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10 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers Teams of All Time

10 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers Teams of All Time

10 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers Teams of All Time

It is hard to believe today that the Pittsburgh Steelers were once considered a fledgling franchise in the decades after being founded in 1933. For its first seven seasons, the franchise used the nickname of its crosstown baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates, before adopting the Steelers name. Pittsburgh also had joint teams with the Philadelphia Eagles and Chicago Cardinals during World War II.

Then Chuck Noll arrived and the oldest franchise to never win an NFL title became one of the league's most storied. The Steelers have won six Lombardi Trophies and are the only team to win four Super Bowls in six seasons. With stars like Terry Bradshaw, Joe Greene, Rod Woodson, and Hines Ward, they have fielded many outstanding teams in their 85-year history. Here are the 10 best.

10. 1976

Finished: Lost to Oakland Raiders 24-7 in AFC Championship Game

Regular Season Record: 10-4

Many Steelers teams have made the AFC Championship Game, but this one sported one of the greatest defenses of all time. Facing an unbelievable number of injuries on offense, the 1976 Steel Curtain picked up the slack. The defense pitched five shutouts and at one point did not give up a touchdown for 22 straight quarters. A loss to Oakland in the conference title game prevented Pittsburgh from three-peating as Super Bowl champs, but this defense still holds legendary status.

9. 2004

Finished: Lost to New England Patriots 41-27 in AFC Championship Game

Regular Season Record: 15-1

Pittsburgh started the season 2-1 before rookie Ben Roethlisberger took over as starting quarterback. From there, Pittsburgh won its final 13 games and ended New England’s 21-game winning streak, but the Patriots got revenge in the postseason. The Steelers made up for it the next year though.

8. 1995

Finished: Lost to Dallas Cowboys 27-17 in Super Bowl XXX

Regular Season Record: 11-5

Led by quarterback Neil O’Donnell and a defense featuring Greg Lloyd Sr., Kevin Greene, and Rod Woodson, the Steelers returned to the Super Bowl after 16 years to face the Cowboys. Both teams were playing to see if they could join the San Francisco 49ers as the only other franchise to win five Super Bowls. Dallas won, but Pittsburgh ultimately became the first organization to win six Lombardi Trophies.

7. 2010

Finished: Lost to Green Bay Packers 31-25 in Super Bowl XLV

Regular Season Record: 12-4

Sporting a tough defense, Pittsburgh came back from a 21-7 halftime deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round and then held on to beat the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game to make its eighth Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they faced a Packers team playing its best football and trailed the entire game.

6. 2005

Finished: Beat Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL

Regular Season Record: 11-5

The first team to win a Super Bowl as a No. 6 playoff seed opened Wild Card Weekend by beating the Cincinnati Bengals 31-17 on the road. The next week, they shocked the top-seeded Colts 21-18 and then beat the Denver Broncos to advance to Super Bowl XL and face the Seattle Seahawks. Pittsburgh won 21-10 and head coach Bill Cowher and running back Jerome Bettis were able to retire as Super Bowl champions.

5. 1974

Finished: Beat Minnesota Vikings 16-6 in Super Bowl IX

Regular Season Record: 10-3-1

Pittsburgh's dynasty was still coming into its own, but by the end of the season, Terry Bradshaw was the starting quarterback and the defense had fully matured. The Steel Curtain was the foundation of the Steelers' three playoff wins and the franchise's first title.

4. 1979

Finished: Beat Los Angeles Rams 31-19 in Super Bowl XIV

Regular Season Record: 12-4

The Steelers took to the air on their way to winning their second straight and fourth Super Bowl in six years. Pittsburgh also earned the designation of "Titletown" since the Pirates had won the World Series three months earlier.

3. 2008

Finished: Beat Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII

Regular Season Record: 12-4

Pittsburgh's defense led the league in yards and points (13.9 ppg) allowed. A 99-yard interception returned for a touchdown by James Harrison (right before halftime) in Super Bowl XLIII proved to be the difference in the Steelers' victory over the Arizona Cardinals.

2. 1975

Finished: Beat Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in Super Bowl X

Regular Season Record: 12-2

The Steelers did not mess around with their pursuit of a second straight title, holding opponents to 11.6 points per game and scoring more than any other team in franchise history to that point. They overcame eight turnovers to beat Oakland in the AFC Championship Game and beat Dallas in the most exciting Super Bowl ever played up to that point.

1. 1978

Finished: Beat Dallas Cowboys 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII

Regular Season Record: 14-2

The best Pittsburgh team of all time lost their only two games by a combined total of seven points. The Steelers then cruised through the playoffs and won a shootout with Dallas to win their third Super Bowl.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.