Prior to Sunday’s 25-17 victory, the Steelers had struggled mightily against the Patriots in recent meetings. Pittsburgh was 2-7 against New England dating back to 1998, including two disappointing losses in the AFC Championship Game.
Phil Simms has broadcast seven of those matchups and seen how Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Co. seemed to handle the Steelers with ease. Simms sensed a different approach from Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin, however, on Sunday.
“I was watching Mike Tomlin in warm-ups and his actions. I’ve never seen him that animated yelling at guys,” Simms said in a Monday appearance on the Dan Patrick Show. “I could just see the energy was really different.”
Simms said he thinks New England’s recent run of success against the Steelers began to irritate the club.
“I think the Steelers have just had enough of this Patriots talk,” said Simms. ”‘How are you going to stop Tom Brady? Aren’t they great? They’re unbelievable.’ … I thought [the Steelers] were a little coy with us on Friday, like, ‘Oh no, they’re not a big rival. No, they’re not like the Ravens.’ Well, I think we found out they’re the Ravens for them, too.”