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Steelers, Pitt Start 3-0 for First Time Since 1982

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PITTSBURGH — This year has been a trying year for many around the world and the region, but so far, 2020 has been pretty good to Pittsburgh’s football teams.

The Pittsburgh Steelers improved to 3-0 on the season on Sunday with a 28-21 victory over the Houston Texans at Heinz Field.

One day earlier on the same playing surface, the Pitt Panthers had earned their third straight win to start the season with a 23-20 win over the Louisville Cardinals.

It’s been a long time since Pittsburgh’s football fans had such a successful start to the season. The last time both Pitt and the Steelers won each of their first three games was all the way back in 1982.

Pitt’s squad, led by quarterback Dan Marino, ended up winning seven in a row that year before losing to Notre Dame and Penn State in November and SMU in the Cotton Bowl, finishing 9- and ranked No. 10 in the country.

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The Steelers’ 3-0 start that season was a strange one, as the beat the Dallas Cowboys to open to the season and prevailed over the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime before the NFL players went on strike, stopping the season until late November. When play resumed, the Steelers defeated the Houston Oilers to improve to 3-0.

But Terry Bradshaw’s injured elbow limited him throughout the season and the Steelers dropped three of their next four, finishing 6-3 and with a first-round playoff loss to the San Diego Chargers.

Both teams will put their unbeaten records on the line next weekend, with No. 24 Pitt hosting NC State at Heinz Field and the Steelers visiting the equally undefeated Tennessee Titans. If they can keep their hot starts going, they’ll be equalling the 1979 season, when both teams started 4-0.

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