Sunday, January 18, 2009. (AP) -- For the seventh time in their storied history, the Pittsburgh Steelers are heading to the Super Bowl.
In typical Steel Curtain fashion, the Steelers defense stifled Baltimore and intercepted rookie quarterback Joe Flacco three times in a 23-14 victory over the Ravens in the AFC championship.
Santonio Holmes scored on an electrifying 65-yard catch-and-run in the first half. Hard-hitting safety Troy Polamalu returned an interception 40 yards for a clinching TD with 4:24 remaining for the Steelers. Jeff Reed kicked three field goals.
But the star of the day collectively was the Steelers defense. It held the Ravens to 198 total yards. Pittsburgh harassed Flacco into a 13-for-30 passing day. The Steelers nullified Baltimore's running game, holding the Ravens to just 73 yards rushing on 25 carries.
"We didn't start this journey to get to Tampa," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said afterward. "We have some business to do there."
The Steelers, who are 5-and-1 in previous Super Bowls, will play the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa in Super Bowl 43 on Feb. 1. The Cardinals beat Philadelphia 32-25 in the NFC championship.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)