|Tom Brady in action|
The New England Patriots face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend.
Despite the fact that these two teams have been the most successful in the whole league during the past decade or so, Tom Brady's dominance over the Steelers has become (in)famous.
Now, that's not to say that the only ever unanimous MVP hasn't dominated other teams, the Dolphins come to mind. The Steelers are a defense that very few quarterbacks can actually claim to have consistent success against, never mind actually dominate them.
So what is Brady's streak against the reigning AFC Champions?
2001: Patriots 24-17 Steelers
Brady's first opportunity to face off against the Steelers, wasn't exactly a memorable occasion. During his second season, and his first as a starter, Brady brought his team to the playoffs where they met the Steelers in the AFC Championship game. However the young signal caller only finished the game with 115 yards on 12 completions.
While the Patriots beat the Steelers and moved on to the Super Bowl, it was at the hands of Drew Bledsoe that the game was put away. Brady was injured during the game and certainly didn't dominate in Pittsburgh.
2002: Patriots 30-14 Steelers
He didn't have to wait long for his chance to right the ship however, as the Patriots welcomed the Steelers to Foxboro on opening week of the very next season. This was truly Brady's first display of dominance over the Steelers as he finished the game with 294 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
With 43 attempts, and completions to eight different receivers, half of whom had at least 40 yards, Bill Belichick had already reaped the rewards of putting the ball in his young quarterbacks hands.
2004: Patriots 20-34 Steelers
The Steelers got a respite in 2003 before Ben Roethlisberger arrived at the start of the 2004 season. The Brady jinx appeared to have been dispelled before it had even begun, as the rookie quarterback brought out the worst in Brady. In what was one of only two regular season losses that year, Brady threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
2004: Patriots 41-27 Steelers
Not to worry, a chance to for revenge presented itself in the divisional rounds of the playoffs as Brady quickly set about making Heinz Field his second home. Roethlisberger may have been a star rookie quarterback, but Brady shone on the big stage and guided his team with two touchdowns and 207 yards passing with a 66 percent completion rating.
2005: Patriots 23-20 Steelers
The biggest thing in the book of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady is winning. Brady may have struggled in 2005 against the eventual world champion Steelers, but the Patriots once again came away from Heinz Field with a victory. Without a touchdown and with one interception, it is easy to say Brady had a bad day out. However a whopping 75 percent completion rating and 372 yards was the difference in the outcome of a very close game.
2007: Patriots 34-13 Steelers
In 2007, the Steelers definitely weren't the only team dominated by Brady. Brady's record breaking 50 touchdowns on the year included a quartet against the Patriots without a turnover. He had just under 400 yards(399), and completed 69 percent of his passes.
On the day, Brady had three receivers with at least seven catches. Wes Welker led the team with nine while Randy Moss had 135 yards on seven and Jabarr Gaffney had 122 on seven also.
2010: Patriots 39-26 Steelers
Injury and the schedule kept Brady and the Steelers apart for another two years. With Matt Cassel under center in 2008, the Steelers handily took care of the Patriots in Foxboro. Last season was quite a contrast. Brady once again had four touchdowns, but this time one came on the ground, while the Steelers secondary couldn't get near his passes for most of the night.
With three touchdowns, 350 yards and another 69 percent completion game, Brady's dominance over the Steelers was confirmed.
With a 6-1 record over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tom Brady's dominance over the other potential team of the 00's is clear. Wins are all that matters to Brady but statistically his domination has been unhindered for the most part.
The Steelers have always been notorious for shutting down the opposition's best weapon under Dick LeBeau, but for the most part Brady has been the exception to that rule. Depending on your point of view, this streak is either infamous or famous.
No matter where you stand however, you cannot deny that this streak exists and that Brady appears to have got the Steelers' number.