The Steelers had a fantastic season in 2011 but were unable to make it past the Wild Card Game in the playoffs. In the previous season the team had made it all the way to the Super Bowl, losing to the Green Bay Packers in the final quarter. The Steelers were determined to make it back in the next year, and in 2011 had another solid season under head coach Mike Tomlin at 12-4, finishing second in the AFC North due to losing to the Ravens twice in the season (and thus the tiebreaker between the two teams as well). Going into the playoffs the Pittsburgh Steelers were heavy favorites going up against the Broncos in the Wild Card Game, and got off to an early start in the first quarter for a 6-0 lead.
However, the Broncos, led by quarterback Tim Tebow, came storming back in the second quarter to take a 20-6 lead at halftime. The Steelers needed to step up their games to another level to get by the Broncos in the second half, and were able to for the most part by scoring 17 points to Denver’s 3 to bring the game into overtime. In one of the more unique (and disappointing) finishes for the Steelers in the playoffs, the Broncos won the game in overtime on the first play, as Tim Tebow threw an 80 yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.
For the second consecutive year the Steelers had a great regular season, only to not go all the way and win a Super Bowl. After their loss against the Broncos in 2011, the Steelers made it a priority to solidify their offensive line to protect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger more, and did so in the 2012 NFL Draft by selecting a guard and tackle with their first two picks.
With that said, the Steelers have an interesting start to their 2012 season, facing none other than the Denver Broncos in their first matchup of the season, followed up with game against the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders before going into a bye in week four. The Steelers will be facing a Broncos team that is very different from the one that defeated them in the playoffs last year, in that the team traded away Tim Tebow to the New York Jets and signed quarterback Peyton Manning to a multi-year contract to lead the team’s offense. So in essence, the Steelers will be getting the best of both worlds in getting a rematch against the team and main player from last year’s playoffs in the first two weeks of the 2012 NFL season.
The most difficult stretch in the schedule for 2012 is from weeks 13 through 15 when the team will play the Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers, and Dallas Cowboys, with only the Chargers game being played at home. All three of these matchups will present some difficulties for the Steelers this year, as the Chargers and Cowboys have great offensive teams, while the Ravens are more known for their defense like the Steelers themselves.
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Source: Steelers Gab
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