The last time the Steelers played the Patriots, running back Le'Veon Bell only had a small role in the proceedings.
Bell injured his groin after playing 11 snaps and spent the rest of the 36-17 loss in the AFC title game watching from the sideline. Bell called it a “terrible feeling” to be out of that game and that meant he’s had his eye on this week’s visit from the Patriots for a while.
“I just felt like I missed a opportunity to get to a Super Bowl,” Bell said, via ESPN.com. “When this year came around, we saw the schedules and everything, I knew had another opportunity if I was being healthy and playing the Pats again. It’s good. The opportunity is here.”
Sunday’s winner won’t be booking a ticket to Minneapolis, obviously, but a Steelers win could secure them homefield advantage in the games leading up to the Super Bowl. Having Bell the whole way would help their chances of grabbing that advantage and of beating the Patriots should this year’s AFC crown come down to the same two teams.