“We Were In Tom Brady’s Jordan Era” | Former Steelers Linebacker Vince Williams Says Tom Brady, Gronk Were Reason Patriots Dominated AFC

(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

The New England Patriots enjoyed a ton of success during former quarterback Tom Brady’s 20 years under center in Foxborough, Massachusetts. During his tenure in New England, the seven-time Super Bowl winner went 219-64 in the regular season and 30-11 in the postseason, tallying a 249-75 overall record. 

The team had a winning record versus every team in the league over the time frame except the Denver Broncos, whom they were 9-9 against. One of those teams the Pats dominated under the Brady/Belichick regime is the Pittsburgh Steelers, whom they boasted a 12-3 overall record against. 

 

 

NE went 9-3 in the regular season and 3-0 in the postseason, with all three postseason matchups coming in the AFC Championship Game. During an appearance on the “Arthur Moats Spot Podcast,” former Steelers linebacker Vince Williams, who retired after the 2020 season, talked about that lopsided rivalry.

When asked if the Steelers should’ve won a Super Bowl during the Patriots dynasty, the former tackling machine responded with a blunt “NO.” 

If we could’ve won them, we would’ve won them.”

This was during the Steelers era of the “Killer B’s” offense that featured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell and mercurial wide receiver Antonio Brown.

“You guys realize we were running into a buzzsaw. We played against arguably one of the best players to ever play football, along with one of the best tight ends to ever play football.” 

Williams is speaking of the aforementioned Brady and recently retired tight end Rob Gronkowski.

 

 

Williams Likened Patriots Dynasty To Chicago Bulls Of The 1990’s

The Patriots won Super Bowls in 2014, 2016, and 2018, losing in 2017. They also lost in the AFC Championship in 2013 and 2015. So basically, they were one game away from playing in six of eight Super Bowls during Williams’ eight-year career.

“We were in Tom Brady’s Jordan era. How many Hall of Famers didn’t get a ring because they had to play against Michael Jordan. Does Reggie Miller suck? Does Patrick Ewing suck? Do they suck? No, they don’t suck.”

Pittsburgh had ample opportunities to dethrone the Patriots or take advantage of the Patriots not excelling in all three phases, but each year the Steel Curtain found a way to lose to an inferior opponent.

 

 

Things got so bad that in 2017 Tomlin, unknowingly on Facebook Live, created fodder for his opponent as wide receiver Antonio Brown went live from his cellphone during a postgame locker room speech.

“We just spotted these a**holes a day and half. They [the Patriots] played yesterday. Our game got moved to tonight. We’re going to touch down at 4 o’clock in the bleeping morning. So be it. We’ll be ready for their bleep. But you ain’t got to tell them we’re coming.”

The Patriots dominated the Steelers 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl.

The loss even caused Roethlisberger to tell ESPN the Steelers were like the Patriots’ “little brother.”

Steelers Entering Uncharted Waters

For the first time since 2004, the Steelers don’t have a proven franchise quarterback, with Ben Roethlisberger retiring after the 2021 season. The team did draft former Pittsburgh Panthers star Kenny Pickett with the No. 20 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

The hope is he’ll be the new franchise guy. They also signed former No. 2 pick Mitchell Trubisky who’ll probably be the starter for now. Tomlin hasn’t had a losing season in 15 years of stalking the sidelines, but in order to keep that league record intact it may take his best coaching job yet.