The Steelers in 2007
The Steelers missed the playoffs three times after winning a Super Bowl the previous year.1980 season - following SB XIV2006 season - following SB XL2009 season - following SB XLIII
No ... Shockey suffered a fracture to his left fibula in a game against the Redskins in December, 2007 and missed the rest of the regular season and all of the playoffs including Super Bowl XLII.
Yes, it is the final game of the playoffs and is the league championship game. Whichever team wins the Super Bowl is crowned NFL champions for the season.
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Since the Super Bowl began, the Steelers have made the playoffs 26 times. This is through the 2011 season.
No, the Panthers went to the Super Bowl in their 9th season. They did go to the NFC championship game in their second season (1996) and lost to the Green Bay Packers, 30-13. The Panthers record in their first season was 7-9 and they missed the playoffs.
Yes. There have been two seasons when there was only a one week delay. Those were the 1982 season, due to the player's strike when only 9 regular season games were played and the NFL added extra teams and an extra week to the playoffs, and the 2001 season, due to the week missed because of the 9/11 attacks.
Through the 2011 season, Ben Roethlisberger has been to the playoffs six times in eight full seasons.