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Tomlin: Steelers Making Best out of Mixed-Up Schedule

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Mike Tomlin is disappointed that his team will not be taking the field this weekend in a matchup of undefeated teams against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, but that doesn’t mean that he’s critical of that decision or of any that may follow from the NFL regarding his too-be-rescheduled game.

“There’s disappointment, no question,” Tomlin said. “We’ve worked extremely hard at the beginning portion of this week in preparation for what we thought was an opportunity against an undefeated team in their venue. You lean in on those opportunities. We’re not getting the opportunity to do that. Instead, we are getting a bye week. We’re going to make the best of that.”

Tomlin said that he was not consulted in the decision-making process on Wednesday and that he declined to opine on the decision on Thursday.

“My opinion does not matter,” he said. “We take marching orders from the National Football League. We understand that they’re acting in our collective best interest. I have a great deal of comfort in that.”

As for what happens next, Tomlin said there have been some hypothetical discussions, but nothing that he was comfortable sharing as far as when and where the Steelers and Titans will meet and how it will fit into the schedules.

“I’m a tangible guy. The next tangible thing for us is the Philadelphia Eagles. That’s where my attentions are transitioning toward. I’ll let the people that handle that business focus on that.”

Tomlin did have his team practice on Thursday after the announcement and said they worked on individual skills.
“We are trying to get better every day, and that is our approach to business. Every day we take the field, we have areas of improvement whether it is skill development, whether it is an understanding of the game relative to the game or just collective cohesion. We talk openly about that. We had an opportunity to get better today.”

The Steelers will instead start their bye week on Friday, with four consecutive days off before beginning their work week in preparations for their Week 5 game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Heinz Field on Oct. 11.

But it won’t be a usual off week for the Steelers, who will have to stay local so that they can continue to be tested daily for COVID-19. Wide receiver Chase Claypool said the team is having its rookie dinner this weekend instead, where the team’s youngest players are typically expected to pick up the tab for an exorbitant meal.

The team should get well rested, as the early bye week could give them 13 games in 13 weeks to close the 2020 regular season.

But Tomlin doesn’t seem to be upset at that prospect, either. When asked about it on Thursday, he simply said, “We do not care.”

Steelers

Terrell Edmunds Explains New Nickname

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Terrell Edmunds informs the media, including Mike Asti and Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, about his new nickname. Call him “Old Fashioned” from now on. He also expresses how feels about the current state of the Steelers, and that’s obviously includes being happy about the team’s record but also understanding the need to improve.

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Steelers

Steelers Week 10 Game vs. Bengals Flexed to 4:25 p.m. National Broadcast

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The Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10 has been flexed into a national television broadcast slot.

The Steelers and Bengals will now kick off at Heinz Field on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 4:25 p.m. The game had originally been scheduled to kick at 1 p.m. It will be broadcast nationally on FOX. All of that weekend’s early games will be broadcast on FOX, as CBS has coverage of The Masters, which was rescheduled from this summer.

The game will be Pittsburgh’s first matchup against 2020 NFL Draft No. 1 pick, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

The Steelers are also playing a 4:25 p.m., nationally broadcast game in Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. That game will be televised by CBS.

That will be the second time this season the Steelers will be placed in a nation-wide television slot. The team opened the season playing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football against the New York Giants.

The Steelers’ Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans was protected by CBS in a 1 p.m. time slot, but was broadcast nearly nationwide, with CBS only showing two other 1 p.m. games.

The Steelers will play on national television at least three more times this season: against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Nov. 26, on Sunday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 13 and at the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Dec. 21.

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What Does Being NFL’s Last Unbeaten Team Portend for Steelers?

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The Steelers are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL after beating the formerly unbeaten Tennessee Titans on Sunday while the Seattle Seahawks lost on Sunday night, leaving the Steelers as the only 6-0 team in the nation.

What does that mean for them in the long term? Not as much as you might think.

In the last 20 years, one of the last undefeated teams didn’t even make the playoffs three times: 2002 4-0 San Diego Chargers, 2014 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2016 5-0 Minnesota Vikings. Ten other times, one of the last undefeated teams (some years, there are more than one), lost in the first or second round of the NFL playoffs.

Just once since 2000 has the last undefeated team won the Super Bowl, in 2006 when the Indianapolis Colts started 9-0 on the way to winning Super Bowl XLI.

In the first three decades of the league’s modern era, that was significantly different. The last undefeated team won six Super Bowls in the 1990s, two in the 1980s and three in the 1970s, including the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished a perfect 17-0, the only team in NFL history to do so.

More recently, being the last undefeated team has resulted in a bunch of Super Bowl losses, including the last time the Steelers were the league’s last unbeaten team. 

The 2001 St. Louis Rams, 2002 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Eagles, 2007 New England Patriots, 2009 Colts, 2010 Steelers, 2015 Carolina Panthers, 2018 Los Angeles Rams and the 2019 San Francisco 49ers all made it to the championship game after being the last undefeated team before losing in the end.

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