Written by Brendon Donohoe
“Where is Ro-gah?” clap,clap…clap,clap,clap, “Where is Ro-gah?”
As the Patriots were closing in on the first win of the NFL season, the New England faithful let controversial NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hear it. “Where is Ro-gah,” echoed throughout Gillette Stadium, as the New England Patriots went on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 in the NFL season kickoff.
“It was a pretty special night,” said Brady as he addressed the media during his postgame press conference at Gillette Stadium. “I was excited. Our whole team was excited.” Brady was Vintage Brady on Thursday night as he completed 25-32 and passed for 288 yards and 4 touchdowns. Thursday nights showdown wasn’t just another great game by Brady, but also a record breaking performance, as Tom Brady passed Brett Farve for most wins with a single team.
While Tom Brady had another one for the record books, it may have been Rob Gronkowski who really stole the show, as he snagged in 3 touchdowns. However, Gronkowski wanted the spotlight to be on his quarterback after the tumultuous offseason Brady had gone through. “Everything he’s been going through all offseason, he just came out, and he was on fire,” Gronkowski told reporters during an interview in the Patriots locker room. “I don’t know his stats or anything, but he was hitting all of the open guys, reading the defense well, calling the right plays. He’s just unreal.”
While New England walked away with the win, the Steelers walked away realizing there is still some work that needs to be done. The offense played well, moving the ball for 464 yards, despite missing key players Le’Veon Bell, Martavis Bryant, and Maurkice Pouncey. However, it was the typically strong Steeler defense that struggled mightily, as the defense never seemed to come close to stopping Brady. With longtime stalwarts of the Steel Curtain such as Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Jason Worlids and coordinator Dick LeBeau no longer part of the team, the defense appears like it will be a work in progress throughout the season.
Despite the victory, the Patriots were not able to avoid some level controversy during the game. After the game, Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin complained that he and his coaches were picking up the Patriots radio broadcast in their headphones, and had trouble communicating with one another. The Patriots also complained about the same issue. It should be known that the headset communications are set up and controlled by the league office.