Ravens vs. Steelers: Why Pittsburgh Is a True Super Bowl Contender

Mihir Bhagat@mihirbhagatSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 16, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 15:  Safety Ryan Clark #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with teammates James Farrior #51 and Troy Polamalu #43 after an interception of quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) beat the Baltimore Ravens (12-4) with a final score of 31-24 in the divisional round playoff matchup between the two AFC North heavyweights.

The Steelers will now advance to the AFC Championship Game for the fourth time in the past seven years in which they are 2-1 during that span. Moreover, they've won Super Bowl XL and XLIII.

Impressive, huh?

In the NFL today, there are a few franchises that have truly separated themselves from the rest and have displayed dominance during this era. Clearly, the black and gold are one of them.

But why is that?

Well, first off, they are built fundamentally strong from top to bottom. They've only had three head coaches, which brings a sense of continuity to the organization. Everyone on the staff shares a common vision and they strike to achieve it. 

Moreover, in a quarterback-driven league they've found themselves a winner. Ever since Ben Roethlisberger was taken with the No. 11 pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, he's been an integral key to their success. Not to mention, they also have balance on offense as they support their aerial attack with a strong ground game

Most importantly, in my mind, is that they've truly taken the principle that "Defense Wins Championships" to heart. The last two years they won titles, they ranked fourth and first respectively in terms of total yards allowed. This season, they rank second and surrender the fewest points in the NFL. 

In addition, they have several other strong elements to their game as they are +17 in the turnover department which is second best in the league and are first with 48 sacks. 

They can win at home (5-3) and on the road (7-1), and have posted impressive victories over double-digit-win teams such as the Falcons, Buccaneers and Ravens in the regular season.

All throughout, the Steelers boast one of the best squads in the league and that is why they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. 

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