Ben Roethislberger will face Tom Brady in the AFC title game. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)
The Patriots and Steelers will meet Sunday night at Gillette Stadium for a chance to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
The two teams faced off in Week 7 in Pittsburgh, but the Patriots came away with a 27-16 win. It should be noted the the Steelers had Landry Jones at quarterback as Ben Roetlisberger was out with a shoulder injury.
Here are WEEI.com’s predictions for the game.
Chris Price: Patriots 38, Steelers 28
The Pittsburgh front seven is really impressive, and if they can break tradition and throw a bit of a curveball at the Patriots by generating pressure from a few different spots than usual (namely up the middle), they could make things a little dicey for Tom Brady. But the combination of a deep passing attack and a steady and consistent running game will prove to be too much, especially when it comes to the back end of that Steelers’ defense. Antonio Brown goes 8-85-1, but New England is able to do a good job minimizing Le’Veon Bell.
Mike Petraglia: Patriots 34, Steelers 17
Patriots carve up the Steelers secondary. Tom Brady bounces back with three touchdowns.
Ryan Hannable: Patriots 24, Steelers 20
This game may not be as high-scoring as some may think. The defenses are not getting the credit they deserve, which is likely due to the lack of competition down the stretch for both teams. In the end, Tom Brady will lean on Julian Edelman and the Patriots will come away with a win that comes down to the final five minutes.
John Tomase: Patriots 31, Steelers 20
The Steelers do what they do defensively, and Tom Brady has an answer for all of it.
Scott McLaughlin: Patriots 27, Steelers 20
Patriots’ defensive game plan contains Le’Veon Bell while Steelers’ defense doesn’t have much of an answer for Tom Brady and company.
Ty Anderson: Patriots 38, Steelers 30
It’s tough to imagine Tom Brady looking as uncomfortable as he did against the Texans for the second week in a row. But it’s even tougher to imagine the Pittsburgh defense executing a similar gameplan. The three-headed monster of Ben-Bell-Brown will have their say and it’ll show, but I’ll take the Patriots to make that one big stop when they need it.
Alex Reimer: Patriots 31, Steelers 17
While the Patriots’ defense is untested against elite offenses, they won’t be facing one when the Steelers come to town Sunday. Ben Roethlisberger is a mediocre quarterback on the road and will struggle to put points up on the board. Tom Brady will carve up the Steelers’ defense, like he usually does, and lead the Patriots to their seventh Super Bowl since 2001.