The Patriots and Steelers remain on track for a conference-defining game in Pittsburgh in Week 15, likely the contest that will decide who has home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. But if you ask NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry, the Steelers aren’t as much of a threat to the Pats as they may appear.
Perry joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday to talk Patriots, as well as the Steelers’ comeback win over the Bengals on Monday Night Football. You could look at the game as the kind of win that could galvanize the Steelers moving forward, but Perry saw it as a continuation of the Steelers’ pattern of playing poorly on the road and putting up subpar performances against inferior opponents.
It’s also why the Patriots don’t have much to worry about with the Steelers in the future.
“This is a trend now for the Steelers. They play down to their opponents. They nearly lost at home to the Packers and Brett Hundley a couple of weeks ago. This has been an issue all year,” said Perry. “It’s been an issue going back a couple years now for the Steelers to play on the road. And I know the Patriots don’t necessarily have to concern themselves with that … but I think it makes that game [in Week 15] all the more important, because you want to make sure that you have home field advantage in the playoffs in case you ever see them again.
“I think it’s a [Steelers] team that’s not real smart. … I think Antonio Brown is a special, special talent, and that’s one area where I’d be really concerned if I were the Patriots. But outside of that, I don’t think there’s a whole lot about the Steelers that really bothers me or has me chewing my fingernails if I’m Bill Belichick.”
Perry also talked about Rob Gronkowski’s suspension and appeal, and his persistent problems with the way he is officiated during games. Listen above for the full interview!