The Steelers will meet the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl in two weeks in Tampa.
The matchup is intriguing - Mike Tomlin vs. the Cardinals' Ken Whisenhunt, the offensive coordinator when the Steelers won the Super Bowl three seasons ago who went to Arizona only after being passed over for Pittsburgh's job.
Whisenhunt and his top assistant, Russ Grimm, left after the Steelers unexpectedly hired Tomlin, who has done something even Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher couldn't do by taking Pittsburgh to the Super Bowl in his second season.
The Steelers harassed rookie Joe Flacco all game long. Normally unflappable, he looked lost at times and finished 13-for-30 for 141 yards and three costly interceptions.
Roethlisberger, picked off four times by New England in his rookie-year AFC title game, was a steady 16-of-33 for 255 yards, and most importantly, no interceptions, showing how much experience can matter in a game so big.
After Polamalu's twisting, turning, zigzagging run sealed it with 4:39 to play, Steelers fans began singing "Pittsburgh's going to the Super Bowl!" - and the franchise is, for a seventh time.
Only the Steelers, 49ers and Cowboys have won five Super Bowls, and Pittsburgh can be the first to win six.
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