FanPost

How to Explain "Divisional Football"?

Just an observation: if one ever needs to explain to a football newbie the difference between divisional and non-divisional games in the NFL and their meaning for a team (except standings implications, of course), one should look at the pregame talk of the Steelers and their opponents over the past two weeks.

As opposed to trash-talking before the MNF game against the Bengals, the talk leading up to Pats-Steelers game this Sunday is all praise and respect. It almost gets old and boring. Quarterbacks speak highly of one another, Mike Tomlin praises Bill Belichick's coaching and Belichick praises Pittsburgh's defense. Pats talk about James Harrison, Steelers discuss Brandon Meriweather... Where's the smack talk? Where's the anger?

That's why the Sunday night game between two teams who share NFL's best record, which may have significant playoffs implications, just doesn't have the flavor that you get in divisional play. The Steelers surely don't like New England, but it seems that they don't hate the Pats. Certainly not like the Ravens.

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