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Old 12-26-2005, 12:18 AM   #1
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Default Steelers' goal is to rule the road

Monday, December 26, 2005

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers would like to follow a path traveled successfully only by the New England Patriots, and then up them by one. They would like to become the second team in NFL history to win three playoff games on the road and reach the Super Bowl.

The Patriots accomplished that in the 1985 season. New England made the playoffs as a wild-card team that year after finishing third in the AFC East. The Patriots then won at the New York Jets, at the Los Angeles Raiders and at the Miami Dolphins to land in Super Bowl XX, where the Chicago Bears rudely ended their streak, 46-10.

No team has won three on the road and then won the Super Bowl. The 2000 Baltimore Ravens made it as a wild-card team, second in the AFC Central, but won their first playoff game at home before winning two on the road and winning the Super Bowl.

History says it can't be done, which is why the Steelers either weren't looking back after they crushed the Browns in Cleveland, 41-0, Saturday, or tried to turn history in their favor. Is this exercise of trying to earn the sixth and final AFC playoff seed one of futility even if accomplished?

"My answer to that is, New England came into our place a few years ago and beat us," Jerome Bettis said. "I don't know if they were a wild-card team, but they were on the road. You know what, they found a way to win, so it's not impossible."

The Patriots did it twice to the Steelers, once last January in a repeat performance of their AFC championship celebration in Heinz Field in January 2002. The most recent title game is not the one to which Bettis referred. The Patriots were 11-5 in the 2001 season, the Steelers' record if they beat the Detroit Lions Sunday. But New England won the AFC East, had a bye in the first round and played their first game at home.

At least, the '85 Patriots showed that winning three consecutive playoff games on the road to land in the Super Bowl can be done.

"No, it's not impossible," linebacker Joey Porter said, "if you believe in talent, you believe in your teammates, the whole thing you're trying to get done. I believe we're a much more focused group than we have been in the past."

After all, they've failed many times to do it the other way. Last season, 2001, 1997, 1994 -- all with byes, all with AFC championship games at home, no Super Bowl in those seasons.

"I mean, I've been on some great teams," Porter said. "The 15-1 season to where we were playing like we thought we couldn't be beat. The 13-3 season when we were on a roll and felt we couldn't be beat.

"But, what we have right now, the focus is greater and we're doing it with a lot of different guys. The focus we have right now is a lot greater than we had, and we know what we have to do. We can't look ahead. You have to get by the game you're playing right now to even think of getting any farther, and that's the way we're playing."

Of course, they have Detroit first. They could lose to the Lions and still make the playoffs, but they're finished relying on others for help. Plus, should you make the playoffs if you lose to the Lions at home?

"We understand we have to win at home against Detroit and go on the road where we need to go," coach Bill Cowher said. "The path is ahead of us. It's a tough journey, but I kind of think we're looking forward to it."

Expect Cowher to make the Lions sound like the '85 Bears this week. After that, the Steelers would jump right into the playoffs, either at Cincinnati or at New England, giving them a chance to turn things the other way against either opponent. If they win that game, they would play at Indianapolis, and have another chance for some payback. They cannot play a game at home in the postseason.

"It just means you have to be playing good football," Bettis said of the possible playoff itinerary. "You have to be comfortable playing on the road, you have to have good defense and you have to run the football -- all the ingredients we have. It's just a matter of going out and playing and making plays."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05360/628123.stm
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Old 12-26-2005, 12:23 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

damn this article scares the hell out of me but also excites the hell out of me. it's gonna be an awesome playoffs. and that would be f'n tight if we can do what no one has done and win three on the road and win it all for bettis.

damn i hope pats and bengals stay right where they are on the seedings, i much rather face the bengals, the pats will be scary in the first round. i'm gonna be nervous as hell if we make it to the playoffs and beat the bengals when we play the colts, they are gonna be rested (which isn't always a good thing) and they'll be fighting for tony and his son so they'll be scary as hell. but i have faith in the black and gold that we can beat them. hell it could go down as the greatest game ever. well enough of looking to far in the future, lets kill the lions and go into the playoffs the way we usually don't, on fire and clicking on all clynders
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Old 12-26-2005, 01:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

Hey we can do it.. others have, we're playing hot right now, if we keep it up the sky is the limit.. one game at a time..
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

The Steelers Can Make The Super Bowl On The Road. They'll be the home team for the Super Bowl because the NFC was home team for Super Bowl XXXIX. (Fagholes Sucked In That Game). Well We're gonna show the NFL, The AFC, And Pennsylvania Who's the Daddy of the NFL in this State. And it's the team with 4 Super Bowls. The STEELERS!
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

Most people thought we wouldn't make the playoffs. Just got to keep playing our game. Let's go Steelers!
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Old 12-26-2005, 10:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prosdo
Most people thought we wouldn't make the playoffs. Just got to keep playing our game. Let's go Steelers!

Play Our Game we have done. Play Our own game we shall do.
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Old 12-26-2005, 10:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

I'm not too scared... Big Bens record is amazing on the road.
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Old 12-26-2005, 01:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

we were written off early, most of the football guys on TV didn`t take our injuries into consideration. Or that fact that our third string qb sucks! With Ben playing better every week, and others getting healthy. We are a team to be reckoned with, were ever we play!
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Old 12-26-2005, 04:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers' goal is to rule the road

We Are a Team that will cary home Super Bowl XL. Just got to step it up every game and win em.
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