The Steelers have returned to the AFC Championship game as they are facing the New York Jets this Sunday to determine who will be advancing to the SuperBowl in Dallas. The Steelers are arguably the most storied and respected organization in the NFL and have had numerous great moments in their NFL record 6 SuperBowl runs. Here are five of the greatest.
Bradshaw to Stallworth SuperBowl IX
This was the play that gave the Steelers their fourth of six SuperBowl wins. Down 19-17 late to the Rams, the Steelers were needing something to go right for them if they were going to win another Championship. Well, they got it in the form of a 73 yard touchdown pass from Terry Bradshaw to a streaking John Stallworth. That play gave the Steelers the lead and the momentum. They would win the game (of course) 31-19.
James Harrison’s 100 yard interception return in SuperBowl XLIII
It was nearing halftime and the Arizona Cardinals were only a few yards from taking a lead into the locker room. Cardinals QB Kurt Warner, a seasoned playoff vet, dropped back and let fly the potential touchdown pass. The only problem was that he didn’t see James Harrison who dropped back into Warners passing lane. What happened next was a thing of beauty as Harrison intercepted the ball at the goalline and rumbled, stumbled and bumbled his way 100 yards to give the Steelers a touchdown to end the half. It was a good thing the SuperBowl features an extended half-time also, because I’m sure Harrison needed every second of it to catch his breath.
This was a play that stopped what could have been one of the most horrific moments in Steelers history. Playing against the heavily favorite Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional round, the Steelers were about to bang in the game, clinching touchdown when the normally sure-handed Jerome Bettis fumbled the ball into the air. The Colts Nick Harper snagged the ball and was off to the races with nothing to stop him from scoring…nothing other than Big Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers, who managed a shoe string tackle to save the score and preserve the Steelers win.
The Immaculate Reception
Everyone knows this play because it is easily the most famous play in NFL History and the one that turned around the Steelers franchise. With the clock winding down in the fourth quarter and the Steelers down 7-6 to the Raiders, Pittsburgh needed a miracle to pull out the win and a miracle they got as a Terry Bradshaw pass to "French" Fuqua was reflected back through the air. Before it could hit the ground and end the game, Steelers running back Franco Harris scooped it from the air and ran it in for the Steelers first playoff win.
It was SuperBowl XLIII and the Steelers were down by three to the Arizona Cardinals with a little over 2 minutes to go. With the ball at their own 18 after a holding penalty, the Steelers needed 88 yards if they were going to win this game. Cue the Rocky theme as the near-legendary Big Ben Roethlisberger orchestrated a stunning drive that was capped off by perhaps the greatest throw in SuperBowl history. He hit wideout Santonio Holmes, his favorite target throughout the drive, in the corner of the end-zone, throwing the ball past the hands of three defenders that were guarding the area.