NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (14-2) vs. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (11-5)
Sunday Jan. 22, 2017 at 6:40 pm. Gillette Stadium
The New England Patriots advanced to their record sixth straight AFC Championship Game. The Patriots have advanced in the postseason for six straight seasons (2001-2016) to tie Dallas (1991-1996) for the most consecutive seasons advancing in the postseason.
Bill Belichick will coach in his NFL-record 11th Conference Title Game, while Tom Brady will play in his NFL-record 11th Conference Title Game.
The Patriots and Steelers will square off for the second time in 2016 and for the fifth time in the postseason, including two previous AFC Championship Games. New England beat Pittsburgh in the 2001 and 2004 AFC Championship Games, both played in Pittsburgh. The Patriots traveled to Pittsburgh on Oct. 23 of this season and pulled out a 27-16 victory.
Overall, this week’s meeting will be 30th matchup. Pittsburgh leads the regular-season series with a 14-11 margin, while New England leads 3-1 in the postseason. The Patriots have won the last three meetings overall with win in the regular season in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
The teams played in the AFC Championship Game following the 2001 and 2004 seasons, with the Patriots winning both times en route to Super Bowl titles. The teams played in the divisional playoffs in 1996 and 1997. The Patriots beat Pittsburgh, 28-3, at Foxboro Stadium en route to their Super Bowl XXXI appearance. Pittsburgh beat the Patriots the following season, 7-6, at Three Rivers Stadium.
This week’s game will be Pittsburgh’s NFL-leading 16th AFC Championship game, while New England will appear in its 13th AFC Championship Game. Only Pittsburgh, San Francisco (15) and Dallas (14) have appeared in more conference title games that the Patriots.
Overall Record, 14-15
Home Record, 5-4
Gillette Stadium, 4-1
Foxboro Stadium, 1-3
Road Record, 9-11
Heinz Field, 5-2
Three Rivers Stadium, 4-9
Bill Belichick vs. Pittsburgh, 11-9 (9-3 with New England)
Mike Tomlin vs. New England, 2-5
PATS AND STEELERS AT THE TOP
The Patriots and Steelers are at the top of the NFL charts in several categories since the 1994 season.
TOTAL VICTORIES SINCE 1994 (Incl. Postseason)
New England Patriots, 281
Green Bay Packers, 256
Pittsburgh Steelers, 252
SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 4
Denver Broncos, 3
Baltimore Ravens, 2
Pittsburgh Steelers, 2
Green Bay Packers, 2
N.Y. Giants, 2
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 7
Pittsburgh Steelers, 4
Denver Broncos, 4
PLAYOFF VICTORIES SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 26
Pittsburgh Steelers, 20
Green Bay Packers, 20
DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS SINCE 1994
New England Patriots, 16
Green Bay Packers, 12
Pittsburgh Steelers, 12
TELEVISION: This week’s game will be broadcast by CBS and can be seen locally on WBZ-TV Channel 4 in Boston. Jim Nantz will handle play-by-play duties with Phil Simms as the color analyst. Tracy Wolfson will work the sidelines. The game will be produced by Lance Barrow and directed by Mike Arnold.
NATIONAL RADIO: This week’s game will be broadcast to a national audience on Westwood One. Kevin Harlan and Dan Fouts will call the game with Ross Tucker providing sideline analysis.
LOCAL RADIO: 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub, is the flagship station for the Patriots Radio Network. Play-by-play broadcaster Bob Socci will call the action along with former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak, who will provide color analysis. Produced by Marc Cappello.
PATRIOTS IN THE AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Patriots are 8-4 in the AFC Championship Game, including a 5-1 record at home and a 4-1 mark at Gillette Stadium.