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Round 3 of Steelers March Madness: The Best of the Rest featuring No. 5 seed 2010 vs. No. 4 seed 1994

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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 1994 Steelers and the 2010 edition?

CHARGERS V STEELERS

BTSC continues to search for the best and most-memorable Steeler team to not win a title. Last time around, you voted the dominating 1976 defensive-led Steelers over the No. 1 seeded 2004 team that went 15-1 as a rookie QB set records. 1976 heads to the finals. Here’s the final tally.

No. 1 Seed: 2004 The Ben-ginning of a new era - 21%

No. 8 Seed: 1976 - The Steel Curtain Defense at their highest level - 71%

As we head into the second matchup of the semifinals, the No. 5 seeded 2010 team that fell behind 21-3 to Green Bay before mounting a furious comeback that fell short against the 3-yards shy team of 1994. 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. 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


Both teams had fantastic and forceful defensive units. One team made it to the big game, while the other fell flat in the Super Bowl. Who will join 1976 in the finale? Please vote and comment below.

Poll

In the semis of BTSC’s "Best of the Rest" March Madness poll, who should advance to the precipice of the honor?

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    No. 5 Seed: 2010 (12-4) Slipping on the Stairway to Seven
    (113 votes)
  • 45%
    No. 6 Seed: 1994 (12-4) Not Quite 60-Minute Men
    (95 votes)
208 votes total Vote Now

Check back Wednesday for the results and the championship matchup.