Brady owns a 6-2 career record against the Steelers, though four of those meetings came prior to 2005, when Brady and the Patriots were still winning Super Bowls.
As hard as it is to believe, the Patriots haven’t won a Super Bowl since the 2004 season. Since then, the Steelers have won two Super Bowls and been to another.
But that wasn’t these Steelers, or these Patriots, for that matter.
While the Steelers’ issues during their 2-5 start have been well-documented – turnovers, sacks and lack thereof and allowing big plays on defense – the Patriots have found a way to overcome some of the same issues to win.
New England has allowed 23 sacks, is converting on 32 percent of its third downs, Brady has been intercepted six times and the Patriots have fumbled 11 times. But they’ve only lost three of those fumbles.
New England’s opponents have also lost 11 fumbles, but the Patriots have recovered six.
It adds up to a plus-7 for the Patriots in turnover margin, which will help you overcome some shortcomings.
By contrast, the Steelers have fumbled 10 times and lost seven. Their opponents have fumbled seven times and recovered one.
The Steelers are minus-9 in turnover margin, but much of that was built during the team’s 0-4 start. Pittsburgh has turned the ball over just three times in its past three games.
The Patriots have 10 interceptions this season, though four have been by corner Aqib Talib, and he’s questionable to play with a hip injury.
The Patriots are 7 ½-point favorites in this game and that seems like a big number for a team that has seen six of its eight games decided by a touchdown or less.
The Steelers will continue to take better care of the football, and it wouldn't surprise me if they won. But not having David DeCastro, who has been their best offensive linemen, available will hurt.
I expect them to lose yet another close one.
Take New England, 24-20