The New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers compete against one another in the Patriots-Steelers rivalry, which takes place in the National Football League (NFL). The Patriots and the Steelers are the two most steeped in history franchises in the Super Bowl era.
Although the Patriots and the Steelers have played each other intermittently since the 1970s, the two teams did not become full-fledged rivals until the late 1990s, when they both became contenders for the Super Bowl.
During the 2000s and 2010s, when Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger were the quarterbacks for the Patriots and Steelers, respectively, both teams had winning seasons and went to the playoffs several times.
Both teams also went to the Super Bowl and won more than one Lombardi trophy during this time. Despite the Patriots’ overwhelming superiority.
With victories over the Patriots in 10 of the first 13 meetings, the Steelers initially controlled the rivalry. However, the Steelers’ five-game winning streak over New England was snapped when the Patriots thrashed them 28-3 at Foxboro Stadium in the 1996 AFC Divisional Round.
It also signaled the start of a run in which the Patriots defeated the Steelers in 14 of the following 20 encounters, including four of the five postseason games.
Following that, the Patriots would play in and lose to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. The Steelers exacted revenge the following year, also in the divisional round, prevailing at Three Rivers Stadium by a score of 7-6 to advance to their third AFC championship game in four years.
This was also the only postseason encounter in which the winner did not subsequently go to the Super Bowl, as the Steelers were defeated in the AFC championship game by the eventual champion Denver Broncos.