The journey toward the Super Bowl is now well under way with the Pittsburgh Steelers back practicing at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, still informally referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility. With the regular season standing in their way on the path to a Lombardi, there will be questions for them to answer along the way.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions during the preseason and through training camp, but much of the answer-seeking ends in the regular season, and teams simply have to make do with what they have available to them. Still, there will always be questions for us.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the regular season and beyond as they develop, looking for the answers as we evaluate the makeup of the Steelers on their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Game Edition – Do the Steelers get the Patriot monkey off their back today?
Today’s question is a simple one, because all of the talking (or most of it anyway) is now in the past. We have been discussing the eventual matchup between the Steelers and the Patriots pretty much since the middle of the AFC Championship game last year, and now it’s time for the game to be played.
Will the Steelers prove that they can beat the Patriots? I mean, of course they can beat the Patriots. The Dolphins just beat them. They almost lost to the Buccaneers earlier this year, if only Tampa Bay’s kicker could, you know, make field goals. The Patriots can be beaten.
But will the Steelers beat them? It’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that they have lost four games in a row, five of the past six, and eight of the past 11 games since Ben Roethlisberger was drafted. Now Roethlisberger might have missed a couple of those games, but Tom Brady also missed one of the games the Steelers won.
While this is a big game, which very likely will determine who ends up as the number one seed in the AFC, it is not the game that the Steelers have to win. Even if they lose, they likely will have a bye week, and would only have to play on the road in the conference championship if the top seed wins its divisional game.
To put it as simply as possible, Steelers fans are craving for a win over the Patriots. They haven’t taken down their Goliath since 2011, having had four attempts to do so—again, one without Roethlisberger.
There seem to be many fans who don’t believe it’s possible for Pittsburgh to beat New England, because they simply know how to beat the Steelers by exploiting their weaknesses. Another loss would only reinforce that belief that they will always lose to Brady and Bill Belichick.