Steelers Playoff Run: How Far Could They Go?

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Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) – Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Barn Burner After Barn Burner….

Well we all know what happened the last time the Steelers met the Colts, if these two teams were to meet up again.  Ben Roethlisberger threw his first of two consecutive 6 TD games.  Odds are he wouldn’t be able to pull of something like that again.  But, the Colts aren’t necessarily hot stuff as of late.

They’re winning, yes, but Luck is struggling, which could mean good things for this Steelers offense should offensive coordinator Todd Haley be able to figure out how to punch the ball into the end zone in the first half of a football game.

It’s a striking stat, but it’s one that has almost defined the season for this team.

Their ability to beat the superpowers at their own game gives them the potential to throw a monkey wrench into the AFC’s cycle of predictability.

The Steelers have a red zone efficiency of around 40% in the first half of games while carrying over 60% efficiency throughout the 2nd half.  That kind of efficiency (or lack thereof) is putting them into holes early.  It’s the kind of stat that could end a playoff game real quick.

And that’s what it’s going to take in order to keep moving from round to round.  No matter who they play, and even if the Steelers become the 4th seed in the playoffs and take on someone like the Ravens at Heinz Field – the Steelers will need to put up an enormous amount of points per game in order to come away with the Win.

The Patriots, Broncos, and Colts all have high-powered offenses.  The Steelers defense that is so prone to give up at least one big play per game, will have their hands full each week.

Big Ben, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Bryant, the offensive line – all will need to bring their A game to the field.  And maybe more.

These Steelers are the only team in the entire AFC that are capable of doing just that.  They have the number one offense in yards and rank in the top 10 in rush yards, pass yards, and points.  As Mike Tanier says over at the Bleacher Report, the Steelers might be the only hope of breaking up the foregone conclusion that the Patriots or Broncos will be the ones to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.

Tanier says,

"“Their ability to beat the superpowers at their own game gives them the potential to throw a monkey wrench into the AFC’s cycle of predictability.”"

There’s some merit to what Tanier says, and I think that if the Steelers could stay consistent on offense, apply pressure early by putting up points early, and keep the peddle down the entire football game these 2014 Steelers. This is a team that was thrashed by fans and the media more than they were by their opponents (including myself), a team that was predicted to go 8-8 once again.

Still, the Steelers could find themselves on a plane ride down to Phoenix for Super Bowl XLIX.  And, if they make it that far, well… we might just be witnessing something even more special than the 2005 Super Bowl run.

Next: Steelers Need Balance To Beat The Chiefs

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