For only the third time in the Belichick/Brady Era, the New England Patriots will face the Pittsburgh Steelers for the right to play in the Super Bowl down in Houston Texas. The Patriots are playing in an NFL-record sixth straight AFC Championship Game.
The biggest challenge for New England will be to stop the Steelers vaunted rushing attack led by All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell, who is having one of the best postseasons ever for a running back.
If the Patriots can stop the run, the Steelers will turn into a one-dimensional ball club. Not saying that the Steelers cannot win a football game through the air, but when you have the running game clicking on all cylinders, they are a very dangerous team to stop. If the Patriots want to return to the Super Bowl, they must not have a repeat of how they played against the Houston Texans last Saturday Night.
Even though they defeated the Texans 34-16, Houston was capable of pulling off the upset until the second half of the football game arrived. The reason the Texans did leave Gillette Stadium with a victory, is because they do not have a viable option at the quarterback position to complement their no. 1 ranked defense.
The Steelers do have a legitimate option at the quarterback position in Ben Roethlisberger but will their defense be able to apply pressure on quarterback Tom Brady like the Texans did last Saturday? Probably not, but the Steelers must take advantage of the mistakes that the Patriots may provide them in this football game.
My prediction for this contest is that the Steelers will find a way to slow down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense, which will result in them making it to their eighth Super Bowl appearance in team history. The Patriots have had a relatively easy schedule this season and had not faced a quarterback on the level of Ben Roethlisberger this season.
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