Is Merril Hoge Ok?

I woke up a little late this morning and only caught the final 10 minutes of “Face to Face.” Luckily I didn’t miss the segment previewing tonight’s Patriots/Ravens matchup, but now I wish I did. One of ESPN’s veteran football analysts and former player Merril Hoge sat along side Herm Edwards and Louis Riddick, and discussed the keys to tonight’s game. After all that, anchor Hannah Storm quickly asked, “Are the Patriots the best team in the AFC?” Brace yourselves because this next part might shock you… HOGE SAID NO. Honestly if I didn’t hear it with my own ears I wouldn’t believe it either, but I wouldn’t lie to you people. Merril Hoge said the Pittsburgh Steelers, who the Patriots beat 27-16 in week 7, are the best team in the conference. I understand this could have to do with him being an ex-Steeler but I don’t even care.

This needs to be talked about and I promise I’m going balls to the wall with this (figuratively speaking obviously) and showing no mercy because this is blasphemous. The Pittsburgh Steelers are an 8-5 team as of this morning, which yes is a winning record but unimpressive to say the least. In their first loss of the season, they were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles 34-3. That’s correct, this “best in the conference” team scored only a field goal against the Birds. Rookie Carson Wentz managed to throw for 300 yards and two touchdowns against a defense some would say is one of the best in the league. Even yesterday, Pittsburgh struggled against the Buffalo Bills. If it wasn’t for Le’Veon Bell that game would’ve fallen in the loss column because for the third time this season Big Ben threw for zero touchdowns. I suppose if you use the logic that the Steelers beat the Bills, and the Bills beat the Patriots, that means the Steelers are better than the Pats?

Here’s the part I really don’t understand though. The Patriots beat the Steelers. I am aware that Landry Jones was under center for this game, but as the best team in the AFC shouldn’t you be able to be successful no matter who is at quarterback? Kind of like the Patriots did three out of the four games Tom Brady missed? Interesting. Jones did throw for more yards than Brady, which isn’t saying much considering how iffy this New England defense has been this entire season. Part of me really hopes Pittsburgh falls a spot or two in the playoff picture so they get matched up with New England (provided they win the wildcard game), just so Brady can continue to make Hoge look like a clown.

I knew this guy couldn’t be trusted solely based off his tie game, which is a fashion atrocity, but now more than ever he’s proven to be flat-out dumb. The Steelers are not better than the Patriots. The Steelers are not the best team in the AFC North. Therefore, the Pittsburgh Steelers are most definitely NOT the best team in all of the AFC. I’m upset this even needed to be blogged about.

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