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I’m going to preface any predictions I make for the New England Patriots by saying that the regular season means absolutely nothing. That is the lesson to be learned from the last few seasons. The Patriots went undefeated during the regular season in 2007 and we know how that ended. Last year’s team went 14-2 during the regular season, including ending the season with an eight-game winning streak, but they were unceremoniously shown the door in their first playoff game by their arch-rival New York Jets.

The Steelers do come into this game with a 5-2 record, but their opponents’ combined record this year is 16-29. The Steelers have won their last three straight, but the Patriots will be Pittsburgh’s first real test in almost a month. The Baltimore Ravens in Week One and the Houston Texans in Week Four were their only other tests. The Ravens embarrassed the Steelers, 35-7, on Opening Day and Houston won, 17-10.

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Hernandez’s catch percentage has dropped from 71.9 percent to 65.9 percent (a 8.3 percent decrease), Brady’s yards per pass attempt on throws to Hernandez have dropped from 8.9 to 7.0 (a 21.3 percent decrease), Brady’s adjusted yards per pass attempt on throws to Hernandez have dropped from 10.7 to 6.3 (a 41.1 percent decrease), and Hernandez’s yards per completion have dropped from 12.3 to 10.7 (a 12.6 percent decrease).

Give credit to the Patriots’ offensive line. They didn’t give up a sack, and barely allowed Brady to be touched all night. A very impressive fact considering they were facing the number one defense in terms of fewest points allowed points per game and second best in cheerleader websites yardage allowed.

The nationally televised Sunday night game was one that featured, for the first time in 25 years, two opposing quarterbacks with multiple Super Bowl rings. On this night, Tom Brady vastly outperformed Ben Roethlisberger. Even though Roethlisberger finished with 387 yards passing, more than 200 of those came in the final quarter which began with the Patriots leading, 23-3.

Contrast that to last year, when Hernandez played in fifteen contests, including the Patriots’ playoff game against the New York Jets. In 2010, when his statistics are removed from Brady’s, Brady underwent a 1.2 percent decrease in completion percentage (from 66.4 percent to 65.6 percent), 1.3 percent decrease in yards per pass attempt (from 7.8 to 7.7), a 3.4 percent decrease in adjusted yards per pass attempt (from 8.7 to 8.4), a .8 percent decrease in yards per completion (from 11.8 to 11.7), a 6.0 percent decrease in touchdown percentage (from 6.7 percent to 6.3 percent), and a 20.0 percent increase in interception percentage (from 1.0 percent to 1.2 percent).

Brady’s NFL-record streak of consecutive regular-season home victories now stands at 26. He broke Brett Favre’s old record during the Patriots’ last home victory, over Green Bay.

Karl Klug — Tennessee Titans rookie defensive end Karl Klug had two solo tackles and one sack against Indy on Sunday. He also has three sacks this season.