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Steelers News: The playoffs are where legends—and losers—are born

The NFL Playoffs are a unique beast, and they can create legends before your very eyes.

NFL: DEC 31 Browns at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/ Icon Sportswire

When it comes to the NFL Playoffs, they can either make or break a player. Thinking strictly about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ history, you could probably name a list of players who had their careers elevated, or demoted, largely due to playoff performances.

Rashard Mendenhall’s fumble in the Super Bowl tarnished an otherwise solid NFL career.

Fitzgerald Toussaint’s fumble in the 2015 AFC Divisional round vs. the Broncos is still talked about to this day.

James Harrison’s incredible interception return in Super Bowl 43 will go down as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history.

You get what I’m selling here. As the current crop of Steelers prepares for their first playoff action, you have to wonder which players will step up, and which players mt fold under pressure.

If you ask me, I have my money on two defensive backs, Mike Hilton and Joe Haden, to show out, while you hope JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vance McDonald both answer the call on the offensive side of the docket.

But who will make the play they’ll be remembered by forever? Only time will tell...

Time to check in on the Steelers news outside the walls of BTSC:

Less than five months ago, Mike Hilton was an undersized and undrafted practice-squad player in his second NFL training camp, hoping to find a way to make an impression.

This week, he’s preparing for his first NFL playoff game, and he’ll have a role on the Steelers’ No. 1 defense.

“I still sit back and think about it. It’s crazy how things change over a year,” the Steelers’ slot cornerback said after practice Monday. “I have been blessed to be in the position I am in now. I’m just trying to take advantage of it the best way I can. Enjoy every moment.

“I’m excited, knowing what’s at stake, knowing it’s win or go home. This is what you live for. These are the moments you want to play.”

Ben Roethlisberger just got a belated Christmas gift from his wish list.

On his 93.7 FM radio show last week, Roethlisberger said he wanted to play the Jaguars again in the divisional round of the playoffs. When the two teams played earlier in the season, the Steelers quarterback threw five interceptions in a 30-9 defeat at Heinz Field.

“For me, personally, I’d love to prove that five interceptions wasn’t me in that game,”Roethlisberger said Tuesday during his club’s bye week .

Ask, and you shall receive.

The Jaguars survived a 10-3 tussle against the Bills in the first round, so they will return to Heinz Field a second time Sunday afternoon.

What about the Steelers defensive players, though? Do they share their quarterback’s opinion about wanting a rematch with Jacksonville?

“They took care of us early in the season,” former Jaguar Mike Hilton said. “We feel like if we get another shot at them, we’ll take care of business.”

The Jacksonville Jaguars have everything they need to advance deep into the playoffs this year — a league-leading run game, a defense playing at an elite level with no noticeable weaknesses...

Well, almost everything.

If Blake Bortles can’t stop turning the ball over and losing his rhythm in the passing game as soon as he finds it, the Jaguars will find themselves out of the tournament as quickly as this week.

But what else do the Jaguars need to make a serious run to the Super Bowl?