Patriots Vs. Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger Wins AFC Offensive Player Of The Week

The Steelers got the best of the Patriots in a matchup of two of the AFC's best teams.

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Ryan Clark Fined: NFL Docks Steelers Safety $10,000 For Rob Gronkowski Hit

The NFL has fined Steelers safety Ryan Clark $10,000 for a late, helmet-to-helmet hit he put on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski last Sunday, Oct. 30. Pittsburgh won, 25-17, and claimed the AFC North lead. As Behind the Steel Curtain points out, the fine brings Pittsburgh's total for the season to an astounding $142,500 through eight games.

The news isn't all bad for Pittsburgh, however. Offensive lineman Chris Kemoeatu did not receive a fine for the illegal hands to the face penalty he drew against the Patriots. BtSC's Neal Coolong takes issue with the NFL's inconsistent enforcement of fines when it pertains to personal fouls, as in Kemoeatu's case. Coolong explains:

It seems strange a hands-to-the-face penalty - which carries with it a charge of 15 yards in the game - merits a post-game fine as well. However, if it merited a $10,000 fine in Week 7, why isn't the same player called for it in Week 7 fined for doing it again in Week 8?

The NFL is as big a headache for its fans as it is for its players. Fortunately, the fans don't have to pay the fines as well.


LaMarr Woodley Named AFC Defensive Player Of The Month

LaMarr Woodley didn't make it all the way through the Steelers last game against the Patriots, but he did enough during the month of October to earn the AFC Defensive Player of the Month award, according to Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Month after recording 7.5 sacks in October. Woodley became the first player in Steelers history to register multiple sacks in four consecutive games. The fifth-year veteran also had 25 tackles and an interception in helping the Steelers to a 4-1 record in October.

Woodley started off the season somewhat slowly, but he really came on in October to show why he was given that big contract extension with the team earlier this year. Unfortunately, he injured his hamstring in that game against the Patriots and will be out this week against the Baltimore Ravens, at the very least.


Ben Roethlisberger Awarded AFC Offensive Player Of The Week

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been awarded the AFC Offensive Player Of The Week for his performance in Week 8 against the New England Patriots. It is the second time this year Roethlisberger has received the award.

Roethlisberger’s strong game was one of many he’s had recently.

Roethlisberger has 11 touchdowns and two interceptions in his past four games – all wins – as the Steelers currently have the best record in the AFC (6-2) after a questionable 2-2 start.

Roethlisberger has been the catalyst of the resurgence. With injuries stacking up on the defensive side of the ball, the Steelers offense has become more of a formidable unit than it started off, and has put together some impressive performances.

Roethlisberger threw for 365 yards against the Patriots, with two touchdowns and one interception. Four players – Heath Miller, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown – had at least 67 yards receiving.


LaMarr Woodley Injury: 'Don't Count Me Out Yet,' Says Steelers Linebacker

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who sacked New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady twice Sunday afternoon in the Steelers' 25-17 victory, is suffering from a hamstring injury which may keep him out of action until after the team's bye week, which is Nov. 20. But Woodley is confident he'll be able to return soon.

Tuesday afternoon, the five-year veteran posted a video message on Tout. "Everybody counting me out," Woodley said, lying on a table in the Steelers' training room. "Don't count me out yet. Big game on Sunday." The video is embedded below:

Pittsburgh will face the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, Nov. 6, in a battle for division supremacy. At 6-2, the Steelers have a slight edge on the 5-2 Ravens for the AFC North lead, but that'd change if they were to lose.

Woodley has started each of Pittsburgh's eight games this season. He's tallied nine sacks, which ranks him No. 3 in the NFL.


Steelers Vs. Patriots: LaMarr Woodley May Be Out 'A While' With Hamstring Injury

LaMarr Woodley was in the middle of terrorizing the Patriots on Sunday when he had to leave the game with what appeared to be a pretty serious injury. With one of their pass-rushing bookends (James Harrison) already out of the lineup, Woodley's presence is so important for the team moving forward. Unfortunately, it looks like Woodley may miss an extended period of time with a hamstring injury.

LaMarr Woodley's hamstring injury is "not good," team source says. Could be out a while. #steelers
Nov 01 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

After starting off the season kind of slow, Woodley was starting to live up to his contract and dominate opponents on a regular basis. His absence is going to be very problematic for the Steelers defense going forward.


