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This coming Sunday the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers will face off for the AFC crown and the chance to move onto the Superbowl.This will not be an easy game for either teams defense. The Steelers must keep Tom Brady and the Patriots offense of the board while the Patriots defensive unit must contain the Steelers prolific combination of , Running back Le’veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown. In the Steelers first two playoff games Bell rushed for 167 yards against Miami and 170 against the Chiefs last week. Brown also put up exceptional numbers in the Steelers first two playoff games as against Miami he had 124 receiving yards and against Kansas City he finished with 108 receiving yards. Both these players have game changing speed and the Patriots defensive will have to contain them if they want to move on to the Superbowl. The Steelers defensive however also is facing a challenge as even without star tight end Rob Gronkowski the Patriots offense is still very dangerous.
Last week against the Houston Texans the Patriots showed how deep their offense is. Against the Texans who have a better defense than the Steelers Running back Dion Lewis put on a performance for the ages. Against the Texans Lewis became the first player in NFL history to score a rushing, receiving, and kick off return touchdowns in the same playoff game. This gave the Patriots something they didn’t have last year against the Broncos in the playoffs when Lewis was injured .. depth. Rather then having to rely on Tom Brady last week the Patriots were a threat in both the passing and running game. This was critical as not only were the Patriots missing Gronkowski but they were also missing rookie receiver Malcolm Mitchell who has become one of Brady’s favorite targets. If the Steelers are going to knock off the Patriots then they must pressure Brady and contain the speedy running back Dion Lewis and bruising running back Legarrette Blount.
This game figures to be a high scoring one as both these teams have prolific offenses led by two of the best quarterbacks in league in Tom Brady and the Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Both defenses will have to step up and make plays as this game could very well come down to a big defensive stand in the last minutes No matter what this will be an entertaining game and only one team can move on.
Written By: Jamie Gatlin