Event: New England Patriots (5-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) - NFL Regular Season, Week 8
Time/Date: Sunday, October 30 2011 - 4:15 p.m. EDT
Location: Heinz Field (Capacity: 65,000), Pittsburgh, PA.
Broadcast Info: Sunday's game between the Patriots and Steelers will be aired on CBS (channel 4) with Jim Nantz on play-by-play and Phill Sims providing color commentary.
On radio, the game can be heard on 98.5 FM, The Sports Hub. Gil Santos will join Gino Cappelletti to call all of the action.
Last Week: Coming off of Tom Brady's spectacular game-winning drive in Week 6, the Patriots enjoyed their bye week before getting back to work on preparing for the Steelers.
The Pittsburgh Steelers picked up a solid 32-20 win against the Arizona Cardinals, with Ben Roethlisberger connecting with Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown for big gains.
Players To Watch: For the Patriots, it will be all about who was able to benefit the most from the bye week. On defense, the expected return of Jerod Mayo should draw plenty of eyes. Lining up next to Brandon Spikes, Mayo could prove just the defensive anchor the Patriots need after a week of difficult personnel news.
Offensively, the man to keep an eye on will be Chad Ochocinco in what could be a make-or-break week for the wide receiver. He's had a week to get more familiar with the system, so if he still can't find the field for a significant number of snaps, then it's bad news for no. 85.
Storyline: In an AFC with surprisingly few standouts, this match between two top teams could play a big role down the line in the playoff picture. If the Patriots can pull off the victory, they will remain the only team in the AFC with only one loss with only a few more strong opponents left to face in the regular season. If Pittsburgh wins, than they can lay claim to still being one of the elite teams in the AFC despite some questionable performances to start the season. Each team has a chance to make a statement, the only question is which one will get the job done.
Game Preview: Tanya Fox has you covered with an in-depth look at the history of the matchup, including Tom Brady's domination of a typically staunch Steelers defense.
Prediction: The Steelers are arguably the toughest challenge the Patriots will have had to face so far this year, especially with a depleted secondary needing to hold down Ben Roethlisberger and his strong group of weapons. But Tom Brady has been picking apart the Steelers for years now, and this is a team that seems to be showing some signs of weakness these days. Tom Brady will keep the Pats above water as the defense bends, but doesn't quite break. Final Score: Patriots 31, Steelers 23