As the saying goes, "Defense wins championships," and it is so true. If you can stop the opponent's offense whenever they set foot on the field, then your offense can probably get the job done.
The saying has never been more true for the Steelers than at almost any other point in the team's entire history. Pittsburgh has always been known for great defense and every one of their Super Bowl teams has had one.
This year's defense is no different, ranking first in every major defensive category. They have extremely athletic and quick linebackers, and a huge defensive line. They're DBs are great too, covering receivers well and not giving up many long passes.
Every part of the Steelers' defense can tackle and hit hard, making them one of the toughest teams to face on the road or at home. And with fans traveling with the team almost everywhere it goes, the defense feels at home in any stadium in the country.
The Steelers could have been the most complete team in the league from the beginning of the season, but injuries have plagued them throughout the year. Ben Roethlisberger is banged up, and the Steelers' backfield has really struggled so far with both starter Willie Parker and backup Rashard Mendenhall getting injured in the same game early in the season.
But do not doubt this team. They are not 8-3 by accident.
Linebackers James Harrison and Lamarr Woodley are both in the top 10 in sacks, and the Steelers' linebacker core has accounted for a grand total of 26 sacks. Their LBs have also accounted for seven forced fumbles, and a total of 234 tackles overall. There is no doubt that Pittsburgh's linebackers are the key to their success.
The Steelers will truly be tested this Sunday in Foxboro when they take on the Pats. In fact, four out of their next five opponents have winning records (DAL, NE, TEN, BAL). We will all find out if the Steelers are for real over the next month or so.
If their defense continues to dominate and the saying holds true, then the Steelers are going to be hoisting their sixth Lombardi Trophy in February.