PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Heading into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed, the Steelers were thinking that the road to the Super Bowl was going through New England.
They should have known better.
Because the New York Jets beat the New England Patriots 28-21 last Sunday, the Steelers will get to host the title game for the fourth consecutive time as the No. 2 seed.
The Steelers found that statistic strange, but they’re not about to complain about staying at home and continue in their routine.
“It’s better to play at home,” safety Ryan Clark said. “It’s good because you get to do the same routine. Going on the road, and having to pack up? Fly? That’s the part of home-field advantage that I don’t think people understand. You’ve got the big locker room, not the small one they put you in when you’re on the road. It’s just little things like that that mean a lot as far as home games go. We’re excited.”
If the Steelers were to head to Foxboro, “it would have felt like a home game anyway, because the Steelers fans travel so well,” Clark said. “But we’d rather have it here with the black-and-gold seats.”
The Steelers will be playing in their eighth AFC title in the past 17 years, and all but one has been staged on the North Shore.
However, hosting the title games doesn’t mean they always win. Since 1994, the Steelers have lost four of six home title games.
Sunday’s AFC Championship game will be the 11th time in team history they will host a conference championship and the 15th they will play in.