The Pittsburgh Steelers have not defeated the New England Patriots since 2011, but they think the Miami Dolphins provided a blueprint to victory on Monday night.
The Dolphins defeated the Patriots 27-20 but were dominant throughout the game. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did not throw for a yard in the first quarter and totaled 2 interceptions.
Steelers cornerback Artie Burns said the defense learned a lot from that game.
“They definitely got hands on him,” Burns said, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “If you watch the corners, the linebacker, they had hands on them down the line, down the field on the route, that kept the disruption on the timing of the route between Brady and the receiver. That’s something we looked at on tape and are gonna take it into our game.”
There is one surefire way to have success against the Patriots: put hands on their wide receivers and pressure Brady.
That is not always easy, but the Dolphins caught a break with tight end Rob Gronkowski out because of suspension and wide receiver Julian Edelman out for the season.
Gronkowski will be back Sunday, so Burns and the Steelers defense will have a bigger challenge than the Dolphins had. The Steelers defense has been giving up big passing plays all season, including during their Week 14 victory against the Baltimore Ravens.