This is what they do, because this is who they are.
There really is no better way to understand the events of last Saturday evening at Heinz Field, when the Steelers extended their season into the Conference Championship round while simultaneously eliminating their bitterest rivals in a game that didn't unfold as they hoped but still ended the way they expected. After all, the standard is the standard.
The Steelers' standard is that there is the expectation of competing for a championship each and every season, and the manner in which the franchise goes about the business of winning football games is by embracing the notion of team.
Cliché. Sappy. An antiquated notion that's out of touch with the high-speed, high-tech world of today. To some it might be, but this fifth appearance in an AFC Championship game over the past 10 years, their conference-best 15th since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger, to go along with those half-dozen Lombardis, tells a different story.
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Now it's time for the AFC Championship Game, and a matchup with a Jets team fresh off a win over the allegedly invincible New England Patriots. In the coming days, the Steelers' shortcomings will be detailed, their deficiencies will be analyzed, but what will be ignored is their knack for doing what they need to do to win a particular game.
With these Steelers, it's not so much whether they're capable – their spot in the NFL's final four proves that – but what they're willing to do. You can ask the Ravens about that.
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