Game Start: 12/17/17 @ 4:25pm
Patriots Record: 10-3
Steelers Record: 11-2
Vegas Spread/OU: Patriots -3, Total 53
What a huge game. The Patriots and the Steelers are pretty much facing off in a game that will decide the top seed in the AFC. It is going to be a great game. That said, I believe the Patriots will come out on top. Why? Simply put, because I trust both Brady and Bill in Pittsburgh.
It is not going to be an easy one, but I see the entire Patriots team bouncing back after such a poor loss to Miami just last week.
My prediction: Patriots 28, Steelers 24
3 Keys to a Patriots Win
Tom Brady and the Patriots were 0-11 on third down against Miami. Now they are playing a team that is better on third down on both offense and defense. So not only do the Patriots need to convert third downs this week, they will need to stop Pittsburgh third down attempts as well.
Red Zone Success:
The Steelers have one true weak point. That is touchdown scoring in the red zone. Sure they have Brown and Bell, who are both phenomenal players, but neither are red zone monsters. Brown is a smaller receiver and Bell is no smash it up the middle running back. Much like the third-down numbers, this is the story of both offense and defense. The Steelers are allowing touchdowns 58 percent of the time when defending the red zone. The Patriots need to capitalize in the red zone, both offensively and defensively.
Brady Back w/ Gronkowski:
These two have played great against the Steelers lately. Brady has amassed 2,273 yards, 22 touchdowns, and no interceptions all while completing 72 percent of his passes in the last 10 games vs. the Steelers. His teammate, Rob Gronkowski has faced-off against the black and gold five times. He has collected 30 catches for near 500 yards and eight touchdowns. Also note, Gronk has had two of his three career 3-touchdown games have been in this matchup.
Evan Singleton is a Managing Editor and Staff Writer for Full Press Coverage Sports Media.