NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — How did the Steelers not see that coming?
That was the sentiment from Mike Francesa on Monday while discussing the Patriots’ 36-17 victory over the Steelers in Sunday’s AFC championship game.
“I just don’t understand Pittsburgh at all,” Francesa said at the start of his WFAN show. “Have they not been around for the other games? I mean, they looked like they were surprised that the Pats came out and spread them out.”
PHOTOS: Conference Championship Sunday
The Steelers have indeed struggled mightily to stop Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over the past decade. In the seven games between the teams since 2007, Brady has passed for 22 touchdowns and zero interceptions.
On Sunday, Brady was 32-of-42 for 384 yards — a career playoff high — with three touchdowns.
“Now if you’re a Steeler fan, you can tell me how (Le’Veon) Bell would’ve made a difference. Would’ve made no differencem,” Francesa said, referring to the Pittsburgh running back who left in the first quarter with a groin injury. “They couldn’t stop them. The Pats had guys running free all day.”
Francesa said he believed before the game that the Steelers’ defense was being overrated.
“I’ve always felt you can pass on them whenever you want, and I watched it again yesterday,” he said. “And you can pass on them whenever you want. Passing games kill them. And you saw yesterday Brady, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. I mean, it was a joke. You had guys open everywhere. Wide open.”
To listen to the segment, in which Francesa also discusses the Falcons’ win over the Packers in the NFC title game, click on the audio player above.