It seems that these teams meet each and every year, in one way or another. New England comes into this game having thought they had a win over Miami, only to lose on a miracle lateral play in the final seconds. They are still at 9-4 and are close to clinching the AFC East. A win on the road in this one will also help them avoid having a losing road record (four losses away from Gillette already).
Pittsburgh comes in having lost three games in a row, and their lead over the Ravens in the AFC North has really slipped. They have to get things right this week, whether or not they have James Conner out there. No more excuses or pointing fingers.
Despite the shocking loss to Miami, New England still sits at 9-4 and is in prime position to host a playoff game. They likely won’t end up as the #1 seed this year but have to start putting wins together to stay ahead of Houston in their bid for a bye. With the #6 scoring offense in the league at 28 points per contest, these guys have done a good job of getting points. It also helps that Josh McDaniels opted to stick around, rather than go coach Indy as was planned.
Tom Brady has thrown for 3,700 yards and 23 touchdowns, to eight picks, while taking hardly more than one sack per game. He has continued to play well in his Age 41 campaign, showing he has a lot of tread left in his tires (reached 1,000 career rushing yards this season). Sony Michel is having a strong rookie season, while Josh Gordon has been a revelation. If they can pressure Ben, they will have a good chance.
Since narrowly defeating the Jaguars on Nov. 18, the Steelers have choked a game away against Denver, blown a 2-TD lead against the Chargers, and fallen to the lowly Raiders. Life is not good for them, and Ben has struggled in late situations, missing a few series with an injury against Oakland. James Conner will likely miss another week, and Samuels and Ridley are just not good enough to hold down the fort. They have been passing on 78% of plays.
They rank #16 in points allowed at 23.5 per game and will need to be strong to end this skid against the Patriots. They have not played well against the Pats in the last few seasons, and despite taking an eight-point lead to the fourth last year, lost by three as they were outscored 11-0 in that final frame. They need to play with a win or go-home mindset.
Patriots get back on track, send Pittsburgh to fourth straight loss
Yikes. The Steelers will drop to 7-6-1 with this loss, and if Baltimore can simultaneously knock off Tampa Bay, will take over as the leader of the AFC North.
Tom Brady will throw for 300 yards and three TD’s to power them to the W.
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