Here's the thing: The Steelers have all the talent they need to win a Super Bowl. It's true. They have the franchise quarterback (Ben Roethlisberger) who is capable of leading the team to wins whether he has to bring them from behind or having the luxury of playing with a lead.
They have a solid, if understated, group of running backs who represent both the slashing, speed rush of new age football (Rashard Mendenhall) and the raw power of running games of yesteryear (Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman).
Their receiving corps features the heir-apparent to future Hall-of-Famer Hines Ward as the sure-handed possession receiver (Antonio Brown), and one of the fastest men in football (Mike Wallace). Plus, they have a several role-players to complement their Pro Bowl tight end (Heath Miller).
On the defensive side of the ball, they have two former Defensive Players of the Year in James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. And up-and-coming players like Lawrence Timmons, LaMarr Woodley, Brett Keisel, Ryan Clark, Will Allen, and Cortez Allen.
So, how did it all go wrong in 2012? In a year that will see no better than an 11-5 team win the division (with the division locked up before the Ravens even played last week), this team should have been able to at least host a playoff game, if not make a serious run at a seventh Lombardi Trophy.
Like most things in football, the answer is both complicated and simple.