Game Balls & Goats: Week 8 Steelers

Patriots lost to the Steelers 25-17 in a game that was hardly as close as the final score. Who did well and who didn't? We hand out our patented Game Balls and Goats.

Each week we offer our take on the game handing out awards called Game Balls (good things) and Goats (not good things).   Awards can be given for anything from players, coaches and officials to the announcers or even the weather.  Here are  ours, check the link below to voice yours or read what others are saying.


1)  Kevin Faulk An knee injury is a tough injury to come back from, but Faulk put in the time to prove he could be a contributor once again. The 35-year-old finished with a modest 6 carries for 32 yards (5.3 avg.) and 5 receptions for 20 yards.

2)  Rob Gronkowski The second year tight end has been a Steelers killer, but for all the hype, Gronkowski barely affected the outcome.  What he does deserve is credit for helping out in both the blocking and the safety vale outlet for Brady.  He did a solid job receiving to lead all Patriots receivers with 7 catches for 94 yards.

3) Andre Carter Carter is turning into a one-man pressure system drawing attention of the protection time and again from Pittsburgh. Although he didn't get pressure on every series, Carter dialed up the effort above and beyond his teammates on the defensive line.  Carter finished with a pair of  sacks and a forced fumble. He now has 4.5 sacks on the year, tied for most on the team.  

Gary Guyton – Guyton intercepted a Roethlisberger pass deep in Pittsburgh territory early in the game to give New England an opportunity to get back into the game.


1)  Pass defense – whether it's the scheme, or the fact that only half of the secondary on the roster actually has any experience in the Patriots system doesn't matter. Giving up 365 yards and a pair of scores wasn't the worst of it. The team allowed 23 of Pittsburgh's 29 first downs to come via pass.

2) Special teams – a missed field goal, a botched onside kick attempt put this group in a negative light after a non-descript game.

3) Officials – Three obvious gaffes: The Rob Gronkowski TD that wasn't (Ruled down at the 1); Spotting the ball 5 yards short of the actual line of scrimmage (adjusted to 1 yard off from mark) while teams in hurry up offense; Troy Polamalu's punching the ball into the end zone for a safety (illegal to advance the ball by batting it forward)

Sebastian Vollmer – Got beat by Woodley for one sack, blown up later for another. Not a good day

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