"As a player, you want to play", said Slater, who never had hamstring issues before this season.
Brady has had a special kind of success against Pittsburgh. Tom Brady threw for 233 yards, a touchdown and 2 interceptions on 24 of 43 passing, while the tandem of Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead combined for just 25 yards rushing, with Burkhead adding a rushing touchdown. However, after digging deeper, I found that Tom Brady is 8-1 in his last 9 starts against the Steelers in the regular season and playoffs, throwing for 23 touchdowns and zero interceptions over that span. Brady and the Pats looked awful in the game against Miami, going 0 for 11 on 3rd down, and as good as the Steelers have played, I can't remember the last time Brady had poor outings back-to-back.
Steelers DE Cam Heyward on facing Tom Brady " He can do whatever he needs to do.
Traditionally, Brady has been ready for most anything Pittsburgh throws his way.
The biggest game of the National Football League season takes place on Sunday in Pittsburgh, as the Patriots and Steelers battle for the top spot in the AFC.
Unfortunately for Butler, with the players he has at his disposal, the game plan he cooked up for the Patriots this summer may already be shot.
"Just more weapons, right down the line", Belichick said. "But at the same time, you want to be able to not be dictated to but dictate to him". Pittsburgh ranks in the NFL's top six in scoring defense, passing defense and sacks.
Linebacker Ryan Shazier, whose versatility gave Butler flexibility to take chances, remains in the hospital recovering from a spinal injury that ended his season and left his future in doubt.
To validate that newfound strength, the Steelers must combat Brady's ability to change the pace of the offense.
The Steelers responded by making Brown the highest-paid wide receiver in the league, drafting Smith-Schuster in the second round of the draft and welcoming the talented if mercurial Bryant back into the fold. "The way they play, they're really well-coached, they've had so many end-of-the-game, end-of-the-half situations that they're very productive and efficient with, and coach [Mike] Tomlin does a great job with the clock management, with the play selection - just doing the right plays in the right situations and executing them well".
The Steelers (11-2) haven't lost since October 1 but have beaten Brady just twice in 17 years and only once since 2004, a 25-17 victory in 2011 that Roethlisberger jokingly admits he barely remembers.
See what the latest playoff picture looks like and simulate your own playoff scenarios. They make mistakes. You can sense the Steelers know their window to win with Ben-Bell-Brown in their primes could be closing. "Especially for Brady, that's even more of an emphasis". Cornerback learned that past year in Foxboro by glancing at the scoreboard and seeing a 10-0 deficit in the first quarter. "You have to make an effort to start early on him, settle down on him early". "We'll go out there and cut it loose on Sunday".
Coach Mike Tomlin said that Haden's availability will be determined by "how much he does, what he does and quality of it " during practice. He'd rather limit his team's mistakes than worry about Brady's greatness.
But so far at least, according to Bill Belichick, they're essentially running the same scheme they were a year ago.
"It's better to be in big games than ones that nobody is watching", Tomlin said. "When we're all clicking, things are going for everybody". "This is too good of a football team to worry about anything else that surrounds the game, the implications". I think therein lies the discussion.
So while the average Steelers fan can tell you 100 things wrong about the Steelers, they'll have trouble coming up with one thing wrong with the Patriots (you know, outside of all the CHEATING).