By Jeremy Hritz
It’s been a rough start to the Steelers season, especially following such a scintillating victory against the Buffalo Bills in the 2021 opener. As it currently stands, the Steelers are 1-2, facing an uphill battle in the uber-competitive AFC North, battling against the Bengals, Browns, and Ravens for an opportunity to make it into the postseason.
Out of curiosity, I wanted to see, dating back to 2000, how many Steelers teams started the year 1-2 and made the playoffs. Surprisingly, in this time frame, this only happened once in 2002 under Bill Cowher in the Tommy Maddox era when the team went 10-5-1, and lost to the Tennessee Titans in the postseason.
Under Mike Tomlin, in the two times he has began the year 1-2, neither of those teams made the playoffs. While a very small sample size, this statistic doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the Steelers moving forward in the 2021 season. Is there precedent for a 1-2 team to compete and win a Super Bowl? Look no further than the 1981 San Francisco 49ers who started 1-2, but finished 13-3 and won the Super Bowl against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Bottom line? The Steelers have to get moving, and get moving fast. History is already not on their side.