The streak lives on

<b>PITTSBURGH - </b> The national media guys were all talking about how the streak had ended Sunday. <br><br> But the only streak that matters to the Steelers is their 5-0 mark in games in which Ben Roethlisberger has started this season.

Roethlisberger left the field Sunday being chased by about 25 camera men and women. He's reaching that rock star-like status.

Of course when you complete 39 of 49 passes with four touchdowns and no interceptions and beat Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick-coached teams in back-to-back games, that will happen.

It has to be pretty overwhelming for the kid. But to his credit, he's kept it all together - for now.

I just hope he doesn't start listening to all of these people telling him how good he is. Look at what happened to other guys who started reading their press clippings and bought into all the hype about themselves - Kordell Stewart comes to mind. They became stars before their time and ended up being a flash in the pan.

I don't see that happening with Roethlisberger, at least in part because he has a great offense around him, but also because he's remained humble.

But, like the song says, 'it's hard humble when you're perfect in every way.'
  • What can you say about Sunday's 34-20 victory over the Patriots? It was as dominating a performance as the Steelers have had against a good team in a very long time.

    In fact, the last performance I recall that matches what happened Sunday is against Indianapolis in October of 2002 when the Steelers pounded the Colts, 28-10.

  • Are the Steelers now the best team in the AFC? Some in their locker room felt so. Others were a little less loquacious about the subject.

    Everything fell in place for the Steelers Sunday. They caught the Patriots coming off a big game against a division rival. Running back Corey Dillons was out. Ty Law got hurt early in the game. And Tom Brady had what had to be one of the worst games of his career.

    But the Steelers had hand in some of what happened Sunday. And they also ran for more than 200 yards against the Patriots cheesy soft interior defense. Safety Rodney Harrison was credited with 18 tackles in the game and he paid for every one of them.

    The Steelers won a game in October. But the road to the Super Bowl in the AFC still goes through New England.

    The Steelers just showed Sunday that they knew how to maneuver that highway.

  • One week it's James Farrior coming up with a huge game. The next week it's Joey Porter or Aaron Smith or Troy Polamalu.

    There may not exactly be any starts on the Steelers defense, but they do have some pretty good players.

    And those players are taking advantage of the matchups in front of them. It makes the Steelers a difficult team to attack.

  • Next up, however, is Terrell Owens and the Philadelphia Eagles.

    But if Brian Westbrook doesn't play, the Eagles are going to have a difficult time beating the Steelers.

    New England found that out Sunday when they only attempted six - count 'em, six - running plays.

    It's tough to tell if the Steelers missed nose tackle Casey Hampton. The Patriots didn't exactly try to test Chris Hoke very much.

  • Yes, that was Jerome Bettis averaging 4.3 yards per carry on 15 attempts against the Patriots in the fourth quarter. But that New England defense was on the field for over 40 minutes Sunday.

    That's not to discount what Bettis did. But Duce Staley certainly softened the Patriots up.

  • Speaking of Staley, think he wants the ball 25 times again this week against Philadelphia?

  • Plaxico Burress is making some plays, but you don't break the bank to keep him here after this season. Sorry, but there are too many good wide receivers coming into the league to pay big money for a No. 2 receiver.

    Hines Ward is the clear No. 1. That's not going to change. And if the Steelers give him a contract extension and also give Burress a new deal, they will have entirely too much money wrapped up in the wide receiver position.

    It's an important position, but not one where you want to have $10 million wrapped up in two players.

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