Experienced Steelers vie for seventh title in team history


Alex Mellion
Journal Staff

The team with the most postseason experience in the league is representing the AFC in Super Bowl XLV. And contrary to popular belief, that team is not the Patriots (sorry New Englanders), but instead is the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Steelers enter the Super Bowl coming off a hard-fought 24-19 win against feet-loving Rex Ryan and the New York Jets, and now have to face the hottest team in the NFL, the Green Bay Packers (the first No. 6 seed from the NFC to ever make the Super Bowl).

Please forgive another Patriots comparison, but aren’t the Steelers just a lesser version of the New England Patriots? There’s quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who’s looking for his third Super Bowl championship in just seven years, who seems to be the poor man’s Tom Brady. Then you have Head Coach Mike Tomlin, a man looking for his second Super Bowl title in just four years, while also attempting to be the next Bill Belichick.  The Steelers (6-1 in seven previous Super Bowl appearances) are looking to put an exclamation point on their season by winning their third title since 2005.

Besides Roethlisberger, the team doesn’t necessarily have an offensive superstar to rely on.  A lot of their offense is run through running back Rashard Mendenhall, a third-year player who went over 1,000 yards in the regular season for the second straight year.  He has rushed for 167 yards and three touchdowns in separate playoff wins over the Ravens and Jets.  This Super Bowl may also be the last hurrah for wide receiver Hines Ward, who may retire after this season.  The team would love to send out the potential Hall of Famer with his third ring to cap off an impressive 13-year career, all spent with the Steelers.

The team is also reliant on their defense, which is led by safety Troy Polamalu (who hasn’t played up to par due to an injury he suffered towards the end of the regular season), and linebacker James Harrison.  A lot of the attention this postseason has been focused on Clay Matthews, another outstanding linebacker for the Green Bay Packers, but Harrison is known for his big (and sometimes illegal) hits on the opposing team’s offense.  In order for the Packers to be successful offensively, they are going to have to keep an eye on Harrison at all times on the field.

Super Bowl XLV features two of the most historic teams in the NFL.  Aaron Rodgers is looking to start his own legacy in Green Bay, while Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are looking to put his rape allegations in the past and win their seventh Super Bowl title in team history.

Will Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” be blaring down the streets of Pittsburgh Sunday night following another Steelers Super Bowl win?  Tune in to what should be a great game to find out.