Why Steelers want home field? Antonio Brown's red velvet cake, for starters

Stephen A.: Pats game 'is everything to the Steelers' (0:57)

Stephen A. Smith explains that Pittsburgh has no excuse not to beat New England at home and go into the playoffs riding high. (0:57)

PITTSBURGH -- Every Saturday in the team hotel, Steelers players and coaches dig into a red velvet cake with the team logo decorated atop white frosting.

Courtesy of Antonio Brown, since 2015.

"It's tradition," Brown said.

Former Steelers, including Jerome Bettis, used to serve the cake, and now Brown gets a local bakery to cater it. He does it for road games too, but several players say the cake simply tastes better in Pittsburgh.

"Everything is better at home," Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats said.

Since May, the Steelers have talked openly about wanting home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. A win over the New England Patriots at Heinz Field on Sunday and a Jacksonville Jaguars loss to the Houston Texans would clinch it.

But the Steelers love playing at home beyond the obvious reasons, such as the ability to quiet the crowd for Ben Roethlisberger's no-huddle offense.

"You just have familiarity," Roethlisberger explained.

That familiarity means different things for different players.

For left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, staying at home with his wife and children puts him at ease. Leaving for days at a time "weighs heavily on my heart" because he's working so much during the week, said Villanueva, who finds time at home between the team hotel sessions on Saturday and Sunday's kickoff.

"I most love making them laugh," Villanueva said about his family.

Plus, Villanueva finds comfort in a pregame meal with guard David DeCastro.

"[DeCastro] is obsessed with Chipotle," Villanueva said.

Several players said the black Steelers jerseys that are worn at home bring out their best. Inside Heinz Field, the thousands of terrible towels and the defense's "Renegade" theme song to start the fourth quarter ignite the Steelers' sideline.

Now defensive end Tyson Alualu understands why, shortly after signing as a free agent in March, he started hearing from teammates how the postseason "must come through Pittsburgh."

"It's feeding off the atmosphere," Alualu said. "It's not just one thing."

For many of the veterans, however, the benefits of home games are clear-cut.

"Sleeping in bed at home with your wife and kids, there's nothing like it," Moats said.