Week 15: New England Patriots 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Final

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) acknowledges fans as he walks onto the field for warm ups before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(WWLP) – Until their flop in Miami on Monday night, the New England Patriots were playing as many thought they would heading into the season: like a powerhouse. And the Pittsburgh Steelers were squeezing past inferior foes, bringing into question whether they could slow the Foxborough freight train.

LIVE SCORE: New England Patriots 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 24, FINAL

“It’s good to be in big games than be in ones nobody’s watching,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says. “We better be appreciative of this spot and not resist it in any way. This is what we’ve been fighting for since March. Why would you fight that? It’s an awesome thing.”

Forget their ‘A’ game, which the Steelers (11-2) seem to have misplaced for much of the past two months despite winning eight straight, with a half-dozen of them close (decided by one, three, three, three, five and six points.)

They will need their ‘AAA game’ against New England (10-3), which knows a loss eliminates it from topping the conference heading into the postseason.