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Patriots vs. Steelers: The New England and Pittsburgh Rivarly Isn't Competitive

PITTSBURGH - NOVEMBER 14:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 14, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
Tony SantorsaSenior Writer IIOctober 26, 2011

Over the course of the recent decade, the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers have not only been two of the AFC's most dominant franchises, they've quite frankly been the two most dominant franchises in the entire NFL

In that decade, the Patriots and Steelers have combined for seven Super Bowl appearances while winning five of them, as well as meeting in the AFC Championship two times. The only other team that comes even close to being as dominant as the Patriots and Steelers are is the Indianapolis Colts, but they've only won one Super Bowl and lost more than a handful of playoff games. 

With that being said, New England and Pittsburgh don't have that much of a rivalry—granted, it's always a heated matchup when these two teams step onto the field, but it's been heavily dominated by one team: the New England Patriots. 

Ever since 2001, when the Patriots started their reign of dominance, the two teams have met eight times, with New England posting a phenomenal 6-2 record against the Steelers. To take that even further, in games in which Tom Brady starts at quarterback for the Patriots, New England is now an incredible 6-1—the lone loss dating back to 2004, when the Steelers ended New England's consecutive regular season winning streak of 21-straight games.

New England has certainly been the dominant team in this "rivarly," but more specifically, Brady has been the ultimate Pittsburgh Steeler-killer. He is Pittsburgh's kryptonite. 

In those six wins against Pittsburgh, Brady has thrown 14 touchdown passes while being picked off only one time—you cannot get much better than that. Most recently, in Brady's last four games against the Steelers, he's been an absolute machine, as he's completed 70.9 percent of his passes while averaging 8.79 yards per-attempt. 

All in all, Brady shows up to play when it's against Pittsburgh.

During last season's 39-26 dominance in New England's favor, No. 12 completed 30 of his 43 passes for 350 yards while tossing three touchdowns and not being intercepted or sacked once.

If Brady and New England's offense can produce a performance much like last season's against Pittsburgh's third-ranked defense, then we can only assume that New England will be in decent shape. 

From a Steelers point-of-view, more specifically from defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's eyes, the Steelers need to change whatever they've been doing defensively against Brady and the Patriots, as it's clearly not effective. 

 

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