Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 Game Notes: Week 15 vs. New England Patriots
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

It’s arguably the biggest game of the 2017 regular season as the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers host the New England Patriots.

New England Patriots (10-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (11-2)

History

  • Patriots head to the Steel City for the second straight year in this playoff rematch from a year ago.
  • Including playoffs, Patriots have won four straight meetings dating back to ’13 and last season posted a pair of victories: In Week 7 at Heinz Field, Patriots came away with 27-16 win…Three months later in the 2016 AFC Championship Game at Foxborough, New England rolled to a 36-17 triumph.
  • Including playoffs, Patriots 5-2 in last seven trips to Pittsburgh dating back to the ’01 AFC title game.

Patriots By The Numbers

  • Lost to Dolphins, 27-20, in Week 14.
  • 10-3 record in ’17 (14-2, won Super Bowl LI in ’16).
  • QB Tom Brady: 6-1 record as a starter, 2,273 passing yards, 22 TD, zero INT, sacked 10 times in seven games vs. Steelers dating back to ’07 (including playoffs).
  • Brady: Including playoffs, 139 TD passes, 31 INT in last 61 games (51-10) dating back to ‘14; four TD passes, two INT in first four games (2-2) in ’14.
  • Brady: 7,418 pass yards, 55 TD passes (25 to wide receivers, 18 to tight ends, 12 to running backs), eight INT in 25 regular season games dating back to ’16.
  • TE Rob Gronkowski: 75 TD rec., one rush TD in 99 regular season games dating back to ’10.
  • Allowed 13 offensive TD in last nine games (8-1); allowed 14 offensive TDs in first four games (2-2) in ’17.
  • Allowed 122 points in last nine games (8-1); allowed 128 points in first four games (2-2) in ’17.
  • Allowed 250 points in 13 games in ‘17 (allowed NFL-low 250 points in ’16).

Steelers By The Numbers

  • Defeated Ravens, 39-38, in Week 14.
  • 11-2 record, won AFC North in ’17 (11-5, won AFC North in ’16).
  • Won eight straight games, including four straight home games.
  • Allowed 198 points in 11 wins, 53 points in two losses in ’17.
  • 41 sacks, 17 takeaways in 13 games in ’17 (38 sacks, 23 takeaways in ’16; 48 sacks, 30 takeaways in ’15).
  • WR Antonio Brown: combined 580 receptions, 7,824 yards, 52 TD catches in 76 regular season games dating back to ’13; Brown: 100-plus receiving yards in four straight games; Brown: 39 rec., 627 yards, six TD in last four games.
  • RB Le’Veon Bell: Including playoffs, 616 touches (509 carries, 107 receptions), 3,135 yards from scrimmage (2,297 rushing, 838 receiving), 18 TD in last 21 games dating back to ‘16.

Things To Look For

It’s very hard to ignore Tom Brady’s recent history in this series. That 6-1 mark and those 22 TD passes opposed to zero interceptions makes this a daunting task for head coach Mike Tomlin and his staff. But there’s also another way to prevent the five-time Super Bowl champion quarterback from exploiting your defense and that’s keeping him off the field. So don’t be surprised if this proves to be a big outing for Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell, who was lost early in last year’s conference title game. It adds up to quite the clash between these AFC powerhouses.

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