Steelers Injury Update: James Farrior Could Miss Next Month With Calf Injury

Steeler Nation is rightfully euphoric today following the Steelers 25-17 win over the hated New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon. The Steelers finally figured out how to slow down Tom Brady and the Pats’ offense, and Ben Roethlisberger & Co. had their way with New England’s for the better part of 60 minutes in route to their fourth consecutive win.

Not all is joyous though in Steeler Country. On Monday, Ed Bouchette reported that LaMarr Woodley might miss the Steelers’ Week 9 rematch with the Baltimore Ravens and that James Farrior could miss up to a month recovering from a torn calf muscle that sidelined him on Sunday. As Bouchette notes, if James Harrison is not ready to return for the Ravens game, the Steelers starting quartet of linebackers would look nothing like what it did in Week 1 to start the season:

Introducing your possible starting group of linebackers vs. Baltimore next Sunday night, from left to right: Chris Carter, Stevenson Sylvester, Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons. Not one of them either in the lineup or in the position they were supposed to be in the lineup.

For more Steelers news and analysis, visit Behind the Steel Curtain.


Patriots Vs. Steelers: Offensive Linemen Pittsburgh's Unsung Heroes In Huge Victory Over New England

Despite allowing five sacks, the Steelers offensive line put together perhaps its best game of the season.


Patriots Vs. Steelers: Pittsburgh Defense Finally Outsmarts Tom Brady

Tight man coverage is the kryptonite to Tom Brady's Superman.


Patriots Vs. Steelers Final Score: Roethlisberger's 365 Yards And Two Touchdowns Lead Steelers To 25-17 Win

In a crazy ending to the game, Tom Brady had the ball knocked out of his hand on the Patriots last possession. Troy Polamalu knocked the ball towards the Patriots end zone while it was on the ground and Ziggy Hood recovered it out of bounds, resulting in a safety and the icing on a 25-17 Steelers win.

The Steelers finished with 428 total yards including 365 yards passing by Ben Roethlisberger to the Patriots 213 yards and only 190 passing. The Steelers dominated in every facet, all coming back to time of possession where the Steelers held an almost 20 minute edge. Best way to beat Tom Brady is to not let Brady touch the ball.

The Steelers improve to 6-2 on the season and the Patriots drop to 5-2 as both teams know they could possibly see each other in the playoffs as both are in the hunt for the AFC crown. It's the fourth straight win for the Steelers and the loss halts the Patriots' three-game winning streak.

For more on the game, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Steelers, visit Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the Patriots, visit Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.


Patriots Vs. Steelers Score Update: Patriots Close Gap To 23-17 On Brady TD Pass

The Patriots looked like they had finally scored with a pass to Rob Gronkowski, but he was marked at the one yard line. Kevin Faulk's catch would be denied by Ryan Clark on the following play before a final fourth down play would be broken up.

Fortunately for the Patriots, a holding call against the Steelers would give the Patriots a new set of downs and the first of those downs, Brady would toss a touchdown to Aaron Hernandez with 2:35 remaining in the game to make it 23-17 Steelers.

The explosive offense of the first half had grinded to a halt in the second as no drives by either team had resulted in touchdowns until Hernandez's score. Only the Steelers had produced two field goals, including a 23-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham with 11:30 remaining in the fourth quarter for a 23-10 lead.

The Patriots would punt on the following possession but a missed field goal by Suisham would leave the score at a stand still.


LaMarr Woodley Injury Update: Pittsburgh Steelers' Linebacker Questionable To Return With Hamstring Injury

On a day when he recorded multiple sacks in a game for the 16th time in his career, Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley is questionable to return after injuring his left hamstring in the second quarter.

He is now on the sidelines with his helmet off but there is no word on whether or not he will return. With the game not in jeopardy at the moment, it might be best for the Steelers to leave him out unless he is actually needed. The Steelers defense has held the explosive Patriots offense to a lackluster performance so far today so his production isn't as needed as it normally would be.

Woodley is one of the leaders among the defense and the linebacking core and was playing well prior to his injury as one of the many defenders tasked with getting to and frustrating Tom Brady.

The Steelers lead 23-10 with 6:10 remaining in the third quarter.

For more on the game, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Steelers, visit Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the Patriots, visit Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.


