Pittsburgh Steelers: Top 5 Most Irritating Playoff Opponents

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Pittsburgh Steelers: Top 5 Most Irritating Playoff Opponents
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a perennial playoff contender, qualifying for the NFL's sudden death dance with an almost annual regularity. 

Pittsburgh and the NFL playoffs seem synonymous. It's easy to view Pittsburgh based on success.  Since the Super Bowl began as the AFL-NFL Championship Game in 1967, the Men of Steel have played heroically in the winter, grinding through the tournament with a great aplomb. Consider the following:

Since 1966 (Super Bowl era), the Steelers have participated in 26 out of 46 postseasons. In fact, they didn't even qualify for the playoffs until 1972, so the playoffs have included Pittsburgh for 26 of 40 previous seasons.

In those 26 appearances, the Steelers have won at least one playoff game 18 times. 

Those 18 playoff wins have turned into additional wins much of the time, culminating in an unprecedented 15 AFC Championship Games and eight Super Bowls. 

The Steelers are proud owners of six Lombardi Trophies.

The first four of those titles came after 40 years of being trapped in the doldrums of defeat.  Then, 26 looooong years after the franchise's dominant dynasty, Steelers fans finally achieved not just "One for the Thumb," but one for both of them. This was after a slew of painful letdowns, close calls, close shaves, near misses...

Well, whatever synonym you want to use for the playoff losses, anybody who bleeds Black and Gold will tell you that they hurt.

In a manner of speaking, however, the playoff losses are blessings. After all, that which is bitter by mere contrast makes the sweetest of sweets all the sweeter.

And, moreover, there is another wisdom that serves as quite applicable for a team named the Steelers:

"Out of the hottest fire comes the strongest steel."

                                               -Chinese Proverb

No fan should ever trade in mediocrity to avoid the risks of playoff football. Nevertheless, failure in the postseason is a lonely feeling. 

To be sure, the confluence of the Three Rivers has seen great football in the last four decades, but with great heights come inevitable lows. Every Man of Steel has his "Doomsday" defense to contend with, and even great teams occasionally fall from the sky

Perhaps the biggest testament to the Steelers is that despite being on the wrong end more than a few postseason upsets, they've still won more Super Bowls than any other team.

Yet, it's the natural response of fans, in the Steel City and anywhere else, to think negatively in the wake of defeat. This list celebrates that aggravation.

This list ranks the five teams whose essence Steelers fans want to collectively pound into the ground!

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