The Super Bowl era began in pro football in 1966, forever changing the landscape of both the NFL and the American sports culture as a whole, with Super Bowl Sunday becoming the pre-eminent feast on the sports calendar. No team has had more to celebrate in the years since than the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose six Super Bowl wins are the most in the NFL. This page exists to showcase the entire seasons and playoff runs of the Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl history.
The city of Pittsburgh and the region of western Pennsylvania has long been synonymous with great football, but that certainly was not always the case when it came to the local NFL team. Prior to the 1970s, the Steelers had a dreary history, rarely even contending and never winning a championship.
It changed in 1974, when the building program of Chuck Noll bore its ultimate fruit and the team won their first title. The Steelers of the 1970s were led by Terry Bradshaw at quarterback, Franco Harris in the backfield, and a ferocious defense called “The Steel Curtain.”
That core group won four Super Bowls in six years, but we can break them into two distinct parts. In the title runs of 1974-75, the running game was the focus of the offense and Bradshaw’s job was not to screw things up.
The NFL made rule changes prior to the 1978 season, putting more restrictions on defensive backs and beginning the process that continues today, of making the game more about passing. Pittsburgh adjusted quicker than anyone, Bradshaw won an MVP award and the offense was more air-oriented as the Steelers pulled off another repeat, winning in 1978 and 1979.
But the one constant through those four titles was The Steel Curtain. And the tradition of defense would carry into the 21st century. The offense saw Ben Roethlisberger arrive in town in 2004, and running backs ranging from Jerome Bettis to Willie Parker. The coaches even changed from Bill Cowher to Mike Tomlin. But the defense remained the constant.
It was no longer a 4-3 unit built around pass rushers like L.C. Greenwood and Mean Joe Greene on the defensive front. Now it was a 3-4 scheme built around blitzing linebackers and defensive backs, from James Harrison to Troy Polamulu. But the Steel City has always been about defense and has the rings to show for it. They won in 2005 and again in 2008.
Below are the links to the six articles here on TheSportsNotebook that celebrate those Steeler championship years. We go through the regular season and the moments where it looked like a season might get away. We go through the drama of the playoff games and finally to the Super Bowl itself.