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BlitzburghRockCity
10-26-2011, 09:23 AM
The Steelers and New England Patriots will find themselves in a familiar spot Sunday at Heinz Field, playing each other with the AFC's No. 1 seed on the line, but does it really matter in the long run who wins?

Nearly inexplicably, the Steelers have risen from the shambles of a 35-7 opening loss at Baltimore and a .500 record after four games to the second-best record in the conference at 5-2. Typically, the Patriots are tops at 5-1.

And, while the Steelers may be 1-6 against quarterback Tom Brady, they have managed to get around the Patriots without having to go through them in the playoffs to win two Super Bowl titles since New England most recently won a Lombardi Trophy seven seasons ago. They finished second in the AFC to the Patriots last season after losing at home to them 39-26, yet they again reached the Super Bowl and New England did not.

In 2004, it did not matter that the once-beaten Steelers upset the unbeaten Patriots at home at mid-season because they then lost to them in the AFC title game at Heinz Field for the second time in four seasons.

So, while the game Sunday ultimately might determine the conference's top seed, there is no historical reason to believe it will determine much else.

"It's October!" coach Mike Tomlin said, fairly wincing Tuesday when asked about the importance of securing the inside track on a playoff seed at the halfway point of the season. "We are just trying to win week to week and keep pace with the elite and put ourselves in position to be considered in that conversation. Those things will sort themselves out. I truly believe that.

"We like to stay focused on things that are in our control, and that's our preparation and, ultimately, our play this week. When you start talking about playoff seedings and things of that nature, particularly at this point in the season, you are scoreboard watching. That's not going to be our bag.

"We are going to see enough quality teams over the rest of this season to deal with a lot of those things firsthand, and that is really how we prefer to look at it."
In truth, the following game at Heinz Field may be more important to the Steelers playoff fortunes than this one. That will be another showdown with Baltimore, which dropped to 4-2 after a stunning loss Monday night in Jacksonville, Fla.

Even Tomlin acknowledged that it is not the same when the Steelers face the Patriots as it is when they play their rivalry games against the Ravens, despite the fact New England denied them Super Bowl trips in the '01 and '04 seasons.

"Many of our guys were not a part of this history when it started, because you are talking about 2001 and 2004. So, it's not similar in that way. We play Baltimore twice a year, sometimes three times a year over the last three to five years. So it's different from that standpoint. I am not going to assume anything. I am going to educate our guys about this matchup and this football team because it is different in that way."

From the PG (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11299/1184982-66.stm#ixzz1btEgUjQI)

steelersbabex25
10-26-2011, 11:28 AM
I think the Steelers will make the playoffs regardless of whether they win or lose this game. However, I think if they manage to pull it out it has bigger implications for the post season.

Rampage
10-26-2011, 12:04 PM
This game is relatively meaningless in comparison to the next two or the previous three. It isn't a must win at this point thanks to the current streak and it does not have significant repercussions within the division. If they can win, excellent, it is another win, it proves they can beat a good team and it could help in playoff seeding if they make it. If they lose, oh well.

mwittman5
10-26-2011, 12:09 PM
Really the only must wins are the Ravens game and then the other 4 games against the browns and bengals. Those are the games you don't want to lose.

steelersbabex25
10-26-2011, 12:12 PM
Really the only must wins are the Ravens game and then the other 4 games against the browns and bengals. Those are the games you don't want to lose.

The must wins are every game after this game until we have the division clenched.

Deviouz1
10-26-2011, 12:17 PM
id rather lose this one and beat them in the playoffs. the last time we beat them in the reg season with Brady they demolished us in the afc champ game.

http://www.myfacewhen.net/uploads/20-do-not-want.jpg

steelersbabex25
10-26-2011, 12:18 PM
^ that picture made me :rofl:

coach
10-26-2011, 01:51 PM
Doesn't it partly depend on which Rats team shows up for the remainder of the year? They lose to the Jags:banana: and Titans:bunny:???

Of course, our last two games weren't great and the injury bug is catching up to the team.

steelers4life66
10-26-2011, 02:12 PM
id rather lose this one and beat them in the playoffs. the last time we beat them in the reg season with Brady they demolished us in the afc champ game.

http://www.myfacewhen.net/uploads/20-do-not-want.jpg

What the hell??? That dog see Vick??

Black@Gold Forever32
10-26-2011, 06:12 PM
This game isn't as important as the Ravens game or any division game but its still important.....I don't want the Steelers to drop another AFC game period.......

Goodfrom55
10-26-2011, 06:15 PM
Other than winning a pissing contest, doesn't prove much. Game that matters more is of course, next week vs the Ravens. Would like to win both games, but given the choice fo the 2, I would rather win next week.

steelspikes
10-27-2011, 12:11 PM
While not overly crucial, still, probably no team the Steelers (and their fans) would prefer to crush than bleepin' Pats and Lady Brady. Last year he sliced and diced us. I think Troy may have been out that game??? Anyway, enough is enough. Time to deliver Belicheat the beat down he deserves.

MattyVfromCT
10-27-2011, 01:18 PM
While not overly crucial, still, probably no team the Steelers (and their fans) would prefer to crush than bleepin' Pats and Lady Brady. Last year he sliced and diced us. I think Troy may have been out that game??? Anyway, enough is enough. Time to deliver Belicheat the beat down he deserves.

No, troy played but he got fooled on a ton of plays. He made so many wrong reads in that game it's not even funny but to be fair, the entire team played like garbage. Outplayed and outcoached in every phase. Hopefully we learned from that.

As far as the game, not too important BUT this is a team that's owned us so it would be nice to reverse the roles not to mention its a conference game and id much rather play them in pitt if we met in the playoffs than foxboro.....

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steelersbabex25
10-27-2011, 01:46 PM
Obviously we would all prefer to win, but if we do lose it's not the end of the world/the end of the season.

LatrobePA
10-27-2011, 02:34 PM
If we're gonna beat a team like GB, Saints in the SB this game means a TON!!

BlitzburghRockCity
10-27-2011, 06:28 PM
That's right, it's not the end of the season if we lose. However the fact that we've not yet beat a good team is enough incentive alone to make this game very important. If you can hang with and beat the Patriots, you can hang with anyone in the NFL. A win is a win is a win, just get it and don't worry about style points.

Although in this game I suspect there will be a lot of style points with these 2 offenses.

Deviouz1
10-27-2011, 07:57 PM
even if we lose, as long as we make a game of it and keep it close till the end ill be happy and it will say a lot about who the steelers are as a team. if we get mangled again i fear the playoffs hold nothing but misery.

Nolrog
10-27-2011, 08:44 PM
It will establish whether we are an elite team or not. If we beat them, we could certainly claim we are, and we'd have a ton of momentum going into the Baltimore game.

If they beat us, we could continue to question whether we belong in the upper eschelon of teams in the AFC. Not to mention the fact that it would greatly help in the quest for the #1 seed.

It's a big game.

BlitzburghRockCity
10-29-2011, 12:34 PM
I certainly want to win this game but as long as we don't get blown out I won't consider it a total failure. You don't want to put a silver lining on a loss most of the time because all that counts in the end is a "W". Even in a loss, if it's a close game and you give it all you count, you can say that you gave it your best shot and work from there. The Steelers know what they are capable of, and losing badly to this team is just not an option.

SteelDad
10-29-2011, 11:10 PM
Ask me this question Sunday night after the Ravens game. Then I will know EXACTLY where this team is and how big the Pats' game was.

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