The Pittsburgh Steelers, and especially their fans, take a lot of pride in the fact that their organization has accomplished many things that no other team has, but it’s becoming increasingly more difficult to make that claim with each passing years as the New England Patriots continue their assault on their record books.
They could arguably cement their status beyond doubt as the greatest dynasty in the history of football with a victory tonight in Super Bowl LIII over the Los Angeles Rams, but really, many would argue that the argument is already plenty strong.
Two years ago, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady became the first head coach and quarterback to win five Super Bowls, Brady the second player to do it. As a franchise, their five total Super Bowls stands second only to the Steelers’ six. They could tie that tonight.
But they already tied the Steelers for the most playoff victories by a franchise with 60. They have already been to the most Super Bowls, by far, with 11 after they have gone in each of the past three seasons. No other team has been to more than eight, Pittsburgh and the Denver Broncos having each done that as well.
A win today would give Brady and Belichick 30 playoff victories in New England, a truly astonishing number, which is more than most franchises have in their entire history. While the Patriots actually appeared in two Super Bowls before that duo arrived on the scene, they had just seven postseason wins, with most of them coming in those two seasons.
As much as I don’t care to admit it, we all know that we’ll be watching the precipice of history tonight, history that would diminish the Steelers’ legacy. They have been able to claim since 2008 that they have more Super Bowl championships than anybody, but that could change tonight.
This will be the third time that Pittsburgh’s place on the top perch has been under threat during the Super Bowl over the course of the past seven years, starting in 2012 with the San Francisco 49ers and again last year with the Patriots. The first two efforts to try to match the Steelers’ six Super Bowls failed, but how many attempts will fall short?
Pittsburgh had a crack at seven back in 2010 against the Green Bay Packers, but they, too, fell short. They haven’t been able to make it back since, the closest they came being to the 2016 AFC Championship game. In fact, they have only won three postseason games since.
In the meantime, the Patriots have won 15 postseason games, including two Super Bowls, and they have been to at least the AFC Championship game every year. Quite frankly, we’ve never seen anything like this in the NFL, and once this ride ends, we may never see it again.