Experts share their picks for the Patriots Week 15 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mike Reiss, ESPN:
Pick: Patriots 31, Steelers 24
This is a pride game for the Patriots after the embarrassing way they lost on the final play against the Dolphins. Bill Belichick said the team needs to play better situational football, and it starts with him. While the past is no guarantee for how things will unfold, the Patriots have been a good investor in "pride" games in recent years. This week, players have carried themselves with a noticeable edge.
Jeremy Fowler, ESPN
Pick: Patriots 30, Steelers 24
This might be the last time Ben Roethlisberger gets the Patriots at home. He'll throw for big yardage in a game the Steelers must have. But the defense is struggling to close games, the kicking situation is a mess and James Conner could miss another week, placing a spotlight on a running game that averaged 2.1 yards per carry in Oakland. Tom Brady has seven wins, 23 touchdowns and one interception against Pittsburgh since 2006. The edge belongs to the defending AFC champs.
Mike Golic, ESPN: Patriots
Mike Clay, ESPN: Steelers
Seth Wickersham, ESPN: Patriots
Mina Kimes, ESPN: Patriots
Dan Graziano, ESPN: Steelers
Trey Wingo, ESPN: Patriots
Molly Qerim, ESPN: Steelers
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports:
Pick: Patriots 31, Steelers 23
This is the game of the week, and both teams need it badly – the Pats for seeding and the Steelers to keep pushing for a division title. New England has owned the Steelers and Tom Brady has been sensational against them. With Ben Roethlisberger hurting, I think the Patriots will win another as Brady has a big day.
Jason La Canfora, CBS Sports: Patriots
Will Brinson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Dave Richard, CBS Sports: Patriots
Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports: Patriots
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com:
Pick: Steelers 28, Patriots 27
The Jesse James revenge game. You remember last year, when James' catch vs. New England late in the fourth quarter, initially ruled a touchdown, was overturned after review in the did-he-secure-the-catch-nebula. The controversy marred what was a Patriots-Steelers contest for the ages, or at least since Y2K -- and a game that helped New England secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Now Pittsburgh is merely trying to hold on to its postseason reservation. The Steelers were thought to be a sure thing a month ago. After dropping three straight games, including two on the road to lesser opponents, they're clinging to a half-game lead in the AFC North. If they lose this home match versus Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, they could be done. New Orleans pops up next on the Steelers' schedule, with it quite possible that the Colts and Dolphins pass them in that maelstrom for the AFC's sixth seed. Taking Pittsburgh over New England, solely because the Steelers are at home and in desperation mode. They can't fall behind early, though, because after last week, Brady and the Pats' defense won't be in any mood for blowing leads.
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 27, Steelers 17
The Steelers are getting the worst possible team at the worst possible time.
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk:
Pick: Patriots 20, Steelers 17
Both teams are reeling after disappointing losses on Sunday. I trust Bill Belichick more than Mike Tomlin to get his team back on track.
Paul Perillo, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 31, Steelers 27
Pittsburgh mistakes allow Brady, Belichick to continue mastery over Steelers.
Andy Hart, Patriots.com:
Pick: Steelers 28, Patriots 24
New England’s road issues and Pittsburgh’s pure desperation make this seemingly a rare tough spot against the Steelers.
Erik Scalavino, Patriots.com:
Pick: Patriots 29, Steelers 27
It’s been 25 years since both of these teams faced each other coming off a loss the previous week. Both teams are in must-win mode, as playoff seeds are at stake in this match. Pittsburgh might be the more desperate team, though, on the heels of a three-game losing streak. While New England has struggled on the road this season, they’ve historically been able to compete in the hostile atmosphere of Heinz Field. They do so again and escape with another close victory to maintain their No. 2 standing in the AFC playoffs.
Don Banks, Patriots.com NFL Columnist:
By the time the Steelers take the field before a restless and frustrated home crowd at Heinz Field, they should know if Baltimore won or lost at home against the Bucs and whether a victory is necessary to remain in first place in the AFC North. Pittsburgh is an embarrassing 3-11 against the Patriots in the Belichick-Brady era, and only 2-6 at home. New England will be motivated by the gut punch of last week’s unfathomable loss to Miami, and that figures to be bad news for a floundering Pittsburgh team that has again lost its way in 2018.