It’s all there in front of them.  History…… legacy……. it’s all at stake in the upcoming weeks.  This current version of the Pittsburgh Steelers has a chance to finally put themselves up there with the other legendary teams of the past.  Great Steelers teams win Super Bowls, that’s how it works here.  Not to win a championship with this collection of talent would be a great disappointment for this franchise.

Ben Roethlisberger has two rings.  Mike Tomlin has one.  There are some very good players on this team however who can’t make that claim.  Antonio Brown is arguably the best wide receiver in Steelers history, he’s never even been to the Super Bowl.  The same is true for running back Le’veon Bell.  Cam Heyward is up there with the teams a best defensive lineman ever, but he’s never even played in the AFC Championship game.  Can we call these players all-time Steelers greats if they never get to, never mind win a Super Bowl?  When you are talking about a team with this kind of history, the answer has to be no. They need a win to be able to be comfortably mentioned in the storied history of this franchise.

Speaking of legacy, one more Super Bowl win would put both Tomlin and Roethlisberger in some very elite company.  For Tomlin, a second championship would put him in that next level of Super Bowl coaches.  Not quite Belichick, Noll, or Walsh level just yet, but certainly on a plain with the likes of Jimmy Johnson, Mike Shanahan, and Bill Parcells.  Multiple titles has to put Tomlin in the NFL Hall of Fame conversation.  A third Lombardi Trophy would really put Ben Roethlisberger in some rarefied air.  There’s a Mount Rushmore of Super Bowl quarterbacks in the NFL.  Tom Brady with 5 championships, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with 4 each make up this elite group.  After that, the only quarterback with more than two is Troy Aikman.  So you can see where a third title would put Roethlisberger in Super Bowl history.  Big Ben may already have done enough to get into the Hall, but one more Super Bowl and he’s an absolute lock.

There’s a lot at stake for the franchise as well.  The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently the winningest team in Super Bowl history with six.  Their arch rival New England Patriots are right behind with five of their own. Winning a seventh Super Bowl would give the Steelers a two game cushion on a 41-year-old Tom Brady.  That should take care of the New England problem for quite some time. All of a sudden, the San Francisco 49ers have become a concern as well.  A few months ago they didn’t seem like much of a threat even with five wins of their own.  It seems the acquisition of Jimmy Garapolo may have changed all that.  Kyle Shanahan is a very good young coach, and now he has the quarterback he needs to make some noise.  They are a team to watch at the very least in the upcoming years.

So there it is, much is on the line in this post season.  The legacy of players and franchise will be determined by the what happens in the play-offs.  This is the healthiest and most talented group the team has been able to put on the field in some time.  There are no more excuses, it’s time for this team to claim it’s status as the next Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl champion.