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Key Stat: 28.3
Sure, I could have gone with 1-6 but anyone who has been watching ESPN has had that pounded into his or her head all week. The stat 28.3 is the margin between the New England Patriots’ top-ranked passing offense and their worst-ranked passing defense. As incredible as Tom Brady has been, his defense is giving up just about all of his hard work.
The Patriots again have the best record in the AFC, but there are more chinks in their armor than years past. Of course, there is the pass defense. In general, their games are a lot closer than we are used to.
The Patriots have definitely had the Pittsburgh Steelers’ number in years past, but with two such elite teams you would think the score has to be settled eventually. I think the Steelers pull the upset (weird calling a defending conference champ playing at home an upset victor), but it is not because the defense slows Brady any more than they have in the past.
No, this time Ben Roethlisberger and his talented receiving corps match Brady pass for pass, with a late touchdown to seal it. Look for a coming-out party from Mike Wallace.
Pick: Steelers 38-35