The Steelers have the pleasure of opening up the 2015 NFL Regular Season on Thursday night against the Super Bowl defending New England Patriots. It has been anything but a quiet and subdued offseason and preseason for both teams but it’s finally time to get down to business and play some real football.
Throughout the season Still Curtain will be taking you inside to get the dirt on the opposing team through the FanSided network. We’ll be interviewing the opposing teams’ site to get you the inside info on the opposition.
First up is Connor Fulton from Musket Fire, the New England Patriots-themed site for FanSided. Connor gives us the info for the Patriots on everything from Tom Brady coming off of his suspension to potentially losing their starting center for the game complete with a game prediction.
Is Tom Brady going to unleash the beast this season and play with a giant chip on his shoulder after having to battle the league for half the year?
I sure think so. The events of this past offseason ticked off Brady something fierce, and no player in the NFL is better than Brady when he’s angry. Throughout his playing career, from college to the pros, Brady has played with a “chip” on his shoulder. This season, that chip will certainly be a bit bigger, as many NFL fans still consider Brady and the Pats to be “cheaters”. Furthermore, there’s his age: at 38, Brady will be proving the naysayers wrong in that realm, too.
What is the plan if center Bryan Stork is unable to start the game?
Ryan Wendell will slip into the starting role, which is far from ideal. Stork is quickly becoming one of the better centers in the league, so it would be a bummer for the Pats if he doesn’t pass concussion protocol (Stork himself says he will). Wendell is experienced in the center role, so it’s not all that bad. Playing alongside Stork at the guard position will likely be rookies Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason.
How does the Patriots secondary replace a player like Darrelle Revis?
The answer is simple: moving on. From the moment Revis refused to take less money in New England, the Patriots have been fortifying the secondary. Malcolm Butler is coming of age and has been treated as the clear-cut No. 1 guy all preseason, and starting in the other cornerback spot will be proven veteran Tarell Brown. After those guys, the talent drops with Bradley Fletcher and Logan Ryan, but the overarching point here is that Butler and Brown will stop the bleeding caused by the departure of Revis.
What is the role of LeGarrette Blount going to be when he comes back from suspension?
It’s too bad the Pats will be without Blount for the opener, as he is the only power back on the roster. When he returns, expect Blount to receive the bulk of the rushing workload. He is as downhill of a runner as they come, almost always squeezing out another half yard or more when being tackled. Against Pittsburgh, expect the Pats to shuffle carries between James White, Brandon Bolden and Dion Lewis.
What is your prediction with score for the game?
I have a lot of respect for the Steelers–I think they are the biggest threat to the Pats in the AFC after the Baltimore Ravens–but I see the Pats winning this one by a score of 31-20. The Steelers’ offense is a bit undermanned without Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant in the lineup, which will hinder production. It was a pleasure chatting with you, Kimmy. Still Curtain does great work.
There you have it Steeler Nation. What questions would you have asked?
Here are my answers to Connor’s questions.
Here we go Steelers! Here we go!
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