Not only could Anthony Smith not live up to his guarantee that the Steelers would beat the Patriots, in a lot of ways he could be blamed for the loss.
Smith was caught peeking in the backfield on a 63-yard play-action bomb to Randy Moss that gave the Patriots a 14-3 lead. After the Steelers rallied to cut the lead to four, 17-13, the Patriots picked on Smith again with a flea flicker that found Smith way out of position, 56 yards later the Patriots had nearly put the game away.
It was bad enough that Smith didn't make any real impact for the Steelers, but it seemed pretty clear that the Patriots actually designed their gameplan to take advantage of the second-year safety's overaggressiveness. Bill Belichick seemed to say as much after the game.
"We've played against a lot better safeties than him, I'll tell you," Belichick said. "The safety play at that position was pretty inviting."I'd love to say that hopefully this will be a lesson for Smith, who isn't nearly good enough yet to try to talk a big game, but he seems to be an unrepentant idiot.