Steelers postseason history: Jan. 27 -- Another AFC Championship home loss

Written by Dan Gigler on .

Since the Steelers have the wrong kind of home field advantage this postseason, we'll take a look back at some of the highlights and disappointments of playoffs past ...

Today: January 27 -- AFC Championship vs. New England Patriots

AFCC Pats 2001 kick 

A week removed from a dramatic Divisional Playoff win over Oakland in which the words "tuck rule" entered the NFL lexicon -- the Patriots had become one of the top stories of the 2001 NFL season, led to the AFC title game by a young, late-round pick from Michigan the year prior.

AFCC Pats 2001 kordellBut Tom Brady was a non-factor in this game -- in fact he was knocked out of it in the second quarter, replaced by Drew Bledsoe, whom he had famously supplanted earlier in the season.

Instead it was New England's special teams -- and the Steelers total lack thereof -- that were the decisive factor in sending the Patriots to the Super Bowl and the Steelers home with their second home AFC Championship loss in four years.

Troy Brown returned a punt 55-yards to Patriot paydirt in the first quarter, Bledsoe found David Patten for a score in the second, and then a blocked Kris Brown field goal attempt was returned for an 84-yard touchdown and the Steelers found themselves in a 21-3 halftime hole that they could not escape from.

Kordell Stewart led to scoring drives in the second half that culminated in Jerome Bettis and Amos Zereoue touchdowns and got the Steelers to within four points, but threw picks on the Steelers final two possessions, ending the chances of a comeback and effectively his career in Pittsburgh.

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