First off, I want to dispell the idea that the Steelers' offensive production in the 2nd half was anything but legitimate. Michaels and Collinsworth were saying it; I've heard it on the radio too that it was "garbage time". There's no such thing as garbage time against Bill Belichick. He's shown time and time again that he doesn't care what the situation is, he treats every play as if it's critical, whether he's losing by 3 or winning by 30. So yes, Ben and Wallace were shredding a Patriots D that was still playing like it mattered.
Secondly, I too see a silver lining. I'm actually fairly confident. Our offense played without Ward, or a significant part of our O-line. Our D played without Keisel, with a hurt Harrison, Timmons got hurt, and we played a very conservative D. I saw alot of 3 man rushes. LeBeau didn't have a full week to prepare. So I think LeBeau played it conservative to see how his guys matched up against the Pats, with an eye on a possible playoff rematch where he could have more time to prepare some exotic schemes. NE used alot of 2 tight end sets. IMO, as long as we don't do something stupid like put Gay on a TE, I'd rather they do that than use 3+ WRs. CB is our biggest weakness, and if they have less WRs on the field, that means less CBs we have to put out there.
I'd like to see something similar to what Cleveland did with their "amoeba" defense. I'd go with Hampton and Keisel on the line, with Harrison, Woodley, Timmons, Farrior, and Foote all on the field together. Put Ike and BMac man to man on their 2 WRs, with safety help over the top from at least Clark, and sometimes Troy. Move the front 7 around alot up to the moment the Pats snap the ball. Hampton and Keisel can do what they do, eat up blocks and stop the run. Foote and Farrior are good against the run. (This is just in case the Pats try to mix things up and run it against our 2 man line) Harrison and Woodley are great pass rushers (Woodley is practically a 4-3 DE, which adds even more versatility) and Timmons can do anything, even cover WRs.
So at any given time, you might have Timmons and Polamalu covering the TEs, Hampton, Keisel, Harrison, and Woodley rushing the passer, and Foote and Farrior dropping back into a short zone. Or maybe Troy will blitz, and one of the other guys will drop back in coverage, or maybe Timmons or Foote or Farrior will blitz, and one of the other guys will drop back in coverage. Maybe you'll have 2 guys coming from 1 side, or 1 guy coming from each side. Maybe someone you thought was blitzing will drop back in coverage. Maybe someone you thought was going to cover will come in on a blitz. I think this scheme could give Brady fits, because it's harder for him to read it at the line. I think you could see some pressure from this, and possibly some INTs. The thing about Brady is a QB hurry is as good as a sack, because if you surprise Brady by getting near him, he'll throw the ball away. A couple incomplete passes totally ruins the rhythm the Pats dink and dunk offense depends on.