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|02-07-2009, 12:35 AM||#1|
A Son of Martha
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Member Number: 10438
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2008-09 Pittsburgh Steelers Place in History
2008-09 Pittsburgh Steelers Place in History
Feb 05, 2009 | 7:45PM | report this
Now that the season is over, and a sixth championship is won, time to look back at the what the Steelers accomplished. There has been a bunch of articles nationally written about the Steelers place in the sporting patheon and how great of a franchise they are.
I am not going to argue about whether or not the Steelers are the best team in sports. There is certainly a compelling case to be made for them, as their success on the field has been matched by a steady and sure business model off of it. But obviously I wouldn't be biased in any arguement I make for that. I do think the Steelers are one of the marquee franchises is all of sports, and that should be without debate.
As for the best NFL franchise, once again, I certainly think the Steelers have a very strong case. Over the entire history of the NFL it is hard to say, but I really think that in the Super Bowl/Merger era, the Steelers have to be considered the best team over that time. Not only do they have the most Super Bowl titles now, but they have the 2nd most playoff appearances, the 2nd most Conference Titles, and the most division titles since the Merger. Also, since 1970, they have had three coaches and only seven losing seasons. They have will have 10 Hall of Famers when Rod Woodson goes in officially, and both their chairmen(Art and Dan Rooney) are in as well. Head Coach Chuck Noll is also a part of the HOF, and Bill Cowher could certainly get there someday.
Where do these Steelers rank in franchise history? I hate when people label things in sports the best just because they happened 3 mintues ago, but these Steelers have to up there with the great teams in franchise history.
The 2008 Steelers went 12-4 against was almsot unamiously considered the toughest schedule in the league. Only three teams on the schedule finished with a losing record. The defense was absolutley dominating all year, and made huge play after huge play this year. They had six fourth quarter comebacks, including the Super Bowl. They won their 19th division title by beating the Ravens twice in the regular season, and their seventh conference title by beating the Chargers for a second time and the Ravens a third.
The offense was a weak point all year stats wise. The offense only ranked 23rd. For a team so assciated with running the ball, few teams did it worse then the Steelers did this year. The offensive line allowed a 46 sacks, only one team allowed more. But the offense showed an uncanny knack for making plays when they needed to, especially Ben Roethlisberger. Also the defense allowed 20 points or more in two on the three playoff games, and only shutout one opponent all year.
I still hold the 1978 Steelers as the best team in franchise history. They went 14-2, a club record for wins in he regular season they stood for over 25 years. Terry Bradshaw won the league MVP, and set the club passing touchdown record that stood for 29 years. They scored at least 34 points in all of their playoff games including the Super Bowl. The offense ranked the best in the league, while the defense was towards the top. They had 9 Hall of Famers on both sides of the ball, and won what is probably the most talent laden Super Bowl ever, that being Super Bowl XIII over the Dallas Cowboys.
I think these Steelers can battle it out with the 1975 and 1976 Steelers for second place on my list. The '75 Steelers won the second Super Bowl title in franchise history, and boasted a better defense then the '78 club. The team members feel that the '76 squad was the best, and by far they were the best defensive team they ever put out on the field. Five shutouts for the year with a total of 28 points allowed the final nine games of the season. They also boasted two 1,000 yard rushers in Rocky Blier and Franco Harris. But that team lost in the AFC Title game to the Oakland Raiders, and I always feel you can't be the best without a championship. I would put the '08 Steelers ahead of the '74 and '79 Steelers from the dynasty years, and also the not-to-distant past 2005 Steelers.
I think time will tell the full implications of these Steelers. Right now, I can see three Hall of Famers on this squad, Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, and Hines Ward. It will be interesting to see if that will change, but as for now, I feel that they are only ones on the current as it stands now. They had a great season, and gave their fans a ride they won't soon forget. I think that is good enough for right now.
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