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Pittsburgh Steelers March Madness: The Best of the Rest featuring No. 2 seed 2001 vs. No. 15 seed 2015

Bracketing the best teams in the past 50 years of Pittsburgh Steelers history never to win a title. Who do you consider the “Best of the Rest” between the 2015 Steelers and the 2001 version?

Hines Ward #86

BTSC continues to search for the best and most-memorable Steeler team to not win a title. Last time around, you voted the 2004 featuring the rookie phenom Ben Roethlisberger over the magical 1989 Cinderella Steelers.

No. 1 - 2004: The 15-1 Ben-ginning of a new era - 87%

No. 16 - 1989: Chuck Noll’s Cinderellas dance in the postseason - 13%

This time around we pit the top vote-getter from the play-in round (2015 Steelers) against the team that earned an AFC Title Game in the debut season record of Heinz Field (2001). Be sure to vote for the team that remains the most memorable to you or the one you feel is simply the “best of the rest”. Your choice. Be sure to wax poetically in the comment section below.

No. 2 Seed: 2001 (13-3)

After three-straight years out of the playoffs, the Steelers christened the newly-opened, Heinz Field with their best record in 13 seasons. The season started out rocky with a 21-3 loss in Jacksonville. After two weeks off due to 9/11 and a scheduled bye, Kordell Stewart and Jerome Bettis led the way to wins in 13 of the next 15 regular-season games. Hines Ward and Plaxico Burress each went over 1,000 receiving yards. The signature win came in Week 14 at Baltimore. After beating the Ravens in the Divisional Playoffs at home, the Steelers fell to the Patriots at home in the AFCCG 21-17

Pro Bowlers: Kendrell Bell, Jerome Bettis, Alan Faneca, Jason Gildon, Kordell Stewart, Hines Ward

First-Team All Pros: Alan Faneca, Jason Gildon

Second-Team All Pros: Kendrell Bell, Jeff Hartings

Team MVP: Kordell Stewart

First Round Selection: Casey Hampton

Rookie of the Year: Kendrell Bell

No. 15 Seed: 2015 (10-6)

Due to his retirement, this season was the first for the Steelers sans Troy Polamalu since his being drafted by the Steelers in 2003. It would also be the final season of Heath Millers career in “the burgh”. After starting the year without the services of Martavis Bryant and Le’Veon Bell due to suspensions, the Steelers lost another key player. Ben Roethlisberger suffered an injury in Week 3 in St.Louis that kept him on the shelf for four games, but No. 7 still threw for nearly 4,000 yards. Michael Vick and Landry Jones led the team to a 2-2 record doing Big Ben’s absence. Another player that missed a significant amount of time was Bell, who suffered a season ending knee injury in Week 8 against Cincinnati. DeAngelo Williams filled in enormously with 970 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. But the greatest performance from 2015 came from Antonio Brown. AB caught a team record of 136 balls and amassed 1,834 yards. In weeks 13 and 14, the Steelers are in pivotal and signature wins over Cincinnati in Denver respectively. In the wildcard game, the Steelers (without Deangelo) survived with great performances by Martavis Bryant and Ryan Shazier in an improbable last second win in Cincinnati. However, Ben Roethlisberger was banged up and Brown was brutally attacked by Vontaze Burfict and was lost for the next week. Despite playing without key players, the Steelers were in position to win in Denver and advance to the AFC Championship. However, a Fitzgerald Toussaint fumble late and a errant call of not marking Peyton Manning down on a third-down stop, ended the impossible dream.

Pro Bowlers: Antonio Brown, David DeCastro, Ben Roethlisberger

First-Team All Pros: Antonio Brown, David DeCastro

Team MVP: Antonio Brown

First Round Selection: Alvin “Bud” Dupree

Rookie of the Year: Alvin “Bud” Dupree


Which Steeler team not to win the Super Bowl do you consider the best or most memorable? Your choice.

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    No. 2: 2001 - Inaugural Heinz Field Heroes
    (151 votes)
  • 37%
    No. 15: 2015 - Barely Walking Wounded
    (91 votes)
242 votes total Vote Now