Patriots

Bedard: What Steelers fans need to know about the defending champs

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This column appeared on DKPittsburghSports.com.

Yinzers

Greetings, once again, from the Hub of the Sports Universe. After the Patriots followed up the Red Sox’s world title since the last time we saw each other, there was a decent chance we would have been holding all four major titles at the same time — which would have made you Steel City faithful feel all warm inside, I’m sure — but then Kyrie Irving happened (ugh), and … we’re still not over the Bruins’ no-show in Game 7. Let’s not talk about that.

 But, hey, it’s football season now and everybody else is playing for the Patriots’ scraps. Plus the Steelers are coming to Gillette where they hear more Patriots radio broadcasts in their headsets than game-winning strategies.

So to get you ready for another Patriots-Steelers week, here’s a primer on where the Patriots are and may be going:

• Just like last year, get while the getting’s good.

I told you before last year’s matchup that the timing didn’t get any better for a Steelers victory against the Patriots, and we know what happened (sorry about the rest of your postseason-less season). Well, I’m saying that again because traditionally the Patriots come out of the gates slowly, especially on offense, before they hit their stride after Week 4.

They should have started 0-3 last year if DeShaun Watson wasn’t so rusty in the Patriots’ seven-point win, and they were embarrassed at home by the Chiefs to start 2017. The Patriots are going to be far from a finely tuned machine on offense with all the changes, but be ready for that defense.

• Basically, the entire defense returns from the unit that carried NE to Super Bowl.