Is there such thing as a moral victory? I say yes (Mike Pelaia's Column Dec. 20)

The Steelers want this game again, they want the rematch, they want to prove they are the better team. They basically did that in all facets of this game, with the exception of the score. “We’ll see them again and the outcome will be different,” said Eli Rogers. Roethlisberger said he wants the rematch “because that means we made it far.” He’s not wrong—that’s what it will mean and if it does happen again, it will in all likelihood be in New England.
“I like a shot at everyone we lose to,” said Cameron Heyward.
Tom Brady wasn’t as eager to discuss a rematch. “We have to take care of a lot of business ourselves. That’s a long time down the road.”
The bigger part for Pittsburgh now, though, may be readying themselves to travel to Houston on Christmas Day. The game, on paper, looks like a win. There isn’t any reason the Steelers should lose; the unfortunate part now though is the Jacksonville Jaguars sit just one game back of the Black and Gold and hold the tiebreaker over them. Should the Steelers drop a game in the next two weeks and the Jags were to win out, this loss to New England would essentially drop them from a potential number one seed down to the number three seed. There’s a big difference in playing three games to get to the Super Bowl and playing two.
The Steelers will need to approach this next game in Houston with their head held high. They know they’re a good football team, they proved they can play with New England and, with a full squad and a removal of a quirky play, they can beat the Patriots anytime, anywhere.
I expect the Steelers to go to Houston and shred the Texans. I expect them to come out of this loss angry, motivated and ready to win the rest of their games, including a run to their seventh Lombardi trophy. The Steelers will be heavy favorites in their remaining two games, they should earn a first-round bye and hold a home game in the divisional round. From there, they’ll have to play a quality opponent, but they’ll be favored and I believe they’ll win (though they aren’t going to want to see the Ravens a third time). After that, they will in all likelihood get this game again, albeit in New England in the AFC championship game for the right to go to the Super Bowl.
They will earn their shot at redemption and that may be a good thing. Beating New England twice in the same year is as tall an order as can be in the NFL. Just ask anyone in the AFC East about that. Equally as challenging, this year, is beating the Steelers twice. I’m not sure either is possible and the good news is, the Patriots won their game. In a month, it’ll be time for the Steelers to win theirs.
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