The Pittsburgh Steelers are among the most storied franchises in the history of the NFL, even if their early legacy was one of a bunch of lovable losers. But since 1972, no team has been able to match what the Rooney family has built over generations.
As everybody knows, the Steelers own the most Super Bowl trophies in NFL history, acquiring their fifth and sixth with Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback in 2005 and 2008. They are one of just a small handful of teams to have won it all with three different head coaches.
And with last night’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, they reclaimed a tie with the Dallas Cowboys for the most franchise postseason victories of all time with their 34th, more than the 30 other franchises and one of few with at least 30 victories.
The victory was also just the eighth that has come on the road, with three of the previous road playoff victories coming during that 2005 season when they became the first sixth seed to ever advance to and win the Super Bowl, defeating the top three seeds in their conference and the top seed in the NFC in doing so.
That number does not include Super Bowls, e.g. games in neutral territory, in which the Steelers are 6-2 with only the Cowboys and 49ers having at least five. Neither the Cowboys nor 49ers advanced to the postseason this year, however, so Pittsburgh is guaranteed to end this playoff run with the most Super Bowl titles.
Pittsburgh is in a three-way tie with the Cowboys and Patriots for the most Super Bowl appearances, each having appeared in eight Super Bowls. The Steelers have gone 6-2 in their trips, with the Cowboys sitting at 5-3, having gone 1-2 in the Super Bowl against Pittsburgh. The Patriots are 4-4, and 4-2 under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
If the Steelers do happen to advance all the way to the Super Bowl this year, thus breaking the three-way tie for the most Super Bowl appearances with the Cowboys and Patriots, they will also enter another tie for another postseason accolade.
To advance to Super Bowl 50, they will have to secure three victories on the road, which would give them 10 franchise road playoff victories all-time. That would put them in a tie with, surprisingly, the Baltimore Ravens, who have only been around for about 20 years, having secured 10 such victories in their franchise’s history.
But the notch that stands above all else to me, short of the Super Bowl victories, of course, is the all-time victories in the postseason, and the Steelers now have 34 of them, with the opportunity next weekend to secure the most ever in NFL history outright with their 35th victory if they can beat the Broncos again.
Last night was the 56th playoff game in Steelers franchise history, posting an all-time 34-22 record, and finally getting back in the win column after three consecutive losses. They are now 5-5 in Wildcard games.