The Pittsburgh Steelers are 9-2, they’ve won six straight games, and they are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They also host the Patriots (9-2) on Dec. 17 and, if victorious, could potentially host New England in the AFC Championship.
That would be big for a team that has struggled against the Patriots, especially on the road.
“They should get past New England, quite honestly,” Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan host Jim Colony said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “There’s not a team that has the three guys (Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell). You talk about the Killer B’s and then you throw in (Chris) Boswell – I don’t think he’s missed a field goal at home this season. I know he missed an extra point last night, but you got (Martavis) Bryant, Boswell – I don’t know how many other Bs you want. But the real Killer B’s are Belichick and Brady, right?”
They are. That duo has won five Super Bowls, including two of the last three. The Steelers have been among the AFC elite for the last decade and beyond but have often come up short against the Pats. Pittsburgh beat Green Bay, 31-28, Sunday thanks to a game-winning 53-yard field goal from Boswell as time expired. Fans were happy with the win but also alarmed that Brett Hundley torched the Pittsburgh secondary for touchdown throws of 39, 54, and 55 yards.
“Everything that the Steelers do – and I think rightfully so – is predicated on the premise, ‘Well, they’re not going to be able to do that against the Patriots. If Brett Hundley did that against them, what’s Tom Brady going to do against them?’” Colony explained. “That’s kind of the mentality – not kind of, it is – that Pittsburgh fans have. And they probably should. Their division is no good.”
The Ravens (5-5) and Bengals (5-6) have been mediocre this season, and the Browns (0-11) are, well, the Browns. Pittsburgh ranks seventh in the league in total offense (367.0 yards per game) and 12th in scoring offense (23.5 points per game), but those numbers feel underwhelming given the Steelers’ overwhelming talent.
“I’m guilty of this too, but the Steelers players feel this way: They should score every time they get the ball,” Colony said. “In the NFL, that’s just not going to happen. But they figure with the offensive line that they have with the quarterback, with the best receiver, the best running back in the league – that they should score every time they have the ball. And they don’t. Players feel that way. The fans feel that probably times five.”
Still, fans have to be happy about six straight wins, not to mention Antonio Brown’s last two games: 20 catches for 313 yards and five touchdowns.
But it all goes back to the defense.
“Everything is pointed at that Patriots game, and everybody should be concerned about the Patriots,” Colony said. “The big plays have been a problem for the Steelers defense this year. But last night, it looked like in the second half that they had turned it around and they had come up with some stops. Then all of a sudden when they needed one more stop, they give up a long touchdown drive. But they got the ball back and gave Roethlisberger and Brown and Boswell just enough time to win the game. It’s kind of a schitzo team in a lot of ways.”
The Steelers play the Bengals in Cincinnati on Monday Night Football on Dec. 4, before returning home to host Baltimore on Dec. 10. Both games kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET.