Both the Steelers and the Patriots need wins to solidify their playoff positions which means more drama in this rivalry.
Brady owns the Steelers
Looking at Tom Brady’s record vs the Steelers and it doesn’t even seem like this should be called a rivalry.
Brady loves playing the Steelers especially in Pittsburgh where he’s 6-2. If we dig deeper into the numbers, it really gets ugly for the Steelers.
Since 2007, Tom Brady has 23 touchdowns and only 1 interception while completing 70.8% of his passes.
He is 11-2 against the Steelers overall and more importantly, 3-0 in the playoffs.
There’s also the Gronk factor.
In 6 career games against the Steelers, Rob Gronkowski has 8 touchdowns.
He usually has his way with most teams but he always has a little something extra for the Steelers. In the last 2 weeks, tight ends have had big games against the Steelers defence which is something Gronk probably noticed.
He will be ready to go Sunday after his embarrassing missed tackle at the end of the Miracle in Miami.
That is what is staring the Pittsburgh Steelers in the face on the back of a 3 game losing streak. That’s the reason they find themselves as home underdogs against a Patriots team that comes off one of the worst losses of the Brady-Belichik era.
The Patriots have some really bad road losses this season yet they come in as favorites in this one. The recent history between these two has a lot to do with that.
Patriots have a few concerns of their own
Other than that last play in Miami, the Patriots secondary had a game to forget.
They couldn’t seem to tackle anybody and now they face Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith Schuster. That’s a very problematic scenario.
Obviously Bill Belichick is very aware of this and went as far as to single out how special Brown and Smith-Schuster are as a duo.
Last season the Pats got a taste of how talented JuJu has become as a wide receiver. He lit them up for 144 yards on 7 catches in that game.
This season he is 4th in the league in receiving yards while Antonio Brown has the most receiving touchdowns in the NFL.
This is not the game you want to have tackling issues.
Steelers health concerns
The Steelers have to had to rely on Stevan Ridley and Jaylen Samuels with James Conner out due to injury. It doesn’t appear he will play in this one either and that has to be a concern for the Steelers.
They can’t afford a 4th consecutive loss if they want to make the playoffs and regardless of how good your receivers are, you don’t want to go against a Belichick defense with a one dimensional offense.
Must win for both teams
Although the Steelers need this win more, the Patriots can’t afford a loss in this one. They trail the Chiefs for home field in the playoffs and with a loss and a Texans win, they would fall behind Houston for first-round bye.
This game will have drama no matter who comes out on top.
Another big game between the Steelers and Patriots will be fun as always.