Pats give Steelers another kick

How fun it is to remember how good the old days were,

The Patriots won a game Thursday, which in itself is a special treat. And they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers; in itself that makes it even sweeter.

Watching Mike Tomlin trudge along the sidelines, his scowl gaining gloom as the game progressed. And he had a large reason to scowl, beyond enduring another slap-down from the scowl-master, Bill Belichick.

The Steelers are fighting for a playoff spot. They went in with a 7-5 record. They are plopped in a jumble of teams with visions of playoffs dancing in their noggins. There are few games on the NFL schedule this season that have inspired such an overwhelming consensus of opinion as to who would win.

And the Patriots stuck a muddy finger in their collective eye.

Bailey Zappe exuded poise and confidence. The Patriots opening drive was 75 yards of sheer bliss. Their next two touchdowns were almost as warm and fuzzy.

The defense left Steelers quarterback Mitch Trubisky and his offense in a puddle of bewilderment.

Steelers fans surely must be dazed by their team’s performance in their last two games. Pittsburgh lost to Ariznona, of all stumblebums, Cardinals were 2-10 before their engagement at whatever Heinz Field is now called.

If ever a team needs a kick in the backside more urgently than the Steelers, count them out of contention. Now they are at Indianapolis, which hasn’t lost since the end of October; home against the Bengals, whom they struggled to beat in their first meeting; and at Seattle, which is no visitors’ favorite place to play.

A win over the Pats would have given Pittsburgh at least a narrow margin for error. 

New England gave the Steelers a cold slap up-side the head.

And now Pats fans have 10 days to savor the moment … even if it is perishable.