The Pittsburgh Steelers will make their 27th playoff appearance in franchise history when they take on the Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium on Sunday. In their previous 26 appearances, the Steelers have a combined record of 33-20 which includes 8 AFC titles and 6 Super Bowl trophies, unmatched by the rest of the league.

The driving force behind their accolades has been the defense, starting with the Steel Curtain in the 1970's and continued today with the likes of James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and many others.

This time around, it may be the offense's turn to carry the load. The defense is still playing at a championship level despite missing their pass rushers for most of the season. However, the offense, spearheaded by an elite quarterback and three electrifying wide receivers, as been stuck in neutral all season. While Ben Roethlisberger threw for over 4000 yards this year, his 21 turnovers (14 int, 7 fum) should be the bigger story.

The Steelers ranked 12th in offensive yards but 21st in total scoring. Averaging 20.3 points per game, the Steelers have only scored more points than the Denver Broncos of the 12 playoff teams. Furthermore, they have averaged just 15.6 ppg on the road, an alarming stat going into a matchup with a defense that plays well at home.

Why aren't the Steelers scoring? Turnovers. With 27 turnovers during the regular season, the Steelers finished -13 in turnover ratio, the worst of any playoff team in history. Say what you want about the defense failing to take the ball away. They have. But the Steelers, playing against two tough defenses on the road (Baltimore and San Fransisco) turned the ball over 12 combined times.

The time is now for the offense to step up and make enough plays to win games. Their task doesn't get any easier with the recent news of Rashard Mendenhall tearing his ACL. But, as Mike Tomlin always says, "the standard is the standard". Ben Roethlisberger needs to dig for the same road playoff magic that led the Steelers to Super Bowl XL. That year, Ben's passer rating in three AFC road games was 148.7, 95.3 and 124.9 respectively. With the Patriots, Packers, Lions and Saints all possible opponents for the Steelers, assuming they get past Denver, the offense needs to play at a level where they can survive in a high scoring game.

The Steelers' defense has been the staple for decades but, with the "new" NFL being geared towards the offense, it's time for the Steelers to get with the times. They have the talent to win with their offense, but the scheming and execution will be the biggest challenge as it has been all season.

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