The Steelers had the number one ranked passing defense during the regular season last year, but all year long players preached that it didn’t matter where they were ranked throughout the season.
What mattered to them was what happened in the post-season, how they performed then and how far the team went.
And last year, it wasn’t far enough for them, losing to the Denver Broncos in overtime in the AFC Wild Card round.
“One thing I’ve learned about this game going into my 10th year is you don’t necessarily have to be the best defense during the season or the best team during the season, you’ve just got to be good enough to get into the playoffs and then be the best team in the playoffs,” said safety Troy Polamalu. “We went 15-1 and lost in the AFC Championship game. We were the best team during that season. When the New England Patriots went 16-0 they were the best team.
“You’ve just got to peak during the playoffs and when it came down to crunch time we didn’t perform as a defense. You have to seize the opportunities that are given to you and you’ve got to be patient for them to come. We’ll see if we learn from that and how we prepared this offseason.”
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