PITTSBURGH - Mid-week commentary on the news:
The New England Patriots visit the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday at 4:15.
This is as good as it gets in the NFL: Two successful teams, loaded with big-name players, having a showdown.
This game won't define the Steelers' season, but it will give them a pretty good idea of where they stand.
Coach Mike Tomlin suggested that his team may be able to match the Patriots' offensive firepower. He might be right.
The Steelers have three receivers who are young, fast and committed to getting better. They also have a quarterback who can get them the ball and likes to take chances downfield.
The Patriots' defense isn't that impressive.
The Steelers have intercepted just two passes in their first seven games.
It says here they have to match that total to beat the Patriots this week.
Turnovers are the key to most games, and the Steelers have to start generating them.
Pick off a couple of Tom Brady passes, and they have a chance to knock off the Patriots.
Allow Brady to possess the ball, and it looks like a good day for the Patriots.
Whatever the case, it should be a fun afternoon at Heinz Field.
It is apparent that defensive end Aaron Smith's distinguished career with the Steelers has come to an end.
Smith has a neck injury that will require surgery. Doctors have told him there's a risk if he tries to play again.
This is the third time in four years that Smith's season has ended early because of injury.
His body is telling him it's time to go.
There's no reason to be sad. He gave it everything he had, and earned the respect of teammates and opponents alike.
The baseball season is almost over.
The World Series is wrapping up just before November arrives.
The wild card races have created more interest, but they've also added a layer of playoffs that makes the postseason drag.
The two teams that are still playing reported for spring training in February.
The World Series has gone from something special to an afterthought for a lot of fans.
Mehno can be reached at email@example.com.