10 greatest single-season performances in Pittsburgh Steelers history

Pittsburgh Steelers, Rod Woodson
Pittsburgh Steelers, Rod Woodson / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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5. Troy Polamalu, 2010

I think we all can agree that we've never quite seen a player like Troy Polamalu, and one can only imagine what his career would have looked like if he didn't have 5 of 12 seasons cut short due to injuries. Still, when he was on the field and healthy, there were very few safeties in the history of the league who could have matched his impact on the team.

Despite being a former first-round pick, Polamalu had to earn his keep. As such, he began his career as a special teams player and didn't start on Dick LeBeau's defense until his second season. In year two, he recorded 97 tackles, 5 interceptions, and a defensive touchdown, and it was easy to see a budding star.

Polamalu really could have made this list twice. In both 2008 and 2010, he was deserving of Defensive Player of the Year honors and his Approximate Value score in each season ranks just a few points shy of tying the best ever by a Steelers player. Ultimately, I had him making the list for his phenomenal 2010 season.

In this year, Polamalu earned 63 tackles, 6 tackles for a loss, 11 passes defended, a forced fumble, and 7 picks which he returned for 101 yards and a touchdown. His legendary performance helped the Steelers to just 14.5 points per game surrendered. Though they went on to lose in the Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers following the 2010 season, they would have never made it to the big game without Troy Polalamlu.