Bill Belichick has a well-established program with pretty high standards in New England.
That's why even a 27-16 win on the road in Pittsburgh can leave Patriots players and coaches alike sounding less than thrilled in the immediacy of what is, even with the Steelers playing without starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, still a very solid accomplishment.
The Boston Globe acknowledges New England's shortcomings in the win by saying that "it's pretty clear this one was ugly." The Globe also notes that while the Patriots are among the best units in the NFL in points allowed, the team's defense is "not passing the eye test."
The Globe declares that while it didn't look good as a whole, New England ran the ball to get the job done on offense against Pittsburgh. In the midst of the win the Globe *highlights Rob Gronkowski tying the Patriots record with his 68th career touchdown. The *Globe also looks at the Steelers ruing lost opportunities in the loss.
The Boston Herald says the Patriots are lucky they faced the wounded Steelers or things might not have played out in a victorious fashion. The Herald declares that LeGarrette Blount got his turn to shine in New England's explosive offense. The Herald notes Gronkowski's record-tying score as well as Malcolm Butler battling it out with Steelers No. 1 receiver Antonio Brown. The Herald describes the latest win as the Patriots surviving their own mistakes in Pittsburgh.
ESPN looks at why Martellus Bennett's playing time and production dipped in Pittsburgh. ESPN has Belichick supporting struggling kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who missed a PAT against the Steelers. The site offers up its Ups and Downs from the New England win, while also relaying Blount's big role on the road to victory.
WEEI.com says the latest win proves the Patriots are well ahead of the rest of the field in the AFC. WEEI.com passes along Blount saying he's "having a blast" in his role for New England, which already includes a career-high eight touchdowns. WEEI.com says the Patriots got the last laugh on the field in Pittsburgh after some questionable comments from the Steelers last week. WEEI.com proclaims that the Patriots defense is among the best in the NFL. WEEI.com has Gostkowski bluntly saying, "Right now, I stink."
CSNNE.com says the Patriots defense continues to bend but that the unit hasn't broken…yet. CSNNE.com has Butler making it clear that his post-interception dance mocking Brown's own celebration was, "nothing personal." CSNNE.com says Sunday was another example of the Patriots tight end duo making key plays on the way to a win.
NFL.com offers three takeaways from the Patriots win, including "business as usual" for Brady. The site notes the balanced offense in the victory. NFL.com also says "It's still the Patriots world and the rest of the AFC just lives in it."
USA Today says the Patriots are beatable, just not by the Big Ben-less Steelers.
FoxSports.com tries way too hard to troll for clicks up the media stream and tells the world why the Patriots won't win the Super Bowl.