Monday, October 31, 2011

Steelers held up Pats' O by defending Welker

The Pittsburgh Steelers did almost everything right against the New England Patriots Sunday at Heinz Field. Black and Yellow moved the ball on offense, grimly challenged the Patriots while on defense and were effective on special teams. Sure, the Pats were outplayed, but they were also outcoached. The result was a dominating 25-17 Steelers’ win.

The biggest key to grounding the Patriots, though, may have been Pittsburgh’s ability to make Wes Welker disappear.

The Patriots' slot receiver, who has put up monster numbers throughout the first half of the season, was virtually a non-factor in a game. And these are the types of games Welker is most needed. When little is working for the Patriots, Welker is often a key to production.

Heading into the Steelers game, Welker had 51 catches for just fewer than 800 yards. His efficiency has not been debatable as he’s on pace for another record-breaking season. But against Dick LeBeau’s Steeler defense, Welker had six catches for 39 yards and no touchdowns. And the Steelers are certainly patting Ike Taylor on the back for that.

Taylor, who was responsible for Welker the majority of the game in man-to-man coverage, stuck to him like glue when Pittsburgh was defending the Brady Bunch.

“I think they played more (man coverage) than they’ve shown all year,” Brady told the media after the game. “The way you beat man (coverage) is to make plays against it and get (them) out of it. We didn’t do enough of it.”

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