Week 14 included seven upset losses, and these two teams got caught up in the net of surprises. Pittsburgh fell to the Oakland Raiders, while New England got shocked by the Miami Dolphins.
Steelers’ fans might not have been totally surprised. They know Ben Roethlisberger has yet to win a game in Oakland, but they might not have expected the Raiders to bounce back from a late Steelers score to retake the lead.
Likewise, Miami has a history of beating Tom Brady in Miami. But no one saw a last-second, three-lateral, and flopping tight end playing defense (kind of) miracle coming until it was too late.
New England put their hand’s team on the field in expectation of a Hail Mary pass from the Dolphins. That is why the last player with a chance of stopping Kenyan Drake before he crossed the goal line was none other than Rob Gronkowski.
While the Patriots’ loss might affect their psyche for a while, the Steelers’ loss could affect a whole lot more. After three straight losses, Pittsburgh finds itself clinging to a half-game lead over the Ravens for the AFC North title.
With three other 7-6 teams in the AFC, the Steeler might have to win the division to get into the playoffs.
Injuries and notes
Ben Roethlisberger sat out part of the second half with a rib injury. He will be limited in practice but says he will suit up against the Patriots. He hasn’t decided if he will try extra padding or not.
James Conner missed last week but could be back for this game. Pittsburgh’s woes against the Raiders started with their inability to get a running game going without Conner.
Backup tight end Dwayne Allen (knee) remains the only Patriot on their injury report, but you never know what names will be added when the mandatory reporting comes due on Friday.
Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin are secure in their positions, to say the least. Neither will feel any extra heat from ownership because of one bad loss. Each was quick to identify multiple issues that put their teams in a position to lose on a last-second score against teams they were double-digit favorites to beat.
Should Tomlin lose the remaining three games and miss the playoffs, there will be some consternation in Pittsburgh. But not enough for him to worry about being replaced.
How to watch the Steelers-Patriots game
Pittsburgh will host the NFL Game of the Week in the late time slot. With no competing Fox Sports game, the entire country, with the exception of the San Francisco market, can watch the game on TVs with expensive cable or satellite contracts.
But, if you are among the smartest NFL fans, you might have stopped paying the outrageous cost of cable and satellite to join the internet TV crowd. Internet TV providers like Sling TV, Fubo TV, and DirecTV Now carry all the local and national networks you need to follow your favorite NFL team all season.
When there is no game, you can watch your favorite shows or movies on dozens of other networks included in the low cost of a monthly subscription.
With no contract to lock you in and no expensive equipment to invest in, there is no reason not to make the switch to Fubo TV, Sling, or DirecTV Now.
Take advantage of a free trial to watch this game for free!
Who will win the Steeler-Patriots game?
Both of these quarterbacks are legends to their fans. What better legend story than the passer with his back to the wall and playing with a busted rib leading his team to victory against the GOAT?