Football

Nothing glorious about Patriots’ first win

Since The Dynasty’s last gasp on Jan. 4, 2020, there have been no opportunities for Patriots fans to kick back, enjoy the week’s proceedings and proclaim their eternal allegiance to Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

The curtain fell as former Patriot Logan Ryan returned a 9-yard interception against the Tennessee Titans, who were coached by former Patriots Mike Vrabel.

A pick-six in a playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Brady completed the full 180 since that snow night in the old Schaefer/Sullivan/Foxboro Stadium.

Good, old Mike Vrabel. It was such a blast watching the full-time linebacker trot onto the field as a part-time receiver and make those touchdown catches.

And the invective hurled by vanquished foes was winked away with a smug little half-smile.

They hate us ’cause they ain’t us.

Now, peek at the aftermath of the Pats’ first win of the 2022 season, an aesthetically lacking 17-10 decision over the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have tumbled from the peak of Mt. Roethlisberger.

Pats vs. Pittsburgh. It is no longer penciled in as the 4:25 p.m. game, with the top CBS broadcasting crew. Or it could be the Sunday or Monday night main event.

The Patriots won Sunday because they were capable of finding the end zone twice, once on a tremendous catch that Nelson Agholor snatched away from Steelers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who could not have defended Mac Jones’ 44-yard throw any better.

The other was a gift from another old pal, Gunner Olszewski, who bungled a punt that the Patriots recovered at the Steelers 20, setting up the eventual 2-yard touchdown run by Damien Harris.

The Pats were better in all phases of the game in Week 2. Of course, the bar was set up as low as it could go in their dreary opening loss to Miami.

But they are nowhere near good enough to justify strutting or smug half-smiles among the faithful.

Frankly, no one else in the country is even thinking about the Patriots. It will take more, and better wins to churn up that old froth.

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