First, a word about the Patriots D, which has taken a monumental leap forward under the guidance of Defensive Coordinator, Bill Belichick.
That's right, Head Coach Belichick got sick of all his coordinators taking a walk on him so this year he took on the role for both the defensive and offensive sides of the ball.
You'd have to say the move has worked out pretty well, especially in the secondary where Arrington, McCourty, Butler, Chung and Merriweather have elevated their play to a lights out level of late which bodes well against any aerial attack that invades New England two weeks from this coming Sunday.
Upfront, Vince Wolfork has been dominating, and with Spikes back from suspension, the linebacking crew is whole again with Ninkovich, Mayo and the combination of Banta Cain and the athletic pass rusher Jermaine Cunningham, (out of Florida) wreaking havoc on opposing offenses.
So the Steelers, even with a solid offensive core will find stiff opposition from a Patriot defense on a roll and will have to counter with better than solid play on their own defensive side of the ball to keep pace with the hometown Pats.
Obviously, they'll look to limit big plays; that's the Steeler way, attack Brady to the greatest extent possible, but how will they keep up with the mad pace and variety of an offense that hasn't been held under 30 in nine weeks running?
In 2007, the Pats had a very different kind of offensive juggernaut that teams had started to limit toward the end of the season. In the biggest of games against the Giants, their vaunted offensive line broke down and Brady, looking at deeper routes than the quick strike Pats are running now got hit often.
The Steelers will have no choice but to press up and get physical with the Patriot receivers, especially Welker, just to have a chance to get off the field.
But with Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden thusly occupied, Steeler safeties Clark and Polamulu will have to contender with tight end, Rob Gronkowski, over the top and at the same time be in position to help out with speedster Ben Tate, who can break deep at any moment.
Throw in an improved running game with an effective Ben-Jarvus Green Ellis leading the way and you start to get an idea of why it's been almost entirely impossible to get a grip on Brady and company virtually the entire season long, and while the physical Steelers with weapons of their own and one of the leagues top overall defenses may stand the best chance of all AFC teams to do so, they won't.
New England 31 - Pittsburgh 17 and on to Super Bowl XLV where the Patriots may find themselves in another tussle with the late emerging Green Bay Packers, maybe the only group in the NFL with a defense as a whole and secondary in particular that can do something about limiting the Pat's attack.
But that's a story for another day, hope you enjoyed it,