The two most successful, currently active, post season quarterbacks - Ben Roethlisberger for the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tom Brady for the New England Patriots - go head to head in the AFC Championship game on Sunday.
Brady is the fresher of the two, having served a four game suspension at the start of the regular season, while Roethlisberger, who habitually plays through the pain barrier has played all but one of Pittsburgh’s 18 games to date.
Brady’s 23-9 post season record compares more favourably with Roethlisberger’s 13-6. But the two have identical 62% completion rates. Roethlisberger’s 7.8 yards per attempt eclipses Brady’s by over a yard, but is balanced by a higher interception rate.
The regular season meeting in Pittsburgh as won decisively 27-16 by the Patriots, but the game was played without Roethlisberger at quarterback.
New England (1.421*) has been post season ever presents since 2009, while Pittsburgh’s record has been more patchy, missing out in 2009, 12 and 13.
The regular season meeting in Pittsburgh (3.11*) was won decisively 27-16 by the Patriots, but the game was played without Roethlisberger at quarterback.
New England’s regular season 14-2 record was the best in both conferences and was at least three wins superior to the remaining post season sides.
Their Pythagorean over the season and just with Brady starting is around one win below their actual record and although their turnover differential is possibly unsustainable, they have an impressive number of wide margin wins for a 14-2 team. They also have the NFL’s best coach.
New England pass the ball extremely efficiently, but are below average on the ground.
Pittsburgh is an above par passing team with an averagely efficient ground game, who make the most of turning these assets into points.
Both sides, but particularly New England, make scoring difficult for their opponents.
Matchups favour New England being able to move the ball efficiently through the air, but both teams may struggle on the ground and opponent adjusted scoring rates favour the hosts by five points. This is stretched to just over a touchdown with the added advantage of a home field and crowd.
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