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Steelers put the hammer down

The Steelers used brute force and a suffocating defense to survive against the Ravens and advance to the Super Bowl, Gene Wojciechowski writes.

Updated: January 20, 2009, 4:57 PM ET
By Gene Wojciechowski | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- Joe Cool? More like Joe Schooled.

But at least Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco left Heinz Field with all of his limbs and ligaments intact. After what happened here in Sunday evening's brutally physical AFC Championship Game, Flacco should consider himself lucky.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to their second Super Bowl in the past four years because they asphyxiated the Ravens' offense, beginning with the previously unflappable Flacco. The ...

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