Bell likely has starring role in film class — PATRIOTS' NOTEBOOK

Bell likely has starring role in film class — PATRIOTS' NOTEBOOK

New England has won three of four, including the aforementioned AFC Title Games on their way to the Super Bowl in the 2001 and 2004 seasons. The Patriots and Steelers have the most balanced defenses of the four teams left in the Super Bowl hunt.

The New England Patriots got a break by not having to face Ben Roethlisberger during their regular-season win over the Steelers in October. No other AFC team has won more than one Super Bowl since the turn of the century.

Stats That: Head coach Bill Belichick has led his team to the Conference Championship Game 11 times, which is the most in the National Football League since the merger. The Patriots cruised over the Steelers 28-3.

"No, not yet, look at all the Super Bowls he has". "It's the championship game".

Add to that the fact he's averaging 146.5 yards over his last eight games and that Pittsburgh have only lost twice in the 16 games in which he's managed 100 yards or more on the ground and you can see what makes him such a weapon. "You kidding me?" Timmons said. They are the dragon. "They are the gold standard, if you will". The Patriots and Steelers remain balanced in the running and passing games on both offense and defense to keep their opponents off balance.

The Steelers are starting three rookies on defense in Sean Davis, Artie Burns and Javon Hargrave, and the trio's smooth transition over the second half of the season has been aided by Shazier's emerging presence. Tom Brady's 39; they got Ryan Gosling in the wings ... because Jimmy Garoppolo is the best backup in the league right now ...

Offensive Star: Running back Le'Veon Bell rushed for 170 yards last week in the Divisional Playoffs to follow up his 167-yard effort in the Wild Card round. As you get older and understand this league and how hard it is, how good teams are, how bad teams could be good the next year, and vice versa, you definitely appreciate the difficulty in playing this game, playing it for a long time and getting the opportunities to make the playoffs. "What is said or what is done off the football field it really doesn't matter". They have both shown the ability to stop the run and defend the pass exceptionally well.

The line has been set at 50.5pts but I think is right on the money. They trust that they're going to be prepared to play their best. "It's going to be a great game".

Even during this nine-game winning streak, the Steelers are still struggling to get consistent play from a No. 2 wide receiver. The Patriots beat the Texans, 34-16, in their divisional round game. "They're a tremendous offense", New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick told reporters during his conference call on Monday. If the Steelers' Killer B's can capitalize on their scoring chances, this has a chance to be a much closer game than many expect.In a classic misdirection, and despite all of the factors seemingly in Pittsburgh's favor, Bing doesn't advise picking against Tom Brady and home in the postseason. They practice every week to win and that consistency is what pushes them through the weeks leading to the big games.

For the Patriots, it's their - yawn - sixth consecutive appearance in this championship game, the fourth time since 2008 the game is played at their home stadium. Yet, he said, "At the end of the day we still have to put on our helmet and shoulder pads, and go out and execute a game plan. I just try to reiterate to the young guys now, just how precious this moment is". I think that we're growing by leaps and bounds week in and week out. They're more balanced, they're better.

-Coach Mike Tomlin said receiver Antonio Brown will be punished for putting a video of his postgame speech on Facebook Live after the playoff game against the Chiefs.

"I'm just thankful that I've stayed out of the line of fire", said Tomlin about the illness. He is extremely talented. Steelers guard David DeCastro is a great player, but he's going to have his work cut out for him keeping Brown away from Bell. He is respected, largely, in the locker room for those things. Of course, a huge reason for that is the fact that they only threw two interceptions all season.

"You're playing for your survival", McCourty said. "He's growing in terms of understanding what it is he's doing and how it fits in the bigger picture of what it is we're doing". "I've always loved the way he plays, very tough, hard-nosed".

"This is what we play for".



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