Bill Belichick’s Patriots appear to be on a collision course with Mike Tomlin’s Steelers in yet another AFC Championship showdown. Both teams have future Hall of Fame quarterbacks and wildly successful head coaches, but Boomer Esiason believes there could be one major difference between the teams that could manifest itself on the field.
Boomer addressed the two teams during his weekly call with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday, speaking candidly about Mike Tomlin’s bold prediction that the Steelers will be facing the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game in January. While that appears to be the most likely scenario, you still have to get there.
Although he thought it was “a little ridiculous” for Tomlin to be looking so far ahead, Boomer doesn’t necessarily disagree that the Steelers can get to that point. But even if they do, he’s expecting a similar result to last year’s 36-17 AFC Championship romp by the Pats over the Steelers in Foxboro.
“[The Steelers] were a good team last year. They were obviously no match for the Patriots in the playoffs, and I think that they don’t really match up well against the Patriots,” Boomer said. “I don’t think it’s gonna get any better for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they face them in Week 15.”
Boomer explained what he believes is the biggest difference between the Patriots and Steelers. It’s that Pittsburgh celebrates individuals and looks way ahead to the point of appearing unfocused, while New England does their best to keep their eyes on the tasks in front of them.
“[The Steelers] are a really good football team that has really good football players, but at times are very individualistic,” said Boomer. “It’s not about celebrating touchdowns, it’s about winning football games. It’s big picture stuff. We’re here for one reason and one reason only, and that’s to win the Lombardi Trophy. We’re not about individual exploits – although everybody seems to have those up there in New England, but they aren’t celebrated on a weekly basis the way they are in Pittsburgh. Right there, you can see the biggest difference in both of these teams is the fact that one seems to be really buttoned up and focused on the task at hand … and the other one is obviously being led by a guy who isn’t afraid to look into the future.
“It’s really not the way you should be going about your business in the NFL, especially when you’re going up against the best coach in the history of the league and the best quarterback in the history of the league that obviously has a history of beating you in big spots.”