BOSTON (CBS) — It’s time for the annual Patriots-Steelers late-season matchup.
It’s a sure sign that the regular season is winding down, and this one means a whole lot for both teams. The Patriots are looking to bounce back after last weekend’s embarrassing loss in Miami, while the Steelers are looking to bounce back after three straight weeks of embarrassing losses. The Patriots still have a shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC, while the Steelers are hanging on to their postseason lives.
It all makes for what should be another thrilling installment into this “rivalry,” though it’s been massively one-sided in favor of the Patriots. Will that trend continue on Sunday? The WBZ/CBS Boston sports team makes their predictions:
Steve Burton, WBZ-TV
The Patriots are excellent at putting wins and losses behind them. Even though Miami was a killer, it’s on to Pittsburgh.
The Patriots have won their last five games over the Steelers. Both teams are coming off losses and both are hoping to improve their spot in the playoff standings.
The Pats are a team that bounces back quickly.
Patriots 28, Steelers 21
Dan Roche, WBZ-TV
With three games left, it’s time for the Patriots to put together their best road game of the season. They claim that chemistry in the locker room has been great all year. We’ll get a good sense of that Sunday when we see how the Pats respond after last week’s stunner in Miami.
Brady plays well against Pittsburgh. If the Pats win out they’ll be in good shape for another AFC Championship Game run.
Patriots 30, Steelers 23
Levan Reid, WBZ-TV
It’s strange. The Pittsburgh Steelers have better players than the Dolphins, they have a better home crowd and a better record but I have no problem saying they are going to lose to the Pats this weekend.
For as much as people would like to call this a rivalry, it’s not. Tom Brady is 11-2 against the Steelers in his career and that includes 3-0 in the postseason.
Rob Gronkowski also has big games against Pittsburgh. He’s played against them 6 times and has 39 catches for 664 yards and 8 touchdowns.
The games are always close but the Pats always seem to win. And they will again on Sunday.
Patriots 27, Steelers 24
Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
Patriots. Steelers. I’ve seen this movie before. I know how it ends. Always.
You know how ridiculous Tom Brady always is against the Steelers. You know how Pittsburgh defenses always fail miserably when Rob Gronkowski is on the field. You know that the Steelers are in free-fall mode, spiraling out of control and playoff positioning. Every single thing in the universe is pointing to a big Patriots win. They need it, too, after last week.
Patriots 41, Steelers 24
Matthew Geagan, CBS Boston
We’re in for another grind-em-out rock fight in Pittsburgh. Something crazy will happen, because something crazy always happens when the Patriots play in Pittsburgh. Maybe it will be another Rob Gronkowski hat trick in the Steel City. Maybe it will be Tom Brady officially purchasing the city of Pittsburgh, since he basically owns it already. My money is on Stevan Ridley fumbling away what should be an easy touchdown run that will cost the Steelers a shot at making a comeback.
Know what else always happens when the Patriots play in Pittsburgh? The Patriots win.
Patriots 31, Steelers 24
Tune in to Sunday’s Patriots-Steelers game on WBZ-TV — the home of the New England Patriots! Coverage begins Friday night with Patriots All Access at 7 p.m., with pregame coverage kicking off Sunday at 11:30 a.m. with Patriots GameDay. Kickoff is set for 4:25 p.m., and after the game switch over to myTV38 for Patriots 5th Quarter!