Social media is a massive part of the world these days.
So, it's probably no surprise that social media found a way to be a big part of the week leading up to Sunday's AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium between the Patriots and Steelers.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown created a Facebook firestorm last Sunday night when he streamed Mike Tomlin's postgame comments after the team's win in Kansas City for all the world to see. It created a bit of controversy both in Pittsburgh and New England, the latter reacting to Tomlin's vulgar description of the Patriots.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes about Tomlin addressing the situation on Tuesday, saying his wide receiver was "selfish" and that Brown would be punished. The Post-Gazette also says the Steelers will need "vintage" Ben Roethlisberger to win on Sunday in New England.
The Boston Globe notes that Brown apologized for his Facebook Live mistake in a statement on Twitter on Tuesday night.
Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wonders what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is afraid of as he continues to avoid attending a game at Gillette. The Globe looks at the Steelers defense showing much improvement since the first time these teams met earlier this season. The Globe takes a statistical look at that idea that the Patriots show improvement after ugly performances such as last Saturday night's win over Houston. The Globe Patriots notebook has Nate Solder winning New England's Ed Block Courage Award. The Globe says it's appropriate that Pittsburgh and New England battle for a shot at the Super Bowl given the way the two franchises have won with regularity over the last decade and a half.
The Boston Herald proclaims that Matt Patricia's New England defense can quiet all its doubters on Sunday night. The Herald also notes that Goodell is seemingly afraid to come to Foxborough after the way Deflategate played out. The Herald *breaks down the Steelers road woes this season and how that might benefit the Patriots. The *Herald Patriots notebook has Chris Hogan talking about his health and enjoying life in the postseason. The Herald offers a key matchup for Sunday's battle – Solder vs. Steelers veteran edge player James Harrison.
The Providence Journal *says that Solder finds solace on the field as the left tackle's young son continues to fight cancer. The *ProJo notes that Hogan called his thigh injury against the Texans a "little setback."
ESPNBoston.com writes that everything is in synch for the Patriots trio of Rutgers-bred defensive backs. ESPNBoston.com notes that Brown admitted that his video was, "wrong to do." ESPNBoston.com has Tomlin expecting better headset communication than he's faced in the past in trips to Gillette. ESPNBoston.com tells the world why Alan Branch is the Patriots player everyone should be talking about heading into the battle with the Le'Veon Bell-led Steelers. The site also has Hogan downplaying the severity of his leg injury.
WEEI.com declares that a fast start from Tom Brady and the Patriots would doom the Steelers on Sunday night. WEEI.com writes the not-so-mature defense that the "Steelers are bigger cheaters than the Patriots." WEEI.com says that Goodell not showing up at Gillette is an embarrassment, the commissioner choosing to go to Atlanta for the second straight weekend. WEEI.com has Hogan "feeling good" and likely to play on Sunday against the Steelers. WEEI.com also passes along Fox Sports Radio with a trolling and borderline idiotic take wondering if Brady is playing for his job on Sunday.
CSNNE.com notes that the Patriots got a refresher on the NFL's social media rules thanks to Brown's issues in the digital world. CSNNE.com passes along former Giants pass rusher Michael Strahan picking the Steelers to upset the Patriots, a topic he knows a little something about. CSNNE.com writes that Patriots players don't seem to care if Goodell comes to Gillette.
NFL.com has Brown saying, "I'm sorry." NFL.com debates which of the remaining star players in the postseason are playing most like champs at this point, with no one picking a Patriots performer. NFL.com makes the MVP case for three of the remaining postseason quarterbacks. New England remains No. 1 in NFL.com's power rankings that grow more irrelevant by the day.
The New York Times writes that in terms of betting, the Patriots are as close as you can get to a sure thing.
TheUndefeated.com explains that the Patriots must stop Bell and the Steelers blitz to win on Sunday.