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Pittsburgh Steelers March Madness: The Best of the Rest featuring No. 6 seed 1994 vs. No. 11 seed 2016

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 1994 Steelers and the 2016 version?

Divisional Round - Pittsburgh Steelers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

BTSC continues to search for the best and most-memorable Steeler team to not win a title. Last time around, you voted the 2010 Super Bowl squad over the rootable 1997 Steelers in a runaway fashion.

No. 5 - 2010: - 77%

No. 12 - 1997: 23%

This time around we pit two talented teams that faltered in the AFC Championship. 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. 6 Seed: 1994 (12-4) Not Quite 60-Minute Men

The third season of Bill Cowher’s tenure seemed to have the ingredients of a team to turn the corner. Barry Foster was back and seemed healthy, Neil O’Donnell was seemingly in command of the offense and the defense with Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake, Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene looked to be the epitome of dominance. They also added a good bit of talent in the draft with names like Charles Johnson, Brentson Buckner, Jason Gildon, Bam Morris and Myron Bell. The season started on a sour note in a home loss to Dallas. In fact a 2-2 record wasn’t the beginning that Steeler Nation desired, but wins in 10 of the next 11 turned sour to sweet. Leading the way for the Steelers that year were O’Donnell, Foster (851 yards/5 TDs), Morris (836 yards/7 TDs), Charles Johnson (577 yards), Eric Green (618 yards/4 TDs), Chad Brown (8.5 sacks), Ray Seals (7 sacks), Kevin Greene (14 sacks), Lloyd (8.5 sacks), Darren Perry (7 INTs) and Woodson (4 INTs). The signature win came in the playoffs against Bill Belichick, Vinny Testeverde and the Cleveland Browns to the tune of 29-9. With spirits high and being favorites to go to their first Super Bowl in 15 years, the Steelers welcomed the San Diego Chargers and may have looked right past them. Seals organized the infamous “60 Minute Men” video and players seemed more concerned about SB tickets for friends and family. Up 13-3 in the third, the Chargers scored twice on passes of 43 yards from Stan Humphries to Alfred Pupunu and Tony Martin. Starring for the Chargers that day was Junior Seau with 15 tackles. But with a 4th and Goal on the three, No. 14’s pass to Foster was batted away in the end zone and Steeler Nation felt despair as a very strong team fell three-yards shy and couldn’t go 60 minutes to win the conference. 1994 would be the final seasons of Barry Foster and Eric Green in a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform.

Pro Bowlers: Dermontti Dawson, Eric Green, Kevin Greene, Duval Love, Carnell Lake, Greg Lloyd and Rod Woodson

First-Team All Pros: Dermontti Dawson, Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd and Rod Woodson

Second-Team All Pros: Carnell Lake

Team MVP: Greg Lloyd

No. 1 Draft Pick: Charles Johnson

Rookie of the Year: Byron “Bam” Morris


No. 11 Seed: 2016 (11-5) Steel Holidays

Coming off of a season in which a very talented team was tainted by injury, the 2016 Steelers were healthy going into the season and looking to fulfill a Super Bowl prophecy. Without Heath Miller (retirement) and Le’Veon Bell’s services due to skipping drug tests for the first three weeks, the Steelers went 4-1 to start. The signature win being a 43-14 victory in Week 4 over KC in which the Killer Bees dominated. Ben Roethlisberger threw five TD passes, Bell ran for 144 yards in his return and Antonio Brown had two TDs. They won decidedly again the next week, but then the wheels fell off with four straight losses and a 4-5 record. A rebound came with seven straight to close out the regular season. In that stretch the Steelers won on Thanksgiving Night, Christmas Day (AB’s Immaculate Extension) and New Years Day. The streak continued in the playoffs as the Killer Bees went full tilt against Miami in the Wild Card. The next week, the offense sputtered and couldn’t score a touchdown. Luckily, Chris Boswell set the record for most field goals in a playoff game with 6. In the final moments, KC failed on a two-point conversion after a holding call wiped out a seemingly successful one. After the game, the infamous AB Facebook Live incident occurred with Brown broadcasting Coach Mike Tomlin’s thoughts on the New England Patriots. With that distraction and Le’Veon Bell’s absence in practice part of the week, the Steelers traveled to New England for a shot at the AFC crown. Losing Bell early to injury, having the secondary get demoralized by Tom Brady to Chris Hogan twice for scores, dropped balls by Cobi Hamilton and Sammie Coates in big spots, questionable play calling and not being able to convert on a 1st and Goal from the one were major factors in their demise. The offense was quite strong in 2016, but the defense was really showing their warts. All in all, it was a very good team that could have won another ring...but couldn’t stand up to Bellichick again.

Pro Bowlers: Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, David DeCastro, Maurkice Pouncey, Ben Roethlisberger and Ryan Shazier

First-Team All Pros: Antonio Brown

Second-Team All Pros: Le’Veon Bell and David DeCastro

Team MVP: Le’Veon Bell

No. 1 Draft Pick: Artie Burns

Rookie of the Year: Sean Davis

2016


Poll

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

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    No. 11 Seed: 2016 (11-5) Steel Holidays
    (66 votes)
  • 73%
    No. 6 Seed: 1994 (11-5) Not Quite 60-Minute Men
    (185 votes)
251 votes total Vote Now

Check back Friday for the results.