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National perspective on Pats-Steelers

Reporters from various national media outlets were at Heinz Field for the Patriots' 25-17 loss to the Steelers.

Here are some of their articles:

1. Steelers took it personal. Don Banks of SI.com writes on how the Steelers proved they are still a contender, and how they toppled the Tom Brady-led Patriots for the first time since 2004. "I'm pretty sure some of our [young] guys have been watching TV and maybe reading some newspaper clippings about how the Patriots have had Pittsburgh's number for years, and they wanted to have an opportunity to change that around a little bit. And they did that today," linebacker LaMarr Woodley says. "You always take it a little personal when no one's giving you credit, and when they say somebody owns you.''

2. Patriots' D in focus. Alex Marvez of FoxSports.com focuses on the Patriots' defense, opining that if the problems are corrected the team could slip right out of the championship hunt. "For 13 seasons, [Dan] Marino and [Don] Shula fell short of winning a Super Bowl title largely because of porous Miami defenses. Unless a drastic turnaround is forthcoming, the 2011 Patriots are facing the same fate," Marvez writes.

3. AFC is wide open. Clark Judge of CBSSports.com writes on how the Steelers' win reshapes the AFC picture. "Tom Brady wasn't Tom Terrific, and their defense ran a clinic as to why it ranks dead last overall and against the pass. ... [Ben] Roethlisberger later said it was too soon to talk about delivering messages, but I disagree. This one was aimed not only at New England but the rest of the AFC," Judge writes.

4. Perception not reality with Steelers. Judy Battista of the New York Times notes the Steelers proved they aren't old, and how this stretch of games is key for both teams. "The Patriots, once seen as the A.F.C.’s best, now face a formidable test against the Giants next week. But things look brighter for the Steelers. This was the first half of a two-week cycle that figures to go a long way in determining their postseason prospects," Battista writes.

5. Setting up Patriots-Giants. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News wasn't in Pittsburgh, but he still previews Sunday's game between the Patriots and Giants. "[Tom] Brady has won 31 straight regular-season home games - the last one he lost was to Brett Favre and the Jets in [2006] - but if the Giants play like they did against the Dolphins, they are going to get blown out. Especially with the Patriots likely to be cranky after losing in Pittsburgh Sunday," Myers writes.