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Round 2 of Pittsburgh Steelers March Madness: The Best of the Rest featuring No. 4 seed 1972 vs. No. 5 seed 2010

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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 1972 Steelers and the 2010 version?

Super Bowl XLV Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

BTSC continues to search for the best and most-memorable Steeler team to not win a title. Last time around, you voted a team that fell three yards and seconds shy of being 60 minute men over a team that egos and injuries destroyed. Here are the final tallies.

No. 3 - 2017: Team Turmoil - 31%

No. 6 - 1995: Not Quite 69-Minute Men - 69%

This time around we pit the team that got the ball rolling in an Immaculate fashion and a team that was a fumble away from possibly nabbing No. 7. 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. 4 Seed: 1972 (11-3) Immaculately sewing the seeds of a dynasty

The fourth season of Chuck Noll’s rebuilding of the once-moribund franchise was the edition that showed that his blueprint was starting to take shape. The Steelers improved from a 6-8 record (second in the AFC Central) in 1971 to division title and a mark of 11-3. The Steelers got a boost from their first-round pick out of Penn State, Franco Harris. No. 32 rushed for 1,055 yards and totaled 11 TDs (ten rushing/one receiving). Franco was also a phenomenon for the fans in Three Rivers. Frenchy Fuqua chipped in with four TDs. Terry Bradshaw went 11-3 as a starter and started to make strides, but still struggled at times with only 12 TDs vs. 12 INTs. The Blonde Bomber’s top receivers were Ron Shanklin and Roy Jefferson. On defense, Joe Greene was an absolute force. Johnstown’s Jack Ham was as well with seven picks and four fumble recoveries. Mike Wagner tallied six interceptions, while Andy Russell added four fumble recoveries as well. After starting the season 2-2, Noll’s team won nine of ten to close out the regular season. In the playoffs, their first appearance in 35 years, the team achieved the greatest play of all-time. All I have to write is “Immaculate Reception” and nothing more. In their first AFC Championship, the team succumbed to undefeated Miami. But the seeds had been sewn for greatness that fateful year.

Pro Bowlers: Henry Davis, Roy Gerela, Joe Greene, Franco Harris, Andy Russell, Dwight White

First-Team All Pros: Joe Greene

Second-Team All Pros: Roy Gerela, Franco Harris, Andy Russell

Team MVP: Franco Harris

First Round Selection: Franco Harris


No. 5 Seed: 2010 (12-4) Slipping on the Stairway to Seven

Pittsburgh’s dynastic chances took a hit in 2009 after the Super Bowl victory in the 2008 campaign, but 2010 was supposed to be the chance to rectify that. It started off very unlikely in the offseason when Santonio Holmes, who was suspended for the first four weeks of the season because of substance abuse, freaked out on a plane and was subsequently traded to the New York Jets for a fifth rounder. Ben Roethlisberger received a six-game ban (later reduced to four) for an alleged sexual assault in Milledgeville, GA in which he was not charged. 2010 also saw the departures of RB Willie Parker, CB Deshea Townsend and S Tyrone Carter and the return of LB Larry Foote, CB Bryant McFadden and WR Antwaan Randle-El. The team’s biggest performances came courtesy of Ben, Mike Wallace (1,257 receiving yards/10 TDs), Rashard Mendenhall (1,273 rushing yards/13 TDs), James Harrison (10.5 sacks), LaMarr Woodley (10 sacks) and Troy Polamalu (7 INTs and NFL Defensive Player of the Year). The season began with Dennis Dixon behind center in a victory vs. Atlanta. It was won when Mendenhall galloped 50 yards in OT for a score. The next week saw Charlie Batch take over for Dixon in a win that saw Antonio Brown take the opening kick 89 yards for a score. After a 3-1 start, Ben returned in Week 5 and went 9-3 in the final three quarter of the campaign. The signature win came in Week 13 against the team that they battled neck-and-neck for the division all year, the Baltimore Ravens. No. 7, booted-up with a broken foot, suffered a gruesome nose break in the game. Trailing 10-6 late in the fourth, LaMarr Woodley and Troy Polamalu teamed up with a sack and recovery of Flacco. Roethlisberger found Isaac Redman for a nine-yard score and the win. In the playoffs, they came from behind 14 points vs. Baltimore to win 31-24. In the AFCCG, the Steelers bested Santonio Holmes and the Jets to reach the Super Bowl. In their eighth SB, Ben threw an ugly pick-six and Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson were one step ahead of the secondary and shot the Pack out to an 18-point lead in Q2. But the Steelers mounted a furious comeback and were driving for the lead late in the fourth. However, Rashard Mendenhall fumbled and (after a GB FG) a last minute comeback was suffocated by the Green Bay defense and the Steelers fell in their most-recent SB.

Pro Bowlers: James Harrison, Brett Keisel, Troy Polamalu and Maurkice Pouncey

First-Team All Pros: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu

Second-Team All Pros: Maurkice Pouncey

Team MVP: Troy Polamalu

No. 1 Draft Pick: Maurkice Pouncey

Rookie of the Year: Maurkice Pouncey


The 1972 team was still a work in progress, but they were laying the foundation of a dynasty. The 2010 team overcame suspension to their QB in their quest for a 7th Lombardi. Vote and comment below.

Poll

Which Steelers team do you consider the "Best of the Rest" not to win a title in Round Two of BTSC’s March Madness poll?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    No. 4 Seed: 1972 (11-3) Immaculately sewing the seeds of a dynasty
    (91 votes)
  • 55%
    No. 5 Seed: 2010 (12-4) Slipping on the Stairway to Seven
    (112 votes)
203 votes total Vote Now

Check back Friday for the results and the first matchup of Round Three.