Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cam Heyward has played against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady four times during his seven-year NFL career.
Heyward was on injured reserve when the Steelers lost to the Patriots in last season’s AFC Championship Game. However, he will go up against Brady for the fifth time on Sunday.
It is a huge matchup with the top seed in the AFC playoffs at stake. Heyward knows that for the Steelers to pull out the victory, they will have to battle Brady’s mind as well as his right arm.
“You have to be willing to play the game with him, have some checks for him,” Heyward said, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “But at the same time, you want to be able to not be dictated to but dictate to him.”
The Patriots are coming off a rough loss to the Miami Dolphins on Monday night. During that game Brady was held to zero passing yards in the first quarter.
Brady finished the game 24-23 for 233 yards 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. After that bad performance he will be ready to play whatever mental games are necessary to stay one step ahead of Heyward and the Steelers’ defense.