downhill to pick him up. Brady lofted it perfectly, so only Gronk could catch it. The other Safety had to come up and tackle him at the 25.

1st and 10, 4-Wide Weak. Gronk moved slowly inside, and lined up between the numbers and the left seam. He jogged slowly to Davis, like he was spent. But once he got inside of him, he cut In. Brady spotted him on the other side of the field, and threw a terrible pass low and outside. Gronk reached down with his big mitts and somehow grabbed the ball before it scrapped off the turf. Then tumbled down at the 10.

1st and Goal at the 9, and I don't know why they'd do anything other then throw to Gronk? But they lined up in a Singleback with Gronk inline on the right. Brady handed it to Lewis. And he didn't dance at all. He took off to the left, away from Gronk, and blasted into the Endzone over Artie Burns and under Mike Mitchell. Pats-25. Pitt-24.

The Pats have to go for Two. They lined up in a 4-Wide I. Then motioned into a Stack left, Gronk-right I. Brady didn't think at all. He stepped back from under center, and lofted a high lob to an uncovered Gronk. Gronk just slapped off Davis, and was all alone. The other Safety stayed inside, and didn't even try to help Davis. That was the most dominate series by a TE/WR I have ever seen. Stunning! Pats-27. Pitt-24.

Then disaster. Roethlisberger hit JuJu underneath the coverage off a crossing pick. He turned up field, and there were no defenders within 20-yards, with Rowe still stalking him. Bell got just enough of a block on McCourty.

Richards was also taken out by Bell, to give JuJu the sideline. "It was just a play where Bell on the sideline blocked Jordan Richards and came off kind of getting me in a generous slip," McCourty said. "It's a play we all wanted back. But it was a good job of finishing the play. Those plays you see a lot where a guy gets to the sideline and everybody starts jogging, and they score. Then it's game over. I think we just did a good job getting him down and being able to play a couple more plays." He was suddenly past midfield.

Then he cut inside against the grain at the 35. Rowe finally dived and almost tripped him up. He looked like he was going to score, until Harmon smacked into him and held on for dear life. Until McCourty could help bring him down. Utter F-ing disaster, like I just got kicked in the nuts.

1st and Goal from the 10 with :34 seconds on the clock. Pitt put a bunch on the right in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Roethlisberger threw an TD to Jesse James, and the Pats season is over. They will now be in 3rd place in the AFC. They cannot go to Jacksonville and Pittsburgh and win those two games on the road to get to the Super Bowl. That play was the death of the 2017-18 Patriots.

WTF! "When they came over and told us," BB said. "They were lining up for the extra point, and they said they were going to take a look at it." They aren't kicking the extra point for some reason.

I don't know what the F--- is going on. "Once I saw the replay, I did see the ball move," Rowe said. "I wasn't too sure. It could of went either way. I am obviously glad it went our way. We took it to the last play." That was a catch.

The refs said the ball moved when James went into the Endzone. But his knee was down on the One! Then turned and dived into the Endzone? I still say that is a bad call. He did not flop into the Endzone after catching it. He caught it, and landed on the One. Then made a football move turning and diving into the Endzone. But it saved the Patriots season. Although, the ball did twist out of his hands as they hit the ground in the endzone.

I don't agree with that terrible call. But that terrible call may have saved the Pats' season. 2nd and Goal from the 10, with :28 seconds on the clock. Pitt lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun, with James on the left. The Pats matched up in a 4-2 Nickel with all six guys on the line. Harmon stepped up to the line next to James. But he covered Bell out of the backfield. Lee went unblocked to Roethlisberger, and just missed him as Roethlisberger shifted outside and took off.

Then he threw the ball to Heyward-Bey crossing short. Butler did a great job dragging him down inbounds to keep the clock running. This really hurt Pitt, which is setting record for mental mistakes in the final 30 second of a game.

3rd and Goal from the seven, and everyone is screaming "clock-it!" Including Roethlisberger. Pitt lined up in a spread out 3-Wide Singleback. They hiked the ball, and Roethlisberger faked spike the ball. But Heyward-Bey, JuJu, James, and Bell didn't move. They just stared at Roethlisberger, like "what the hell are you doing!"

The only offensive player who did anything was Eli Rogers, and he got doubled by Rowe and McCourty. "There was a lot of urgency on that last play. I see them rushing to the ball. I see Matty P. give the call, and I was like you know I'm the star. I was like man, no one is on the outside [of me]. I need to go on the outside," Gilmore said. "Then everybody was in panic mode trying to get lined up, and I see Big Ben fake it. And I was like, 'Oh they are running a play.' I got my eyes on the receiver and noticed he was doing a slant. I didn't really think he was going to throw it because I was right on his hip. I mean he threw it. And I was like I need to break this up, boom. I thought they caught it. I was like oh my god. We came down with it, and I was ecstatic." Roethlisberger tried to friggin' throw it to him?

Rowe dived in front of him and knocked the ball out. "Oh definitely, from the start," Rowe said. "It actually started at practice. We all knew how much this game meant to us and the Steelers. From the start of the game we knew it was going to be a battle until the last second. We were really prepared for the game." The ball popped up in the infield, and Harmon tracked it down, and snagged it, to save the season.

Incredibly, the Pats went from out of the running for the Super Bowl, to favorites in the AFC in :34-seconds of Steelers chocking on Steelers! Un-f-ing be-liev-able.

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