Patriots Vs. Steelers Score Update: Steelers Extend Lead To 20-10

The Steelers marched down the field yet again but were only able to come away with three points on a 21 yard Shaun Suisham field goal to make it 20-10 after having the ball for over seven minutes.

Ben Roethlisberger led the team down the field on 14 plays for 70 yards but stalled at the 2 yard line after an eight yard pass to Emmanuel Sanders got them there. Roethlisberger converted a 3rd and 15 from the New England 48 yard line on another pass to Sanders after a penalty negated another completion. Roethlisberger showed frustration with a non-call on the Steelers final third down attempt but the referees never threw a flag. A game that the Steelers have dominated is still only a 10 point cushion.

The Steelers now have 341 total yards to the Patriots 92, including 273 yards passing by Roethlisberger. The Steelers have had the ball for almost three times as many minutes as the Patriots.

For more on the game, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Steelers, visit Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the Patriots, visit Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.


Steelers Vs. Patriots Score Update: Steelers Lead At Half, 17-10

The Steelers lead the Patriots at halftime, 17-10 behind 216 yards and two touchdowns by Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers have 18 first downs, 261 total yards and almost 13 minutes more time of possession in the first half but only lead by seven against an explosive offense.

The Patriots should be breathing a sigh of relief that this game isn't already a blowout. Tom Brady has only managed 55 yards passing and the Patriots have only earned eight first downs. But with only a seven point deficit, anything is possible, especially in a season that has seen its fair share of comebacks throughout the lead.

The Patriots were able to tack on three more points toward the end of the first half on a 10 play, 52 yard drive that ended with a Steve Gostkowski 46 yard field goal. The big play of the drive was a 17 yard pass from Brady to Rob Gronkowski.

For more on the game, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Steelers, visit Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the Patriots, visit Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.


Patriots Vs. Steelers Score Update: Brady to Branch Answered by Roethlisberger to Brown, 17-10 Steelers

The Steelers had their first giveaway in 12 quarters when Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception to Gary Guyton at the Steelers 25 yard line to give the Patriots easy field position. Tom Brady capitalized on the field position with a two yard touchdown pass to Deion Branch to make it 10-7.

The Patriots got to the two after a six-yard run by Kevin Faulk. Brady extended his team record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass to 23.

The Steelers answered with a 10-play, 76-yard drive culminating in a seven-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown from Ben Roethlisberger to make it 17-7 with 2:41 remaining in the second quarter. Roethlisberger's 14 yard completion to Mike Wallace on second and 10 from the 27 put the Steelers at the 13 yard line. Another pass to Isaac Redman for five yards set up Brown's score.

The Steelers have scored on three of their four possessions of the game.

For more on the game, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Steelers, visit Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the Patriots, visit Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston.


Patriots Vs. Steelers Update: Shaun Suisham Gives Steelers 10-0 Lead After First Quarter

The Steelers scored on a 33-yard field goal by Shaun Suisham after a 16-play, 72-yard drive that took up another 7:47 off the clock to make it 10-0.

The Patriots were able to hold the Steelers to just a field goal after the Steelers reached the 9-yard line. Two incomplete passes by Roethlisberger were followed by a sack on Roethlisberger by Vince Wilfork for a loss of six yards, forcing the Steelers to put the three points on the board.

Roethlisberger added 53 more passing yards, including 21 yards to Mike Wallace. Roethlisberger did look gimpy on his injured foot at the end of the first quarter, but has returned.

The Steelers totaled 140 yards in the first quarter and held possession for a 13:36 while holding the Patriots to no first downs.

The Steelers look like a team with something to prove after the entire week was spent talking about what they were going to do to stop the Patriots instead what the Patriots were going to do to stop them.

For more on the game, visit this StoryStream. For more on the Steelers, visit Behind the Steel Curtain. For more on the Patriots, visit Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston 


Patriots Vs Steelers Score Update: Steelers March Downfield

Running back Mewelde Moore scored on a short pass at the 9:08 mark of the first quarter to make it 6-0 Steelers against the New England Patriots in Pittsburgh. Moore was to Roethlisberger's left and caught the pass before crossing the goal line, but was able to get into the end zone thanks to a block from Mike Wallace. The extra point was good to make 7-0.

