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After Deflategate, Patriots and Brady have major point to prove on NFL opening night

09 Sep | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
After Deflategate, Patriots and Brady have major point to prove on NFL opening night

The defending Super Bowl champions - and their star quarterback - will be determined to show their success was down to talent and not tampering

Deflategate.

The latest chapter in the seemingly-endless string of bad press that the NFL has been involved in over the past few years ended in the most embarrassing way for them.

Chairman Roger Goodell had his four-game suspension of star New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady – given for tampering with the footballs between games – overturned last week.

The ins and outs are complex and far-reaching, but the end result was unquestionable.

Judge Richard Berman ruled that, due to ‘several significant legal deficiencies’, the punishment was removed.

For Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the minutiae is the least of their worries.

They now need to prepare to face a Brady-driven Patriots team determined to prove their Super Bowl XLIX title was down to talent, not cheating.

That is why they are currently 20/53 for victory on Thursday.

Brady has a perfect 3-0 record against the Steelers at Gilette Stadium. Many think that will soon be 4-0.

The last time these two played, it was the high-scoring game everyone wanted – finishing 55-31 to the Patriots.

Will we see another barnstormer? It is 10/11 for there to be over 52 Total Points in the match this time.

READ: Alan Alger: A punter’s guide to the NFL

Despite many neutrals saying they will support the Steelers in the season opener as a protest against Brady supposedly getting off lightly, the away team cannot avoid the fact they have a multitude of injuries to deal with.

From center Maurkice Pouncey’s broken leg to Linebacker Lawrence Timmons’ turf-toe, the odds are against them at 43/20 for the win.

But opening nights in the NFL have a way of producing the unexpected.

The team will have to be at their best to stop one of the most adroit passers of a football in NFL history (no matter what PSI the balls are at).

They will need to be disciplined, methodical and lightning-fast off the snap.

They already have an impressively-fearless spirit, which runs from the head coach down.

And as the Steelers’ possible starting strong safety Will Allen put it: “You want these types of games. You want to be in these opportunities. You want to be on the biggest stage.”

He will get his wish.

There is certainly no bigger stage than the NFL opening night.

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