Confident or just plain dumb. Those seem to be the options today for Steelers safety Anthony Smith, who Wednesday in the Steelers locker room declared that his 9-3 Steelers would go on the road and defeat the perfect 12-0 Patriots. “We’re going to win,” Smith said. “Yeah, I can guarantee a win. As long as we come out and do what we got to do. Both sides of the ball are rolling, and if our special teams come through for us, we’ve got a good chance to win.” Despite Smith being a young player and one that many might not know around the league, making a statement such as declaring a win before it happens usually opens the door for bad things to happen.
Of course the Steelers feel they have something to prove Sunday vs the Pats, as they do boast the leagues number one defense, as well as a defense that has allowed the fewest amount of points in the league entering Sundays game. The Black and Gold has lost five of six to the Pats, with the only win being on Halloween back in 2004 when the team snapped New England’s 21-game winning streak. Since then, the Pats have beaten the Steelers in the 2004 AFC Title game in Pittsburgh, and the following year in the Steel city 23-20 in the year where the Steelers eventually won the Super Bowl.
Back to the present, most of the Steelers are trying to lie low about beating or even hanging with New England, who as of Thursday were 14-point home favorites. The Pats have played down the level of their opponents the last two weeks and Monday night in Baltimore escaped with the win that it appeared they should not have had. Nevertheless, at 12-0 the team is doing a lot more right than wrong, and the Steelers are going to have to play just about as close to perfect as they can to pull off what would be considered an upset.
“I think a lot of us in here feel like this is one of those games where we really don’t have that much to lose,” Steelers DE Brett Keisel said. “If we win the game, well, we weren’t supposed to win, and if we lose the game, we were supposed to lose. They’re this big, great team that no one can touch.” Yes, the Pats can be had, but if the Steelers keep running their mouths I would gander that New England is going to have even more of a chip on their shoulders to come out and play well more than they already have.