The 2009 New Orleans Saints started off their season 13-0, before losing three straight games to enter the post-season. It was there they rattled off three straight wins, including a dramatic overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings, along with their championship win over the Indianapolis Colts.
Steelers wide receiver Lance Moore was on that team, although he didn't see a whole lot of action. While he may not have contributed much on the field, he was around the team and he's no doubt familiar with how their championship team operated and how the receivers pushed each other.
Moore is conveying the same message to the young Steelers' wide receivers now, as the team is on the brink of its first playoff appearance since 2011 - when most of the receivers weren't on the team, or even in the league.
"Lance Moore had a speech in the room last week and it just spoke volumes of our goals, visions and how we have to hold each other accountable," Antonio Brown said to Steelers.com. "We have to prepare and minimize our mistakes to produce victories."
While Brown is clearly the statistical leader on the team (he broke the franchise's single-season receptions record in their win over Atlanta last week, and sits two yards shy of his own receiving-yards record on the Steelers), each receiver has played a role in the Steelers' high-powered offense this season. Rookie Martavis Bryant has seven touchdown catches in eight games. Markus Wheaton, in his second season, has an outside shot to surpass the numbers reached by ex-Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders, who left this off-season for Denver.
Effort and focus from the entire group will be necessary, as the Steelers look to knock off the 8-6 Kansas City Chiefs. They need a win on Sunday in order to clinch a playoff berth. A win on Sunday will also set up a divisional championship game the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals - if the Bengals win in Week 16, their Week 17 game in Pittsburgh will be for the division title. If the Bengals lose and Ravens win, a Steelers' win over the Bengals in Week 17 would give them their first divisional championship since 2010.
But it isn't about just one receiver or only one player. Part of the attraction of bringing Moore into the Steelers' locker room in 2014 was his level of experience, having played with multiple successful Saints teams. He has the opportunity to contribute not only on the field, but off of it as well.
And if the Steelers' receivers continue producing the way they have, they may have a successful season of their own.