NFL Playoff Picture: 5 Key Questions for the Pittsburgh Steelers Wild-Card Game

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NFL Playoff Picture: 5 Key Questions for the Pittsburgh Steelers Wild-Card Game
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

There was no Super Bowl hangover for the Pittsburgh Steelers this time around.

After missing the playoffs following their previous two Super Bowl appearances, the 2011 edition of the Steelers find themselves with a 12-4 record for the second straight season, but this time as the AFC's fifth seed.

Pittsburgh got to this point in a large part behind their top-rated defense, though this wasn't your typical Steelers defense.

The defense was the best in the league in yards and points, but it was achieved in large part due to their top rated pass defense. What made their success more amazing was that they only forced 15 turnovers (they were minus-13 as a team) and had only 35 sacks.

The Steelers will need to ride their defense as they enter the Wild-Card round next Sunday against the Denver Broncos, as their offense ranked 21st in the league in scoring.

Pittsburgh's offense was already banged up with injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Maurkice Pouncey, and they have now lost Rashard Mendenhall.

Following the game on Sunday, Mike Tomlin stated that Mendenhall "won't be participating" in the playoffs, as he tore his ACL, according to Ed Bouchette.

This is just one of the question marks heading into the first-round match against the Broncos.

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