The Steelers have scored on their opening drive in each of the past four weeks, with this one taking up 5:52 of game clock. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for 66 yards during the drive with 55 yards and four completions going to tight end Heath Miller. The Steelers converted five first downs against a Patriots team that has leaned heavily on its offense during the first six games of the season. The Steelers had to have seen something on tape in the Patriots defensive backfield for them to only run the ball twice with running back Rashard Mendenhall for two yards. If this continues, this game could turn into a shootout. Well, unless the Steelers are able to stop Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady's early season tear.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.


Week 8 NFL Scores: Ravens Hold Off Cardinals; Rams Beat Saints

The Baltimore Ravens snuck out a last-second win against the Arizona Cardinals fans on Sunday afternoon, scuttling the hopes and dreams of Steelers fans everywhere. Billy Cundiff kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired to seal a 30-27 win. The Ravens had been down 24-3 late in the second quarter, but got three Ray Rice rushing touchdowns in 13 minutes in the second half to come back.

In other NFL scores, the Rams picked up their first win of the season by upsetting the Saints, 31-21, with Steven Jackson rushing for 159 yards and two touchdowns. The Titans beat the woeful Colts, 27-10. Arian Foster had 112 yards rushing and a touchdown as the Texans knocked off the Jaguars, 24-14. The Vikings held off the Panthers, 24-21, despite three touchdowns and 290 yards passing by Cam Newton. And the Giants held off the winless Dolphins, 20-17.

For more on the Ravens, check out Baltimore Beat Down. SB Nation has a blog for every team.


Steelers Week 8 Injury Report: Ward, Farrior Out

News about the Pittsburgh Steelers' Week 8 injuries, and updates on two players' conditions below.


NFL Schedule, Week 9: Times And TV Info For Patriots Vs. Steelers, Cowboys Vs. Eagles, And More

The Patriots and Steelers face off at 4:15 PM at Heinz Field, and the game will be broadcast on CBS. Here’s a look at the rest of the NFL schedule for Week 8.

Of the early (1:00) games, the one that will hold the most interest for Steelers fans is the Cardinals vs. the Ravens in Baltimore, which will be broadcast on FOX. FOX also has the Vikings vs. the Panthers and the Saints vs. the Rams in the early slot. Meanwhile, CBS’s 1:00 games include Jaguars vs. Texans, Colts vs. Titans, and Dolphins vs. Giants.

At 4:05, FOX has Lions vs. Broncos and Redskins vs. Bills. At 4:15, CBS has two other AFC North games (Browns vs. 49ers and Bengals vs. Seahawks) in addition to the Patriots and Steelers.

The evening game features the Cowboys and Eagles (8:20, NBC). On Monday night, the Chargers play the Chiefs at 8:30 on ESPN.

The Packers, Falcons, Bears, Bucs, Jets and Raiders all have byes this week.

SB Nation has a blog for every team.


Steelers Vs. Patriots: Kickoff Time, TV Schedule, Radio Streaming And More

The Pittsburgh Steelers will try to extend their winning streak to four and claim sole possession of first place in the AFC when they host the New England Patriots at Heinz Field Sunday afternoon. The Patriots are favored by as many as 3 points despite Pittsburgh sporting one of the NFL's very best home field advantages since Mike Tomlin took over as head coach in 2007. The Steelers have won their past five at Heinz Field dating back to last year. 

Game Time / Date: Sunday, October 30th, 4:15 pm EST

TV Coverage: CBS, DirectTV Channel 712

TV Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms

Radio Schedule:  

  • NationalWestwood One Radio (Kevin Kugler, Mark Malone)
  • PittsburghWDVE-FM FM 102.5 ; WBGG AM 970
  • New England: 98.5 The Sports Hub

Satellite Radio Broadcast:SIRIUS: 91 (NE), 86 (Pit.).  XM: 230 (Pit.).


Steelers Odds: AccuScore And Mortty Ivy Tweet's AccuScore, the computer prediction machine designed to calculate the odds of NFL games from week to week, has predicted the Steelers as favorites in this Sunday's game against the Patriots. The Steelers, according to the machine, are 53 percent favorites when simulated the standard 10,000 times. The average margin of victory though was a paltry 0.7 points per simulation.

The edge in this prediction may be that the Steelers are at home, despite the fact that the Patriots own the better record (albeit by 0.5 games in the loss column), at 5-1, to the Steelers 5-2. But that subtle difference probably speaks to the 0.7 point differential in the prediction.

