The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the New England Patriots in the 2015 regular-season opener at Gillette Stadium and that’s a venue that hasn’t been kind to the Black and Gold over the years when quarterback Tom Brady has been on the field.
In the four regular-season games that the Steelers have played at Gillette Stadium, which was originally known as CMGI Field when it opened in 2002, they lost three of them by a combined score of 129-91. In the three Patriots wins, they scored 30 or more points in those games.
The one game that the Steelers won came back in 2008 and they didn’t have to face Brady in that meeting as the quarterback was out for a season with torn ligaments in his left knee that he suffered in the first game of that season.
In that 33-10 Steelers win, Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel completed just 19 of the 39 passes that he attempted in the game for a mere 169 yards and no touchdowns versus two interceptions. The Steelers defense also sacked Cassel five times in that game and allowed just three plays of 20 yards or more.
Believe it or not, the Steelers still have six players on their current roster that played in that game and they are Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth, James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons and William Gay.
In this year’s game between the two teams at Gillette, the Patriots will again be without Brady as the reigning Super Bowl MVP was suspended Monday for the first four games of the 2015 season for his role in Deflate-gate. Additionally, starting Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount will also miss the opener while he serves his one-game suspension.
This time it will be backup Jimmy Garoppolo who will be asked to step in for the Brady-less. However, unlike Cassel in 2008, this upcoming game will serve as his first-career start.