Curran's Keys: Head into the bye riding high

Curran's Keys: Head into the bye riding high
November 3, 2013, 1:15 am
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Before the Patriots hit their bye week, they face the Steelers in Foxboro. These are not the Steelers you've grown accustomed to, says Patriots insider Tom E. Curran. The 2-5 Pittsburgh team that arrives at Gillette Stadium on Sunday is "a shell of its former self," he says.

That shows in the first key to Curran's three keys to the game.

1). Keep Tom Brady on his feet: Part of the Steelers problem is that their pass rush is not what it once was. If that continues against the Pats, Brady should be able to put up some numbers.

2). Stop the run: Teams will continue to test the Pats rush defense, particularly up the middle with no Vince Wilfork and now, no Tommy Kelly. Until newly acquired Isaac Sopoaga gets up to speed with the Patriots to help fill the middle, expect teams to keep running.

3). Convert some third downs.