SAVOR EACH POSSESSION- This season the Patriots have been guilty of two things which gets my blood pressure up. One is committing turnovers almost immediately after gaining possession. The other is the dreaded three-and-out. While I can't remember the exact words he used, earlier this season Belichick pretty much claimed that the Patriots don't run plays without the intent of getting yards. Personally, I don't think this is exactly true. As a rabid Patriots observer, I'm positive that Josh and Tom run plays to both set up other plays and observe what an opponent will do. Last week we all observed how it took forever for the Patriots to make their adjustments and get going on offense. I'm hoping that today we just open the gates with some solid play calling and make the Steelers play from behind early.
DON'T GIVE UP THE BIG PLAY- The Patriots' defense is ranked 10th for giving up big passing plays and 1st for giving up big running plays. In other words, the defense has done a great job not giving up big plays all season. This would not be a good time to suddenly over-commit and get burnt. While the Steelers do have some great playmakers, they can't score touchdowns when in the red zone.
MAKE SURE GUYS ARE DOWN- This does not mean hitting guys late or playing dirty. Remember when Eli Manning escaped and threw up a prayer? Remember when his brother "tripped" and then had a huge completion against the Steelers last season. Of course you do. Remember when Duron Harmon hurdled over Jermaine Kearse right before the Seahawk made an improbably sideline catch? Luckily, Butler made that game-saving play too.