FOXBORO -- The horizon behind Gillette's North end zone is a thick, rolling wave of bright fall foliage.
It is autumn in New England, and will feel that way when the Patriots take on Pittsburgh Sunday evening. Sunset is expected at 4:36 p.m., just 10 minutes after kickoff. The 43-degree temperature will fall into the high-30s as the game goes on. The 11 mile-per-hour wind should also taper off and reach single digits by the fourth quarter.
Zero precipitation is expected despite morning showers.
There's neither a Steeler nor a Patriot on Gillette Stadium's field two hours before the game. Players will filter out soon, however, for pregame warmups. It would be surprising to no one if most are in long sleeves and long pants. Both benches are bookended by large space heaters.
New England will be hunting down win number seven of nine. A victory for the struggling Steelers would move Pittsburgh to 3-5.