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Game Preview: Patriots at Steelers

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-3) vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-2)
Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017 at 4:25 p.m. ET. Heinz Field (68,400)

The New England Patriots will make their final regular season road trip, and the last of three straight road games, when they travel this week to face Pittsburgh.

The Patriots will travel to Pittsburgh for the second straight year for a regular season game. Last season, the Patriots beat Pittsburgh, 27-16, at Heinz Field on Oct. 23, 2016, and then beat the Steelers for a second time with a 36-17 win at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 22, 2017, in the AFC Championship Game.

QB Tom Brady owns a 7-2 regular season record against the Steelers, and he is 3-0 against Pittsburgh in the postseason.

CHAMPIONSHIP DRIVEN

If the Patriots claim a victory at Pittsburgh, they will clinch the 20th division championship in franchise history, including their ninth straight. It would be the 17th division title since Robert Kraft purchased the Patriots in 1994. The Patriots have the most division titles of any team since the 1994 season with 16.

DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 16
Pittsburgh Steelers, 13
Green Bay Packers, 12
Indianapolis Colts, 10

SERIES HISTORY

The Patriots will travel to Pittsburgh for the second straight season for a regular season game. Last season, the Patriots beat Pittsburgh, 27-16, at Heinz Field on Oct. 23, 2016, and then beat the Steelers for a second time with a 36-17 win at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 22, 2017, in the AFC Championship Game.

This week's matchup will be the 31st meeting overall and the third straight year the two teams will play in the regular season. Pittsburgh leads the regular season series by a 14-11 margin, while New England leads 4-1 in the postseason. The Patriots have won the last four meetings overall with wins in the regular season in 2013, 2015 and 2016 and the 2016 AFC Championship Game.

The teams played in the AFC Championship Game during the 2001, 2004 and 2016 playoffs, with the Patriots winning each time, en route to Super Bowl titles. The teams played in the divisional playoffs in 1996 and 1997. The Patriots beat Pittsburgh, 28-3, at Foxboro Stadium en route to their Super Bowl XXXI appearance. Pittsburgh beat the Patriots the following season, 7-6, at Three Rivers Stadium.

The Patriots are 7-10 all-time in the regular season in games played in Pittsburgh, but they are 3-2 all-time in the regular season at Heinz Field since it opened in 2001.

QUICK HITS

(INCLUDES POSTSEASON)

Overall Record, 15-15

Home Record, 6-4

  • Gillette Stadium, 5-1
  • Foxboro Stadium, 1-3

Road Record, 9-11

  • Heinz Field, 5-2
  • Three Rivers Stadium, 4-9

Bill Belichick vs. Pittsburgh, 12-9 (10-3 with New England)

Mike Tomlin vs. New England, 2-6

Tale of the Tape

2017 Regular SeasonNew EnglandPittsburgh
Record10-311-2
Divisional Standings1st1st
Total Yards Gained5,2064,956
Total Offense (Rank)400.5 (2)381.2 (4)
Rush Offense113.2 (15)99.7 (23)
Pass Offense287.2 (1)281.5 (2)
Points Per Game28.3 (4)24.6 (8)
Touchdowns Scored3932
Third Down Conversion Pct.41.942.1
Team Passer Rating15.491.4
Total Yards Allowed4,8703,949
Total Defense (Rank) 374.6 (29)303.8 (6)
Rush Defense253.9 (29)200.8 (4)
Points Allowed/Game19.2 (5t)19.3 (7)
Touchdowns Allowed2929
Third Down Defense (Pct.)39.336.2
Field Goals Made/Attempted31/3426/28
Possession Avg.30:3931:59
Sacks Allowed/Yards Lost29/16819/128
Sacks Made/Yards30/22441/294
Passing TD/Int. (Off.)27/624/13
 Passing TD/Int. (Def.) 22/1116/13
Penalties Against/Yards87/77288/794
Punts/Avg.47/40.053/43.5
Takeaway/Giveaway Ratio+7 (6t)0 (17)

PASSING PERFORMANCES

Tom Brady has played against Pittsburgh nine times in the regular-season and three times in the postseason. He owns a 7-2 regular season record and a 3-0 postseason record after three AFC Championship wins against Pittsburgh during the 2001, 2004 and 2016 playoffs.

PATS AND STEELERS AT THE TOP

The Patriots and Steelers are at the top of the NFL charts in several categories since the 1994 season.

TOTAL VICTORIES SINCE 1994 (Incl. Postseason)
New England Patriots, 293
Pittsburgh Steelers, 263
Green Bay Packers, 263

SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 5
Denver Broncos, 3
Baltimore Ravens, 2
Pittsburgh Steelers, 2
Green Bay Packers, 2
N.Y. Giants, 2

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 8
Pittsburgh Steelers, 4
Denver Broncos, 4

PLAYOFF VICTORIES SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 28
Pittsburgh Steelers, 20
Green Bay Packers, 20

DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 16
Pittsburgh Steelers, 13
Green Bay Packers, 12

BROADCAST INFORMATION

TELEVISION:This week's game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4 in Boston. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties with Tony Romo as the color analyst. *Tracy Wolfson will work the sidelines. The game will be produced by* Jm Rikhoff* and directed by Mike Arnold.

NATIONAL RADIO:This week's game will be broadcast to a national audience by ESPN Radio. Adam Amin and Bill Polian will call the game. Sal Paolantonio will work the sidelines.

RADIO:98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. A complete listing of the network's 40 stations can be found here. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. The games are produced by Marc Cappello.

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