Also, this news just broke from practice squad linebacker Mortty Ivy, who tweeted that he will be playing in Sunday's game. Check back for updates on the injury status of the Pittsburgh linebacking corps and more updates and coverage of this weekend's big game.


Steelers Vs. Patriots Injuries: Hines Ward Questionable, Might Not Play

Here’s your Steelers injury news for Friday, in advance of their matchup against the New England Patriots this weekend. The big news is that, while on Thursday Hines Ward (ankle) looked set to play, there are now rumors that he’ll sit out.

According to a league source, it’s “highly unlikely” that Steelers WR Hines Ward will play Sunday against New England.

Yes, “a league source” is pretty nebulous, but Albert Breer’s reporting is usually reliable. Anyway, as Michael Bean writes, the Steelers have a ton of receiving talent, so if Ward needs to sit out a game, that shouldn’t have a huge impact on the Steelers’ chances. Emmanuel Sanders would probably start in his place.

Ward is listed as questionable after not practicing Friday, and linebacker James Farrior (calf) is questionable as well. Offensive lineman Doug Legursky, nose tackle Chris Hoke, and linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds are all out.

For more on the Steelers, check out Behind The Steel Curtain.


Steelers Vs. Patriots: Hines Ward Expected To Play Sunday Despite Ankle Injury

Two AFC squads with Super Bowl aspirations meet at Heinz Field on Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) host the New England Patriots (5-1). First place in the AFC is at stake, with the winner in great shape to make a run at a first round bye in the playoffs.

The Steelers hope to erase the memory of last year’s 39-26 home loss to New England on Sunday. They’ll have to play much better defensively than they did a year ago if they hope to win their fourth consecutive game. But Tom Brady and the Pats offense will get theirs, so to speak. You just can’t hold them down all game. Consequently, it will be up to Ben Roethlisberger and the offense to build off the momentum established in last Sunday’s win over Arizona.

The Steelers have an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver, so the possibility of Hines Ward not playing is not as scary to Steeler Nation as it might have been a year or two ago. Ward, who injured the ankle in the win over the Cardinals, missed his second consecutive day of practice this week on Thursday. But according to his teammates, Ward is still expected to play.

If Ward can’t go, Emmanuel Sanders will fill the void just fine. Sanders, the team’s third round draft pick out of SMU in 2010, had his best game of the season in Week 7, catching 5 passes for 46 yards and his first touchdown of the season. No one will ever block from the WR position as well as Ward, but Sanders is actually quite sound in that phase of the game for a man his size.

Hopefully Ward will feel healthy enough to play and contribute on Sunday, but even if he can’t go or is limited in his mobility, the Steelers still have Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Sanders and Heath Miller as viable weapons in the passing game. That’s more than enough to get after the Patriots’ inconsistent defense.


Week 8 NFL Predictions And Picks: Patriots Vs. Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will face a familiar and unpleasant foe in the New England Patriots this weekend, and even though the Steelers are at home, the Patriots are favored by as much as a field goal. Depending on which color shirt you wear, that's either outrageous or outrageously low. The Patriots have had a history of picking the Steelers apart, but maybe all those bad experiences will inspire the Steelers to come out and prove a point this weekend. But what do we know? Let's see how some other people across the Internet have picked this game.

First, the Sporting News, which picks the Patriots to win a shootout 38-34, meaning they would also cover.

Roethlisberger comes into the game sizzling, and for the Steelers to have a shot at beating Brady in a shootout, they must let him loose. The Patriots don't have the cornerbacks to handle all three of Pittsburgh’s young speedsters—Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. That should make for a fun, high-scoring game, but it's tough to go against a Bill Belichick-coached team coming off a bye.

Now the (potentially-biased) folks at NESN, who seem to think that the 2.5-point line is a joke.

I was really expecting an 8.5-point line for this one. That's partially due to the Patriots' bye week success, as mentioned earlier, partially due to the Patriots' dismantling of the Steelers last year, partially due to Gronkowski's three touchdowns in Pittsburgh last year and his motivation to shut everyone up about his porn star pictures this week, and partially due to the fact that I could not possibly feel any more foolish than if I picked Pittsburgh and then watched Brady pick apart that same defense he's been picking apart forever.

