It’s a franchise that has won more regular-season games (412) since the merger in 1970 than any other club in the league. No organization has made more Super Bowl appearances (8, tied with the Dallas Cowboys) and no team owns more Lombardi Trophies (6).
Yet these days, the Pittsburgh Steelers are becoming known for what they haven’t been doing. In each of the past two seasons, the team has broken even in the win-loss column and in each instance fell short of a playoff berth.
Of course, like snowflakes, no two 8-8 finishes are necessarily alike. In 2012, Mike Tomlin’s squad got off to a 6-3 start, only to drop five of their final seven games and into third place in the AFC North.
This past season, the Steelers stumbled out of the gates by losing their first four games for the first time since 1968. The club would go onto a 2-6 start and the buzzards were flying around Western Pennsylvania. However, the team gathered itself, won six of its final eight contests and closed the season with a three-game winning streak.
Of course, that now begs the question of which Steelers’ team will we see in 2014? Is it the club that has been mediocre at best for the last year and a half or a squad that finished strong one year ago. This is a franchise that usually doesn’t stay down for very long.
This is the 15th part of a 32-team series in which we’ll look at the “if, and & but’s” of each team’s chances to make the postseason.
Hence, Pittsburgh will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2011…