Brady holds a 10-2 record against the Steelers, including a 3-0 record in the AFC Championship Game. The Patriots have averaged 36.5 points in their past four games against the Steelers, while Pittsburgh has averaged just 21.25 points per game.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler spoke with Steelers LB Ryan Shazier about chasing the Patriots in 2017.
Asked about fan perception that the Steelers have a 'Patriots problem' after losing four straight -- including a lopsided 36-17 loss in the AFC title game in January -- Shazier told ESPN "if you look at it that way, the NFL has a Patriots problem," and it's one his team intends to solve.
"They've been a great team, they have a great leader, and they just find a way to win," Shazier said. "They have a good strategy in what they want to do. But I feel we are going to be prepared for them this year. I feel we are going to get them when we need to get them. And at any day I feel we can win the Super Bowl. We might have had a problem in the past but I think we are going to be ready this time."
The Steelers claim that they will be changing their defense in 2017 by reducing their reliance on zone coverage and increasing their man coverage as a result of losing to the Patriots in the conference championship
As we wrote prior to the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots offense is perfectly constructed to destroy the Steelers zone defense because of how Brady orchestrates the route combinations at the line of scrimmage and how quickly the Patriots receivers can generate separation. The Patriots also pushed the tempo of the game and forced the Steelers to make quick decisions, of which Brady took immediate advantage.
Ultimately, Shazier is right. It’s not just the Steelers that have problems as every single team in the league has struggled to find a consistent answer to the New England Patriots. Unless the game takes place at Mile High Stadium, the Patriots are probably going to win.
The next team that finds the solution to the Patriots problem will be the very first.