You could probably throw out the records and still get a hard-fought competitive game between the prideful Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. But the reality is both teams are 6-2 heading into their Week 10 matchup at Heinz Field. Simply put, the stakes couldn't be higher for their meeting on Sunday Night Football. The winner continues to control their destiny for the #1 overall seed in the AFC. The loser finds itself in plenty decent shape, but with undeniably a smaller margin of error moving forward.
Sunday night can't come soon enough.
In the meantime, take a look at some statistical trends, season stats, and player notes for both squads while we wait for the winners of five of the past nine Super Bowls to get their pivotal AFC showdown underway in Pittsburgh on Sunday evening.
- Have 21-6 (.778) record under head coach Mike Tomlin at Heinz Field.
- QB Ben Roethlisberger has 63-27 (.700) career record as starter, tied w/Jim McMahon for 3rd-best record for QB through 1st 90 starts since '70. Incl. playoffs, Roethlisberger has 9 TDs vs. 4 INTs & 88.5 passer rating vs. NE.
- At home in '10, RB Rashard Mendenhall averages 94.3 rush yards per game (283 total). Mendenhall (7) needs 1 rush TD to surpass career high of 7 in '09.
WR Hines Ward posted 83rd career TD last week, 2nd-most in Steelers history (Franco Harris, 100).
- WR Mike Wallace had career-high 110 receiving yards w/ 1 TD last week. Pit. is 9-0 when Wallace has TD...Defense allows league-low in points per game (15.4) & rush yards per game (58.3) this year.
- LB James Harrison had 2 sacks in last meeting vs. NE.
- LB LaMarr Woodley tied career-high w/ 2 sacks vs. Cin.
- Incl. postseason, NE has won 3 of past 4 vs. Steelers...
- Incl. playoffs, QB Tom Brady has 5-1 record vs. Pit. & has completed 143 of 212 passes (67.5 pct.) for 1,658 yards w/ 11 TDs vs. 3 INTs & 102.3 passer rating. Brady (239) needs 1 TD pass to surpass Pro Football HOFer Len Dawson (239) for 16th most passing TDs in NFL history.
- RB Ben Jarvus Green-Ellis has 6 rush TDs in past 6 games, incl. career-high 2 vs. Vikings in Week 8. NE has 9-1 record when Green-Ellis has rush TD.
- Since start of 2008, WR Wes Welker leads NFL w/ 278 catches. 12 of WR Deion Branch's 16 rec. since rejoining NE have been for 1st downs (75.0 pct.).
- Rookie TE Aaron Hernandez (4th round, No. 113) posted 1st 2 TD rec. of career last week. Leads rookie TEs w/ 34 catches.
- LB Jerod Mayo leads team w/ 96 tackles.
- KR-WR Brandon Tate ranks 2nd in AFC & 4th in NFL w/ 28.9 KR avg.