The Pittsburgh Steelers are only 60 minutes away from winning their unprecedented seventh Super Bowl.
If this year’s playoff run has taught us anything, it is that the Steelers clearly have played some of the best football of anyone this postseason; we have also seen them play some of the worst.
Between the first half of football against the Baltimore Ravens and the second half against the New York Jets, Pittsburgh found themselves as an ineffective, turnover-prone offense and a defense that had trouble getting off the field.
The Ravens and Jets took advantage of the Steelers miscues, outscoring them 37-7.
There is no doubt that this less-than-stellar play should have the Steelers concerned, but it was their other 60 minutes that will bring confidence and excitement to Pittsburgh.
To say that the Steelers defensive effort in the second half against the Ravens and the first half against the Jets was dominant would be an understatement—it was beyond dominant.
Pittsburgh’s defense held Baltimore to only 28 second half yards in the divisional round, and New York had less than 70 first half yards as their outstanding ground game was stifled by the Steelers, gaining only 1 yard.
More importantly, Pittsburgh outscored their opponents 48-6, and they did it the “Steelers Way.”
Pittsburgh was physical on offense, running the ball against two difficult run defenses.
Ben Roethlisberger, though not pretty, made the plays that he needed to with his arm. Veterans Hines Ward and Heath Miller made the plays you’d expect, while rookies Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown had big contributions as well.
The emergence of Brown helped lead the Steelers to both victories.
Then there was the defense. Forcing turnovers, pressuring the quarterback, completely shutting down the run and even blanketing the receivers.
The effort was simply outstanding.
Now sitting just 60 minutes away from a third Super Bowl title for this generation, the Steelers will need another hour of being super.
If they can achieve this, Pittsburgh will be raising their seventh Lombardi Trophy.