Nobody wants to take a chance on the team that is playing really well right now and gets three points at home? Seems like an interesting call to me, but then again, what do I know?


Week 8 NFL Lines And Odds: Patriots Vs. Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers are playing in arguably the NFL's game of the week on Sunday when they host the New England Patriots. It's a big matchup for both teams, and the winner will be able to make an argument as the best team in the AFC. For a different perspective on this matchup, let's check out what the oddsmakers have to say, starting with our partners over at OddsShark.

The Steelers look dangerous again after consecutive wins but they run into a Patriots team that has been dominant after its bye week in recent seasons.The Patriots have won and covered six in a row on the road after a bye and they are small favorites here in Steeltown.

The Patriots have certainly had their fair share of success against the Steelers in recent years, so even though they are giving points, it might not be such a bad play. Here are the complete odds via the SB Nation odds page powered by OddsShark

10/30/2011 New England -1½-111 -2½-120 -3-105
4:15 PM Pittsburgh 52o-105 52½o-110 52o-115

Steelers' Guard Chris Kemoeatu Fined $25,000

Pittsburgh Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu was slapped with two separate fines by the NFL totaling in $25,000 today for incidents in last weeks game against the Arizona Cardinals. Kemoeatu said he was fined $15,000 for a late hit and $10,000 for a hands-to-the face penalty.

Both penalties by Kemoeatu came on the Steelers second drive. The hands-to-the face penalty was thankfully offset by a defensive holding call, but the personal foul was a drive killing play. Kemoeatu was flagged for a personal foul on 2nd and 10, pushing the Steelers into 3rd and 18 after a 7-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Hines Ward. The Steelers failed to convert the third down and were forced to punt. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said that he has met with Kemoeatu and explained to him he has to cut those kinds of mental mistakes out.

Kemoeatu is the fourth Steelers lineman to be fined this season.

For more on the Pittsburgh Steelers check out SB Nation’s Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain and SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on the New England Patriots, visit Patriots blog Pats Pulpit.


Patriots Vs. Steelers Injury Report: Hines Ward Misses Practice With Ankle Injury

The Pittsburgh Steelers are getting ready for a premiere NFL match up in Week 8 hosting the New England Patriots. The Steelers do have some key injuries to look out for however, as linebacker James Harrison is still out with his eye injury. Veteran wide receiver Hines Ward also sat out practice today with an ankle injury, but Ward typically gets a veteran day off on Wednesdays.

Nose tackle Chris Hoke and offensive lineman Doug Legursky missed practice nursing a toe injury, as did linebacker Jason Worilds with a quad injury. Nose tackle Casey Hampton has missed the past three weeks, but is expected to be available against the Patriots.

On the Patriots side, the only player to completely miss practice was linebacker Dane Fletcher with a thumb injury. Six other players were limited in some capacity, including Albert Haynesworth (back), Sebastian Vollmer (back), Josh Barrett (thumb), Leigh Bodden (thumb), Ras-I Dowling (hip), Jerod Mayo (knee), and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe).

For more on the Pittsburgh Steelers check out SB Nation's Steelers blog Behind the Steel Curtain and SB Nation Pittsburgh. For more on the New England Patriots, visit Patriots blog Pats Pulpit.


Steelers Hope To Avoid History Repeating In Second Home Matchup With Patriots In As Many Years

Generally speaking, Steeler Nation is hard to satisfy. If the six-time Super Bowl champions aren’t blowing teams out, then they’re not living up to their potential. That’s after wins, mind you. And when the Steelers lose on any given Sunday? Well, the sky begins to fall quickly and panic begins to set in. And on those rare occasions when the black-and-gold gets blown out, like what happened in 2008 against the Philadelphia Eagles, last season against the Patriots, or in Week 1 against the Ravens this season, then it really gets ugly around the proverbial water cooler.

Steelers fans haven’t forgotten about the 39-26 thrashing Tom Brady and the Patriots administered to the Steelers last season. The final score made the game sound closer than it really was. But make no mistake about it, New England made Pittsburgh look silly on both sides of the ball for much of last year’s mid-season matchup. New England held a 23-3 lead in the fourth quarter before Pittsburgh scored three times in the final minutes to make the final score respectable.

