BY Christopher Dauer
The NFL is back, and there is already controversy.
The New England Patriots kicked off the season by facing the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday, September 10. The defending Super Bowl champs (Patriots) defeated the Steelers 28-21. This was expected. Steelers have a young secondary, and Tom Brady usually picks apart defenses anyway.
What wasn’t expected was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ headset malfunction. Teams use the headset to communicate with their offensive and defensive coordinators in order to tell the team what play they will run. Pittsburgh’s head coach Mike Tomlin said that they were picking up a New England radio broadcast for the majority of the first half. The Patriots also reported this problem, but reports are saying that the headsets were still functional. The Patriots outscored the Steelers 14-3 while the headset wasn’t working, but the Steelers outscored the patriots 18-14 while the headsets were working. Coach Tomlin told the refs about the problem, but they didn’t do anything. The appropriate response would have been to shut both teams’ headsets off.
This brings up an interesting question. Are the Patriots trying to cheat?
If you didn’t know, Deflategate was the highlight of the 2014-2015 NFL season. Not the Super Bowl. Deflategate. This dealt with the deflation of footballs, which gave one team an advantage over the other.
The NFL has a required psi for their footballs. Each football must be inflated to 12.5 psi in order to be used during a game. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots used footballs that were under that by anywhere from half a pound to two pounds. Not one person on the team seems to know how it happened. The Patriots won the game against the Indianapolis Colts 45-7.
You think there would be some kind of punishment, right? Yes. I mean no. Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, issued a four-game suspension for Mr. Brady. Of course, Brady claimed he was innocent and challenged the commissioner to overturn the suspension. Goodell held the four-game suspension in place after meeting with Brady. Of course Brady was still unhappy and took it to federal court. That judge loved Tom Brady so much that he overturned the suspension.
If my math is correct and the suspension would’ve been upheld, Tom Brady would not have played Thursday. The Steelers would have been favored to win the game and probably would have won it. But I don’t want to get into the should’ve would’ve could’ves. Let’s get into on-field antics.
I noticed in the game that during one play, the playclock was winding down while the Patriots had the ball. It got down to 14 seconds and then jumped back up to 25. The offense only gets 40 seconds to snap the ball. Not 51, which they got to get the play off.
The most critical play of the game in my opinion was a play late in the third quarter. The Steelers had the ball on the one-yard line and it was third down. The Steelers ended up getting a five-yard penalty. So what happened? The Steelers got called for a false start and Ben Rothlisberger immediately became enraged. He complained that the Patriot defense yelled a snap count, which caused the Steelers’ offensive line to jump. They basically yelled “hut” in order to confuse the offense. That is definitely not allowed. Instead of the Patriots getting a penalty, the Steelers got one and had to settle for a field goal instead of a touchdown. That was the difference in the game.
It seems like the Patriots are becoming a very controversial topic. Many people believe that the Patriots are not at fault for anything. The non-Patriot fans believe that they are at fault for everything and should be punished. As the season progresses, we could see the Patriots become the most hated team in the NFL.
Contact Christopher Dauer at firstname.lastname@example.org