This Sunday, the New England Patriots travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers in what has become an exciting matchup over the past few years. The game will air on CBS at 4:25 on December 16th. Whether it’s the two very talented teams or the drama that surrounds the teams and the games they play, this game is almost always filled with excitement and heartbreak for one team. This year looks to be no different than others, as both teams are coming off of heartbreaking losses to teams that they should’ve beat. The Patriots, who traveled to Miami last week, had a mostly great game against the Dolphins, until a couple of missed field goals came back to bite them in the last few seconds of the game. The Dolphins ran away with a miracle win in Miami. The Steelers had an embarrassing loss to the Raiders, who haven’t done much winning this season. Their game came down to a field goal, but somehow the Steelers kicker, Chris Boswell, slipped on the turf and was unable to make the kick.
There is a lot on the line for both teams in this game, as the Patriots have yet to clinch their division, and the Steelers need a win to keep their postseason hopes alive. However, looking at the history of this matchup, the Patriots with Tom Brady are 11-2 against the Steelers, and look to make it 12-2.
Two of the leagues top offenses in yards per game will sure to be an exciting game, but one offense will be facing a much tougher defense than the other. The Steelers have a seventh ranked defense in yards allowed per game, while the Patriots are only ranked 22nd. Talent wise, most would say that the Steelers have more on the offensive side of the ball than the Patriots. With Antonio Brown, Juju Smith-Schuster, and Jesse James, it’s hard to argue against that. But the Steelers have gone without their star running back Le’veon Bell all season, and his replacement, James Conner, is questionable to play in this matchup as well. With one less weapon to focus on for Belichick’s defense, you’ll likely see double coverage on Brown throughout the game, while Stephon Gilmore does his best to lock down Smith-Schuster.
Both teams face a tough challenge in this important matchup, but only one can come out with the win. I believe the Patriots will take this one home, as the Steelers seem to be in the midst of a breakdown and the Patriots are still a serious playoff contender in the AFC.
Prediction: Patriots – 34, Steelers – 28