Tom Brady finished with 350 yards passing and three touchdowns on 30-of-43 passing. Rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski was the primary beneficiary of Brady’s huge night. The sturdy tight end caught all three of Brady’s TD tosses and unequivocally abused the overmatched William Gay all evening.

Defensively, the Patriots sacked Ben Roethlisberger five times and intercepted him once. By the time Big Ben settled down, the score was out of reach and the Patriots had largely called off the dogs in terms of how they were attacking the Steelers’ offensive line.

Just to make a potential win this Sunday that much more gratifying, I’m providing a link to last year’s highlights. Take a gander and hope that we’re the ones dictating the tempo and enforcing our will on the Patriots this time around. God knows the Patriots did just that a year ago.


Steelers Vs. Patriots: NFL Week 8 Facts And Figures For AFC Heavyweights

By the end of Sunday's Week 8 matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, one of the two AFC squads will have extended its three-game winning streak to four and be in outstanding position to make a run towards a potential first round bye in the playoffs. The Steelers (5-2) and Patriots (5-1) are both winners of their past three, but despite playing well recently, Pittsburgh finds itself the early underdog to New England by as many as three points. Perhaps that's because the Patriots have fared so well against Pittsburgh in recent memory. The Pats have won three of the past four meetings, with the lone loss coming in 2008 when Tom Brady was sidelined with an injury. Brady has lost just once to Pittsburgh and has looked utterly unstoppable against Dick LeBeau's typically stingy defenses. 

Let's take a look at a few facts, figures and trends for both squads to begin our Week 8 coverage leading to Sunday afternoon's showdown at Heinz Field.


  • Aim for 5th consecutive win at Heinz Field.
  • QB Ben Roethlisberger (74-31, .705) seeks 75th regular-season win as starter. Has 114.4 passer rating at home in '11, 3rd-best in NFL (Aaron Rodgers , 129.4; Drew Brees, 124.4) & highest among AFC QBs. Roethlisberger has 10 TDs vs. 2 INTs & 94.6 passer rating in 5 regular-season games vs. NE. In past 3 games, Roethlisberger has 9 TDs vs. 1 INT & 117.1 passer rating.
  • RB Rashard Mendenhall has 9 rush TDs in past 10 home games..
  • WR Mike Wallace tied career-best with 2 TDs in only meeting vs. NE (11/14/10). Wallace has rec. of 40+ yards in 6 straight games, longest streak since Isaac Bruce in 2000. 
  • WR Antonio Brown had career-best in catches (7) & receiving yards (102) last week..
  • Defense allows NFL-low in passing yards per game (171.9) this season..
  • LB LaMarr Woodley aims for 3rd consecutive game with at least 2 sacks. Leads AFC w/ 7 sacks.
  • S Ryan Clark posted 1st INT of season last week.



  • With win, head coach Bill Belichick QB Tom Brady surpass HOFers Dan Marino & Don Shula of Miami for most wins (116) by QB-head coach duo in SB era (since '66)..
  • Incl. playoffs, Patriots have won 4 of past 5 vs. Pit.
  • Rank 1st in NFL w/ 474.5 yards per game in '11...Have totaled at least 30 pts in 13 of past 14 games.
  • Incl. postseason, QB Tom Brady has 6-1 record vs. Pit. & has 14 TDs vs. 3 INTs & 104.8 passer rating. Last game, Brady (277) surpassed Vinny Testaverde (275) for 8th-most TD passes in NFL history. 
  • Patriots are 18-1 (.947) when RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis has rush TD in game.
  • Since '07, WR Wes Welker averages NFL-best 7.2 catches per game (483 rec.). Has totaled 100+ rec. yards in 4 of 6 games this season (160, 217, 158, 124).
  • TE Rob Gronkowski had career-high 3 TD catches in last game vs. Pit. TEs Gronkowski (5) & Aaron Hernandez (3) have totaled 8 TD rec. in 1st 6 games of season.
  • CB Kyle Arrington leads team with 4 INTs.
  • DE Andre Carter had season-high 2 sacks last game    

Steelers Vs. Patriots: New England Heads To Heinz Field As Slight Favorite Over Pittsburgh

The Steelers and Patriots both carry three game winning streaks into their Week 8 marquee matchup at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon. Which of the two AFC powerhouses will keep their streak alive?

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As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

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Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

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You must be a member of SB Nation Pittsburgh to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Pittsburgh. You should read them.




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