One of the games that Steelers Country had circled on the schedule was the Week 1 contest when Pittsburgh travels to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots.
Then, suddenly the match-up slated for Thursday, Sept. 10 got a little more interesting…
The National Football League handed down its punishment Monday on Pats quarterback Tom Brady for his part in the underinflated football scandal from last season. He will be suspended four regular-season contests. The team has also been docked their first-round draft pick in 2016, their fourth-round draft pick in 2017, and a one million dollar fine.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound signal caller will be able to participate in off-season and pre-season programs. The former sixth-round draft pick from 2000 will also be allowed to play in pre-season games.
Barring any trades or free agent signings by the Patriots, Jimmy Garoppolo is listed as the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. He was selected in the second-round of the 2014 draft from Eastern Illinois.
The third quarterback listed is Garrett Gilbert from Southern Methodist. He was originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2014 Draft and was released from the Rams practice squad in October.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell and Patriots running back LeGarette Blount were both suspended for the Week 1 contest for their involvement in a marijuana-related arrest in Pittsburgh last year.
Let’s take a look at what the rest of the internet is saying about the recent developments between the two gridiron powers.
Dave Bryan of Steelers Depot reminds everyone that the last time the Black and Gold faced a Patriots backup quarterback was back in 2008 when Matt Cassel filled in for Tom Brady.
Brady at that time was out with torn ligaments in his left knee. Pittsburgh permitted just three plays of 20-yards or more on defense as they claimed a 33-10 victory.
FanSided‘s Josh Hill is reporting that Brady’s agent has called the suspension ridiculous.
Jamison Hensley of ESPN sees it as advantage Steelers with the disadvantage going to the national television audience.
Dan Gartland at Sports Illustrated takes a close look at Jimmy Garoppolo giving us a better idea of just who he is in New England.
Let me know your thoughts about the Steelers opener on the road in the comments section below.