6 Reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers Have What It Takes To Win the Super Bowl

Nick DeWitt@@nickdewitt11Analyst INovember 23, 2011

6 Reasons the Pittsburgh Steelers Have What It Takes To Win the Super Bowl

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    The Pittsburgh Steelers share the best record in the AFC with three other teams as everyone heads into Week 12 action this holiday weekend. There are a lot of people out there who are wondering if perhaps a Super Bowl XLV rematch is in the works.

    There’s still a long road to get there, but the chances are getting better each week that both the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers could meet up in Indianapolis this February when Super Bowl XLVI is played.

    Here are six reasons the Steelers have what it takes to win that seventh trophy.

The Gunslinger

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    If you look at the AFC playoff picture right now, there are only two quarterbacks who stand out as being elite. There is no Peyton Manning this season. There also is no more Matt Schaub thanks to an unfortunate hand injury.

    Joe Flacco hasn’t really proven himself elite yet, but he’s gaining.

    Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady stand alone. Both have Super Bowl credentials and MVP-caliber skills.

    The Steelers have the best playmaking quarterback in the NFL. Nobody can keep plays alive and be dangerous with their arm or their legs in the way that Roethlisberger can. He’s not the best quarterback in the NFL (I won’t even start that argument), but he is possibly the most dangerous.

    With Roethlisberger on the field, the Steelers always have a chance at winning a title. He just finds a way to win big games and come through in big, clutch situations.

The Targets

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    Nobody in the NFL has the blinding speed the Steelers have in their receiving corps. Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown can get anywhere on the field in a matter of seconds. Emmanuel Sanders also has good speed. Hines Ward and Jerricho Cotchery round out the group as possession guys who will catch anything thrown at them.

    This is a great group of receivers, possibly the best in the NFL. Paired with a quarterback who consistently gets the ball to them, they are also the most dangerous group in the NFL.

    Don’t forget about Heath Miller and the tight ends either. Miller has been steadily working his way into the game plan lately and his backups, Weslye Saunders and David Johnson, have made plays as well.

    The Steelers have evolved into a passing team, and they are one of the premier passing teams in the NFL right now thanks to the combination of quarterback and receivers.

The Defense

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    Old, slow and done? Far from it!

    The Steelers defense seems to have finally gotten warmed up and ready to play football. The pass rush has been energized the past few weeks. James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, despite injuries that have caused both to miss time, are playing some of the best football of their careers.

    Don’t forget about their secondary either. Despite facing a dearth of starting quarterback talent, the secondary has played extremely well. Ike Taylor has been lights-out, Troy Polamalu is starting to make some bigger plays and Ryan Clark continues to hit everything hard.

    There’s no doubt that this defense can step up in big situations. Get them on the Super Bowl field, and they’ll likely come to play and come to win.

The Man with the Plan

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    Mike Tomlin is a master motivator. For whatever his team has lacked in health or talent, he’s more than made up for in passion and desire.

    Tomlin has gotten the Steelers up for big games over and over again and has gotten surprisingly good production out of backups and other players who aren’t necessarily big stars.

    He knows the buttons to push to get the most out of his team from an effort standpoint. He also knows exactly when to push those buttons. We’ve all witnessed the Steelers turning it on early in games to get out to big leads and then hanging on. While it may not be the sexiest game plan, it seems to work.

    Any time you’ve got a team with a head coach that can pull the strings just right, you’ve got a title contender.

No-Huddle Power

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    They don’t do it often enough (yet, at least), but the no-huddle works wonders for the Steelers.

    It goes back to what I said earlier about their receivers. It’s very hard for a defense to keep themselves upright if they consistently have to chase speedsters around the field without a few seconds or a minute of break time. If you get a defender gassed, the rest takes care of itself.

    The no-huddle also gives the Steelers a great weapon to create rhythm and production offensively when things stall out. It’s like flipping a switch. If the offense stops, the no-huddle can solve that problem.

    I’d like to see it happen more often and not always in game-changing situations, but at least it’s there. There are plenty of teams with quarterbacks and players who simply cannot execute the no-huddle with efficiency and effectiveness. That doesn’t happen in Pittsburgh.

Schedule and Competition

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    To say the Steelers got lucky with their second-half schedule isn’t saying enough. They have the Chiefs and Rams, the Browns twice and the 49ers on the schedule.

    Only the 49ers loom as a possible competitor. The rest should all be victories.

    As for San Francisco, the Steelers do match up well with what they do, so there’s reason to believe they could beat the 49ers as well.

    The competition gets more fierce if you put the Steelers into the playoffs. Using the current playoff picture as a guide, the Steelers could end up facing off against the Baltimore Ravens yet again. They also could get a rematch with New England or meet up with Carson Palmer and Oakland. Palmer knows the Steelers well, so he would be a tough out. Houston also is a possibility.

    But the Steelers came close to beating Baltimore and Houston, they already have beaten New England and match up well with Oakland (they’ve been successful against Palmer too). There’s every reason to believe that they can get to the Super Bowl.

    After that, it’s one game for all the marbles. The Steelers are 6-2 in Super Bowls. That means they always have a chance.