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Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for Gillette Stadium environment in AFC Championship Game

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NFL Championship Game Odds and Trends Tomlin vs Belichick

"I think it's huge", Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey said of the matchup. Tomlin and Keith Butler scrapped the rotating outside linebacker mess once Bud Dupree got healthy and installed him as a starter on one side and James Harrison as the starter on the other.

- Earlier this week, Patriots offensive tackle Nate Solder and New England's training staff both received awards named after Ed Block, who served as the Baltimore Colts' head trainer from 1954 to 1977. But of course, preparation is only half the battle - they still need to execute well, something they did not do much of on Saturday. They've won both times.

The Pittsburgh Steelers (13-5) have not been to the Super Bowl since 2011, while the New England Patriots (15-2) have played in two of the past five and split them as they get ready for their sixth straight AFC Championship Game appearance Sunday as six-point home favorites.

He also was in Foxboro for the previous week's Divisional Playoff game against Baltimore, sitting in the stands as the Patriots beat the Ravens. "I've known about that whole faithful for a while now". On Sunday, Shazier will face Brady in the AFC Championship as the voices of their respective units.

Included in that gold standard by Roethlisberger is Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is playing as well as he ever has despite turning 39 in August. Big Ben is playing in his 4th (3-1). This is the latest opportunity to play in "the lion's den", he said.

If they Steelers are to go into Foxborough and slay the dragon, Big Ben needs his entire army at their best. The game will also be aired on the Patriots flagship radio station 98.5 The SportsHub with Bob Socci and Scott Zolak on the call, produced by Marc Cappello. Tom Brady has caused headaches for the Steelers in the past. "The hostile environment, crowd, weather, you never know".

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Don't get me wrong.

"I've got a lot of respect for him, obviously", Roethlisberger said. Every team tries to do it, and he still has the numbers he has because he's a great player.

The Patriots defeated the Steelers 27-16 during Week 7 of the regular season.

But Patriots special teams captain Matt Slater said it wouldn't provide any extra motivation.

This one will be just as good as the NFC championship game. But nobody behind the walls of Gillette Stadium would take any of the other options at QB, despite how good they may be. They're Pro Bowl selections, anchoring a line that allowed Roethlisberger to be sacked only once in Kansas City. The first three scores of the last meeting were all touchdowns, though, including the first two by the Patriots, as Boswell's first field goal did not come until there were two seconds left before halftime. "But at the end of the day, we completely give credit to great players and what they do". A couple that probably would have been touchdowns, we didn't make. "I think that's what it comes down to". Pittsburgh hasn't lost since Dupree recovered from surgery to fix a sports hernia. "It's the two best teams in the AFC".

"He makes a living on making plays, so we've got to limit some of those", Ryan said.

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