The Patriots will return to their dominating ways tomorrow. I feel very confident in making this prediction, and here is why: The Steelers may have statistically the #1 ranked defense in the league, but who have they beaten? They have played the weakest schedule of all 32 teams. Furthermore, the strength of schedule only takes into account the teams they have played, not where they played, and the fact of the matter is the Steelers have only played five, that's right FIVE, road games against seven home games. Oh, and they are 2-3 on the road. They have only won 2 road games all year. No way they win in Foxborough. According to the Sagarin Ratings on usatoday.com, the Steelers have not played a single top ten team, but are 3-0 against top 16 teams (thus teams ranked 11-16). But even this weak positive indicator is misleading, because the teams in the top 16 whom they have beaten are: #14 Cleveland, #14 Cleveland, and #12 Seattle. They beat Cleveland in week 1 when Cleveland was playing terribly and were having quarterback issues. They beat Seattle in week 5 at Heinz, 21-0, probably their most impressive victory. Then they beat Cleveland again, at home, by a field goal, when Phil Dawson's game tying attempt fell just short with six seconds left. On the other hand, they have LOST to the JETS, Arizona and Denver, who have a combined record of 12-24. And they almost lost to the 0-pher-12 Dolphins! Which if they had, would have made them 1-3 over the past 4 weeks. So no, the Steelers do not evoke memories of their 1970's counterparts. Not even their 2005 counterparts. The Patriots, on the other hand, suddenly seem beatable, according to nearly every talking head on TV, radio, cyberspace or in print. True, they nearly lost to the Ravens, and easily could have had they not gotten a couple of breaks. And true, they had to come from behind to beat the Eagles, at home. But here is the thing - you don't suddenly go from blowing people out so bad that people are scolding you for running up the score, to nearly losing two weeks in a row, because you have suddenly forgotten how to play football. And you don't go there because suddenly your opponents have figured out your weaknesses. Come on. Teams have been trying to beat them up all year and haven't been able to do it. I don't believe they have been "exposed". What I do believe is: 1. They have suddenly gotten a case of the dropsies - that won't last 2. They have lost their mental sharpness because the victories were coming all too easily. It's a long season, and other than records they have little to play for at this point. The Eagles game, playing at home against a weak opponent with a back up QB, was a classic trap game. And even though that was a close game, they didn't get scared enough to believe they actually could lose, and went against another weak opponent starting a backup the next week - so they basically played two trap games in a row. And fell in both times. But they were able to climb out, and I believe that they will get their edge back. They have plenty of motivation now: a. The nearly lost for the first time all year b. They are playing a team with a very good record (9-3) who is a playoff rival, and a historical rival, to boot. And who (as usual) have been running their mouths off. c. The undefeated season is in sight. They have also played 3 night games in a row, and even BB, who doesn't usually even admit when a guy has a hangnail, admitted they were a tired team. It was a short week, but he gave them an extra day off and they will be playing an afternoon game (FINALLY), and at home. I think they'll be plenty refreshed enough to beat the Pretenders... um, Steelers.