There are plenty of the silver, red, white and blue intruders that will be paying a visit to Heinz Field on Sunday that Steeler Nation knows all too well. Here are some of the others that may very well prove to be a major factor in the outcome of Sunday's game.
Some regard him as an all-time great and the best HC today. Others regard him as nothing but a cheat. But you can't deny his overall record and what he does with players that failed to fit in other cities and systems. Bill Belichick may have a lot of well-deserved negatives attributed to his name, but in New England...he's one step below Jesus. Against the Steelers, Belichick is 6-3 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs (both in Heinz Field) as the leader of the Pats.
Other Patriot Coaches to know: OC Josh McDaniels, DC Matt Patricia
QB-No. 12 Tom Brady
He's Tom Brady...and he's great at being Tom Brady. In two games back from suspension, he has averaged 391 YPG, with six touchdown passes and no interceptions. Against the Steelers, he's 6-2 with a 113.4 QB rating and has thrown 22 touchdowns and only 3 picks.
Some Other Patriot Quarterbacks to know: No. 10 Jimmy Garoppolo, No. 7 Jacoby Brissett
No. 11 Julian Edelman
Edelman is the kind of receiver that gives the Steelers problems. Like Jarvis Landry (7 receptions for 91 yards) a week ago, Edelman will catch a lot of the short stuff in the slot and help move the chains all day long. Riddled by injuries, Edelman is very effective when healthy. For the season, No.11 has 28 catches for 262 yards. Last year against Pittsburgh, the Kent Stater had 11 catches on twelve targets for 97 yards. Brady loves throwing to this guy and his targets are rising. He's my vote for most cuss-able on Sunday.
Some Other Patriot Receivers to know: No. 80 Danny Amendola, No. 15 Chris Hogan, No. 18 Matthew Slater, No. 19 Malcom Mitchell
No. 29 LeGarrette Blount
After surrendering the most rushing-yards as a team to Jay Ajayi (204) since Fred Taylor's 234 in 2000, the Steelers rank against the run has plummeted from 5th at 77.0 YPG to 13th at 102.00 YPG. Blount, abhorred by Steeler fans since his perceived premeditated-abandonment of the team in 2014 to rejoin the Pats, has had a solid year in 2016. Blount has 439 yards (3.7 YPC) and six touchdowns on the ground. A truck on legs, the 250-pounder will be a chore for a defense decimated by injuries.
Some Other Patriot Running Backs to know: No. 28 James White, No. 38 Brandon Bolden
No. 87 Rob Gronkowski
The Steelers seem to always have trouble with Gronk. He victimized them last season in the opener for three scores. Against Cincinnati last week, No. 87 had 162 yards (career high) on seven catches against six different coverage defenders. Since his rookie season in 2010, Rob Gronkowski has 26 catches on 32 targets for 403 yards and seven touchdowns against the Steelers. Right now, room service salmonella seems to be the only hope of slowing him down.
Some Other Patriot Tight Ends to know: No. 88 Martellus Bennett
LT- No. 77 Nate Solder
The line has not been as formidable as it has been in recent times in New England, but Nate Solder has been very solid at protecting the blind side of the franchise. The 6'8" LT has allowed only four pressures so far this season.
Some Other Patriot Offensive Linemen to know: No. 60 C David Andrews, No. 61 RT Marcus Cannon, No. 62 LG Joe Thurney, No. 69 RG Shaquille Mason
No. 93- RDE Jabaal Sheard
Since leaving Cleveland, Jabaal Sheard has found great rejuvenation in New England. The former star at Pitt is relied on to do what he does best and that is to simply rush the passer. So far in 2016, Sheard has 3.5 sacks and 16 tackles on the season. He can be a fixture in Landry Jones' face mask all afternoon long.
Some Other Patriot Defensive Lineman to know: No. 50 LDE Rob Ninkovich, No. 90 DT Malcolm Brown, No. 95 LDE Chris Long, No. 97 DT Alan Branch
No. 91-LB Jamie Collins
Collins is a fast attacking linebacker on a team that has a lot of talent in the front seven. He's a throwback at linebacker who is a hitter all over the field. With 32 tackles this season to go with two interceptions, Collins is active and effective against both the run and pass.
Some Other Patriot Linebackers to know: No. 51 Barkevious Mingo, No. 52 Elandon Roberts, No. 54 Dont'a Hightower
No. 21-CB Malcolm Butler
The Super Bowl hero from two years ago is the best coverage corner on the Pats and always seems to draw the top guy. Butler sticks to receivers and has seven pass defenses so far, but can be beaten on back-shoulder fades. Antonio Brown had a great stat line against Butler last year in the opener (nine receptions, 133 yards and a TD), but most of that was late in the game and with Ben Roethlisberger throwing to him.
Some Other Patriot DBs to know: No. 32 FS Devin McCourty, No. 23 SS Patrick Chung, No. 24 CB Cyrus Jones, No. 26 CB Logan Ryan
No. 3-K Stephen Gostkowski
Pretty reliable. Gostkowski is 9/12 on field goals and 16/17 on extra points in 2016. His longest is from 53-yards out.
Some Other Patriot Special Teamers to know: No. 6 P Ryan Allen, No. 24 KR Cyrus Jones, No. 49 LS Joe Cardona No. 80 PR Danny Amendola