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|With time from the offensive line, Brady could have another big night.(Courtesy of NFL.com)|
The Game: Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots
The Place: Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Mass
The Time: 4:15pm
The Channel: CBS
The Skinny: On paper this is the toughest game left for the unbeaten Patriots. The Steelers are quietly having a very good season overall and possess one of the best defenses in the NFL. Pittsburgh is unbeaten this year but just 2-3 on the road, including losses to Denver and the woeful Jets. Ben Roethlisberger has rebounded from last year’s struggle and has 25 touchdown passes on the season. The Steelers are a dangerous teams because they possess many of the same qualities as the Ravens team who nearly beat the Pats last week: a power running game, good coaching and a smash mouth attitude. The Patriots are coming off two wins which may have felt like losses, as they were beaten thoroughly in the trenches against the Ravens and seem tired after three straight night games and a short week of practice. If the Pats can prevail, an undefeated regular season would be in reach with pretty smooth sailing until week 17.
3 Keys to the Game:
After the Colts game, Pittsburgh was always seen as the opponent with the best chance to unseat the Patriots. After two close games for the Pats, the Steelers are the sexy pick by pundits this week. I think if the Pats can get up early and force the Steelers away from the power running game, Asante Samuel and Rodney Harrison will be able to make a few big plays. In front of a raucous home crowd (including myself) and staring home-field advantage in the face, the Patriots will win the battle in the trenches and pull out a gutsy victory. Moss is due for a big game and this may be the week.
Patriots 34, Steelers 27