Tom Brady doesn't know why some people don't like the Patriots

Roger Goodell won't be in New England on Sunday

This flashback Friday article takes a look back at the previous four playoff games between the Steelers and Patriots.

But it isn't just the defense.

Defending the pass, both teams were marginal at best, which could give us some offensive fireworks in this one.

The New England Patriots are set to play in their sixth straight AFC Championship game Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots (15-2) defeated the Houston Texans in the Divisional round 34-16 despite not being at their best offensively.

Tom Brady passes the ball against the Houston Texans during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. on January 14, 2017.

This weekend, outside linebacker Bud Dupree will be the big threat, and they must be able to withstand that pressure.

This game is a battle between two great quarterbacks, but Brady's last two play-off appearances don't reflect that. The Patriots emerged victorious on both occasions, posting a 24-17 win as eight-point road underdogs in 2002, and following three years later with a lopsided 41-27 win as two-point road favorites. Sound familiar? The Chiefs just forced the Steelers into 6 field goals and an interception on 7 trips inside the 25-yard line last week. Two starters made the Pro Bowl, which is impressive but not mind-blowing (the Titans are among the teams that also had two Pro Bowl defenders).

Roethlisberger's presence is obviously a big factor as a two-time Super Bowl champion, and he remains the youngest signal-caller to ever win the big game.

And it requires us to believe that there won't be some mysteriously timed malfunctions in the headsets the Steelers coaches use to communicate.

Le'Veon Bell may be the best player left in these playoffs right now, but as we've seen, year after year after year after year after year, the Patriots are still the best team.

That's why I'm going with the Patriots to win it, but not by the six-point margin oddsmakers have them favored by. And that's why I'm going to pick this game under the assumption that it will be played fair and square and without Belichick finding a way to put his finger on the scale to try and tip it his way. For how good Brady has been in his career, it sure is impressive that he has been so much better than he typically is against the Steelers. If he is kept standing, he will have his way with the Steelers defense, but if he is running for his life it could be a long day on offense. "They're a good offense". Ironically, Tomlin and a select group of players also used the post-game motivational speech to emphasize the value of staying quiet on social media in the week before the upcoming AFC Championship game between the two teams, all the while being broadcast via wide receiver Antonio Brown's Facebook Live stream. So when it comes to having a winning tradition, these two teams are amongst the best to ever suit up in National Football League history. It wasn't Brady who would lead the Patriots to victory.

That tells me they are fairly ordinary without Gronkowski.



Other news