The Pittsburgh Steelers have been the best franchise in the NFL since 2005. They have won more playoff games then any other team, won more Super Bowls, and have more Super Bowl appearances then any other team in that span.
The Steelers are the defending AFC Champions. They lost the Super Bowl to the Green Bay Packers by less than a touchdown. One game-winning drive away from the franchise's seventh Super Bowl.
They have a quarterback that has won two Super Bowl's and is looking the best he's ever had in his career at only 29 years old. They are loaded at the skill positions on offense, and still have all 11 returning starters form the reigning best defense in the league.
The Steelers should be considered the favorites in the AFC. They are certainly a Super Bowl contender and they're the defending conference champs. "To be the man you've got to beat the man"—Ric Flair.
That being said, the Steelers have never beaten Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the playoffs. Brady is 2-0 against the Steelers in the playoffs, and 6-1 against the Steelers for his career. His performance in those seven games comes to 173 completions in 256 attempt for 2,008 yards, 14 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and a passer rating over 100. Dominance.
Brady's Patriots only loss came in a 2004 regular season, which was Roethlisberger's rookie year. The Steelers won a lop-sided game and forced Brady to throw two interceptions, including a pick-six.
However, that game was a regular season game. The teams met again in the AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh, and the Patriots smoked them and went on to win the Super Bowl. The next year, the Patriots came to Heinz Field and beat them again, this time with a game-winning field goal.
The Steelers did beat the Patriots in 2008, but Brady didn't play. The game wasn't even close.
Last year, the Patriots came to Heinz Field and absolutely dominated the Steelers. Brady had three touchdown passes and zero picks. The Steelers scored most of their points in garbage time when the game was already out of reach.
The Patriots and Steelers both received a bye in the playoffs. The Steeleres advanced after defeating Baltimore but the Patriots lost to the New York Jets at home, in an upset.
Worked out great for the Steelers because they defeated the Jets and advanced to the Super Bowl.
But what if the Patriots would have defeated the Jets? Would the Steelers have been able to beat the Patriots, in Foxboro, in the AFC Championship game? Logic says no, and so does history.
The NFL and sports in general are all about match-ups. The Jets match-up well with the Patriots, so do the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers match-up well with the Ravens and Jets.
Some would say the Steelers are lucky the Jets beat the Patriots. I'm confident that they are right.
Brady and the Patriots own the Steelers, just like Roethlisberger and the Steelers own the Ravens.
The Steelers are Super Bowl contenders this year, so are the Patriots. Will the Steelers be so lucky by avoiding the Patriots in the postseason, assuming both teams make it? Can the Steelers beat the Patriots in the playoffs?
The Patriots are coming to Heinz Field on October 30. Will the result be any different? As a Steelers fan and follower, I would be shocked to see the Steelers win that game.
The Steelers have made it to three Super Bowls in the last six yeas. The Steelers didn't have to face the Patriots in any of those three playoffs. If the Steelers beat the Patriots in the playoffs and win a Super Bowl, it might feel a little more special.
If the Steelers win another Super Bowl while avoiding the Patriots, the critics and Patriot fans will still be able to say "Well, they didn't have to play us."
The Steelers have accomplished almost all of its goals. In 2005, they finally got over that "one for the thumb" hump. Now they have to get over another hump. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
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