A confluence of missed opportunities doomed the Steelers in an ugly loss.
The Steelers have no use for excuses because none of them would have made a difference against the Patriots
Many believed that the Patriots would design a game plan aimed at taking away Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell. The Patriots didn't have to.
As Usual, Steelers Slammed by Brady and Patriots When Season on the Line in 36-17 AFC Title Game Defeat
2001, 2004 and now you can add to the list 2016. Sunday's AFC Title Game between the Steelers and Patriots played like a broken record to most of the matchups between these two AFC foes, with Tom Brady picking apart a Steelers zone defense, and as usual a player from the Patriots making the most of an opportunity.
Roger Goodell kept Tom Brady off the field for the first four games of the season. Nothing was keeping Brady from finishing it, and giving himself a chance to accept another trophy from the NFL commissioner in two weeks.
The Steelers may not have had much margin for error anyway. But when they made mistakes, the Patriots quickly made them pay.
The Patriots have extended their lead over the Steelers, and they appear to have been fortunate to be able to kick a field goal. A Tom Brady sneak attempt for a first down appeared to include him losing the ball, and Steelers nose tackle Javon Hargrave came out of the pile with the ball.
Eight years before torching the Steelers in the AFC championship game, Chris Hogan was playing lacrosse in State College.
The Steelers have the name-brand talent on offense, but the star of the AFC Championship Game so far is a guy the Bills didn't want to keep this offseason. Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan has two touchdowns so far, and the Patriots have a 17-9 halftime lead.
The Steelers are making a bit of a run, and they're doing it without their best runner. Le'Veon Bell left the game early in the second quarter and hasn't returned, and the Steelers have announced he's questionable to return with a left groin injury.