The Steelers don’t know what a losing season is, at least now in the last 20 years. After their win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the team extended their NFL record 20th straight season with eight or more wins. In that span, they have won two Super Bowls, though that mark has become mired in questions over the last few years.
Even with the context of the non-losing seasons for head coach Mike Tomlin, the fact that the team has remained in a winning fashion for over twenty in the league’s longest streak of consistency there, remains impressive. The last time the team finished with less than eight wins was 2003, when they won just six games. But then Ben Roethlisberger came along, and that was all that.
You can have your opinion on the Tomlin non-losing seasons mark. But this even predates him. It’s a wildly impressive feat for a franchise to have some level of competitive football for this long. Games matter throughout the year, too. Since that time, Pittsburgh has barely played games where they did not have playoff implications or at least a tie-in to potentially get there. The Steelers remain relevant yearly in the race and their fans have not known a losing season in that long.
Tomlin’s non-losing season streak will extend with one more win, but that’s not what the team is looking for this season. The hope was always to get to the playoffs and win a game, and their three game skid before winning against Cincinnati has jeopardized that goal. They have two opportunities to pull that off against an inconsistent Seahawks team and their heated rivals, the Baltimore Ravens.
Now, the team has faced rocky seasons in recent years, including a few where they have finished 9-8, almost like clockwork, but the team’s model of consistency rings as a complete outlier in the history of the NFL.