By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady may well be the greatest quarterback in the history of football. And a case could be made that he’s been at his absolute best when he’s playing against the Pittsburgh Steelers.READ MORE: Bill Belichick On Weather Conditions: 'That's Why We Practice In This [Bleep]!'
Historically, Brady has owned the Steelers. That’s been reflected in the Patriots’ record in those games (7-2 in the regular season, 2-0 in the playoffs) and in Brady’s individual statistics.
In those nine regular-season games, dating back to the 2001 AFC Championship Game, here’s what Brady’s done against the Steelers:
238-for-342 (69.6 percent)
114.2 passer rating
8.26 yards per attempt
And here’s how that looks when broken down on a per-game scale:
26-for-38 (69.6 percent)
The Steelers haven’t intercepted Brady since 2005. Since then, Brady has thrown 19 touchdowns vs. Pittsburgh.
Brady left the 2001 AFC Championship Game after taking a low hit from Lee Flowers. So, in the game-and-a-half that Brady has played in the postseason in Pittsburgh, here are his stats:
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Considering the game this weekend will be in Foxboro, let’s take it a step further and isolate just Brady’s games against Pittsburgh when the games are played in Foxboro. These are his stats from the Steelers’ visits in 2002, 2007, 2013 and 2015:
109-for-154 (70.8 percent)
1,413 yards (353 yards per game)
Suffice it to say, the Patriots’ quarterback is causing all sorts of consternation in the coaches’ offices in Pittsburgh right about now.
Of course, most of the damage Brady inflicted on the Steelers came when Dick LeBeau was in charge of the defense from 2004-14. LeBeau’s defenses were notorious for being unable to adapt to what Brady and the Patriots were doing, giving Brady a clear path for dominance all too often. The Steelers were the best team in the NFL in 2004, finishing with a 15-1 record and beating the Patriots by 14 points during the regular season. But when given a chance to face that same defense in the playoffs at Heinz Field, Brady worked an efficient 207-yard, two-touchdown performance in a 41-27 blowout victory for New England.
Since the Steelers parted ways with LeBeau following the 2014 season, though, the results have been much of the same for Pittsburgh. With Keith Butler in charge for the Steelers’ most recent two meetings with the Patriots (one in Pittsburgh, one in New England), Brady has gone 44-for-58 (75.9 percent), 510 yards, six touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Patriots have outscored the Steelers 55-37 and won both games.
In terms of passer rating, Brady’s 114.2 mark against Pittsburgh is the second-highest of any opponent in his career, though his 115.7 rating vs. the Atlanta Falcons came in just four games.
Obviously, when the game kicks off on Sunday evening at Gillette Stadium, Brady’s accomplishments from January 2002 through October 2016 won’t mean much. But there’s no doubt that history is favoring Brady rather strongly as the Patriots ready for the Steelers’ visit this weekend.MORE NEWS: Police Locate Car Involved In Somerville Hit And Run