Sunday, marks round three of the NFL playoffs and features a week 15 rematch between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets.
For the Steelers this marks the 15th time they will play in the AFC Championship and the third time they’ve played in the game in the past five seasons.
After a tumultuous off-season that saw Santonio Holmes traded to the New York Jets and quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger suspended for the first four games, the Steelers headed into 2010 with a lot of uncertainty. Some 20 weeks later they find themselves on the cusp of the franchise’s eighth Super Bowl appearance.
The New York Jets are a tough puzzle to piece together. After a week one loss to Baltimore they went on to win nine of their next ten games and looked primed to take over the AFC. That’s when reality smacked the team square in the face. First, came a Monday night shellacking, in a 45-3 loss to the New England Patriots followed by a lackluster loss to the Miami Dolphins.
The Jets saved their season with a week 15 win in Pittsburgh. Five weeks later the Jets find themselves back in Pittsburgh with much more on the line; a chance to play in the Super Bowl.
After defeating Super Bowl champion quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in consecutive weeks on the road, the Jets will not be intimidated playing at Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Here is a breakdown of Sunday’s AFC Championship game.