EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.
The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants are two of the NFL’s oldest and most storied franchises, and right now, two of the most successful.
The history lesson is simple.
Art Rooney founded the Steelers’ in 1933, eight years after Tim Mara got the Giants going. Their descendants still run them for the most part.
More important, these cornerstone organizations continue to show everyone how it’s done.
In the past seven seasons, the teams have combined to win four Super Bowls, with keys to those championships being two young quarterbacks taken in the first 11 picks of the 2004 draft — Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger.
Manning was taken No. 1 by San Diego and traded to New York. The Steelers gobbled up Roethlisberger with the 11th pick overall, and neither team has had reason to complain.
Manning and Roethlisberger will face off for only third time in their nine-year careers when the Giants (6-2) put their four-game winning streak on the line today against the Steelers (4-3) at MetLife Stadium.
Giants captain Justin Tuck says the franchises have a lot in common.
“I think it comes down from the top,” the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end said. “You talk about the Rooneys, the Maras and the Tischs, and it’s kind of filters from the top.
“You have two franchise quarterbacks. You have teams that have been known for their defense. It’s two tough-minded franchises that know how to win football games. It’s not always flashy, and it’s not always what people want to see, but they are constantly in the mix, and that’s the similarities.”
Both teams are rounding into form after slow starts. The Steelers have won two in a row and trail the injury-ravaged Baltimore Ravens by a game in the AFC North.
The Giants have opened a 21/2-game in the NFC East with their recent run.