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Super Bowl: Previewing the Pittsburgh Steelers

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The Washington Post's LaVar Arrington, Liz Clarke, Paul Tenorio and Jonathan Forsythe offer their Super Bowl XLV predictions.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011; 6:54 PM

The Steelers' eight trips to the Super Bowl are tied with the Cowboys for most in the NFL. Their six wins also are the most for any franchise. With a victory, the Steelers would surpass the Cowboys (33) for most overall in the postseason. Coach Mike Tomlin is 5-1 in the postseason with the Steelers and trying for a second championship ring. At 38, he can become the youngest coach to win two Super Bowl titles. He already has joined Washington's Joe Gibbs as the only coaches to reach two Super Bowls in their first four seasons as head coach, and can become the first to win both. With a win, QB Ben Roethlisberger would join Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Tom Brady as the only QBs to win at least three Super Bowls. Roethlisberger's .833 winning percentage (10-2 record) in the postseason ranks second behind Packers Hall of Famer Bart Starr (.900; 9-1 record).

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SMARTER STATS: If there's one place where the Steelers have a huge advantage, it's on third and short; Green Bay ranks 24th in efficiency on offense, and the Steelers' offense ranks second in these situations. The Packers' defense ranks 11th on third and short, but Pittsburgh ranks sixth in those defensive situations. Third and long is a different story; both offenses and defenses are top 10. But again, the Steelers have an advantage, because their quarterback is a freak in these tougher situations. Roethlisberger led the league in converting situations of third and eight or longer (23 of 51 possible conversions) through the air, while Rodgers converted just 14 of 49 situations. Two of the NFL's best pass rushers reside on the outside of the Steelers' front seven - James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley combined for 49 pass pressures, which led the league among duos.

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