Did you hear? Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the Patriots! Oh my gosh! Bulletin board material! Why would he do that? He's going to motivate New England.
Gimme a break. I fully agree with everything Smith said, and actually don't mind that he said it. I know I'm not a football player, but I predicted a win as well. And who cares? This is football, not some pansy inter-team love fest.
Let's look at Smith's reasoning:
"I think we were facing great receivers last week too and we shut them
down,'' Smith said. "Those three guys, I don't think it gets much better than
Cincinnati's corps of receivers. We've already seen the best."
Smith added a little more lumber to the fire when he said New
England's receivers haven't been hit the way they will be hit on
"They said Baltimore was their most physical game but I think we
hit harder than Baltimore, so they haven't seen nothing like us yet.
"They should be worried about us. We never worry about receivers.
We're the ones doing the hitting. They have to run routes. We're attacking them,
they're not really attacking us."
Perfectly put. New England's receivers are constantly put on a pedestal my the MSM because they have Randy Moss, put up flashy numbers and have yet to be fully challenged. Remember, Pittsburgh's pass defense is #1 in the league right now. The Patriots haven't played us yet, so every pass defense they've seen is below Pittsburgh.
Sure, Baltimore fields a pretty good defense, and they were awfully physical against the Patriots. However, Baltimore was repeatedly owned by the Steelers on both sides of the ball in our meeting earlier this season. The Patriots played a Baltimore team that is obviously fed up with their head coach and isn't afraid to physically show that displeasure. That all came to a head when the Ravens stopped the Patriots on 4th and short, only to be emotionally exhausted by the timeout called just prior to the snap. Although Defensive Coordinator Rex Ryan called the timeout, you could see every Baltimore player glaring through Billick's soul. There's not that type of dissension in Pittsburgh. This defense is as solid as it gets.
Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth have no idea what they're about to go through. Sure, all three have played against the Steelers before, but not on a team that was threatening to go undefeated. You can't simulate that kind of defensive motivation.
But back to Smith. I'm glad he stepped out and guaranteed a win. So many teams keep losing to the Patriots because they sit in awe of New England's magnificence rather than trust their own system. Most teams are already beat before the game begins because they know they only have a minute chance of winning. Anthony Smith is bringing the fight to the Patriots. There's no sitting back and quietly accepting a loss. Its time to get into their heads for once. He's doing it now and he'll do it on Sunday. Its not arrogance...its confidence.
12 straight teams haven't showed that much.