Originally named Pirates after the city’s major league baseball team, Owner Art Rooney Sr. changed the team name to Steelers in 1940 to more properly represent the city’s dominant steel industry.
The official Steelmark logo featuring three hypocycloids (diamond shapes), that are the colors yellow for coal, red for ore, and blue for steel scrap with Steelers written to the left in black inside a silver circle.
Mike Tomlin 2007-
Heinz Field 2001-
First Game Played: September 20, 1933
3400 South Water Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Phone: (412) 432-7800
Pittsburgh Pirates 1933-1939
Pittsburgh Steelers 1940-1942
Phil-Pitt Steagles 1943
Pittsburgh Steelers 1945-Present
Jap Douds 1933
Luby DiMelio 1934
Joe Bach 1935-1936
Johnny McNally 1937-1939
Walt Kiesling 1939-1940
Bert Bell 1941
Buff Donelli 1941
Walt Kiesling 1941-1942
Walt Kiesling & Greasy Neale 1943
Walt Kiesling & Phil Handler 1944
Jim Leonard 1945
Jock Sutherland 1946-1947
Johnny Michelson 1948-1951
Joe Bach 1952-1953
Walt Kiesling 1954-1956
Buddy Parker 1957-1964
Mike Nixon 1965
Bill Austin 1966-1968
Chuck Noll 1969-1991
Bill Cowher 1992-2006
Mike Tomlin 2007-Present
Forbes Field 1933-1963
Pitt Stadium 1958-1969
Three Rivers Stadium 1970-2000
Heinz Field 2001-Present
Super Bowl Champions: (6)
IX (1974), X (1975), XIII (1978),
XIV (1979), XL (2005), XLIII (2008)
NFL Champions (pre 1966):
Super Bowls Appearances: (8)
IX (1974), X (1975), XIII (1978),
XIV (1979), XXX (1995), XL (2005), XLIII (2008), XLV (2010)
NFL Championship Games (Pre-1966):
NFL/AFC Championship Games: (15)
1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979, 1984, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010
Division Champions: (22)
1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016
Playoff Appearences: (30)
1947, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016
Record in Playoff Games:
Hall of Famers: (27)
Bert Bell President 1941-1946
Jerome Bettis RB 1996-2005
Mel Blount CB 1970-1983
Terry Bradshaw QB 1970-1983
Jack Butler CB 1951-1959
Dermonti Dawson C 1988-2000
Len Dawson QB 1957-1959
Bill Dudley RB 1942, 1945-1946
Mean Joe Greene DT 1969-1981
Kevin Greene LB 1993-1995
Jack Ham LB 1971-1982
Franco Harris RB 1972-1983
Cal Hubbard OT 1936
John Henry Johnson RB 1960-65
Walt Kiesling Coach 1939-1940,
Jack Lambert LB 1974-1984
Bobby Layne QB 1958-196
John McNally Coach 1934, 37-39
Marion Motley RB 1955
Chuck Noll Coach 1969-1991
Art Rooney Owner 1933-1988
Dan Rooney Owner 1955-Present
John Stallworth WR 1974-1987
Ernie Stauter DT 1950-1963
Lynn Swann WR 1974-1982
Mike Webster C 1974-1988
Rod Woodson CB 1987-1996
Retired Numbers: (2)
70 Ernie Stautner DT 1950-1963
75 Mean Joe Greene DT 1969-1981
Pro Bowl MVP: (4)
1957 Ernie Stautner OT
1960 Gene Lipscomb OT
1963 Gene Lipscomb OT
1977 Mel Blount CB
Coach of the Year: (1)
1992 Bill Cowher
Defensive Rookie of the Year: (3)
1969 Mean Joe Greene DT
1974 Jack Lambert LB
2001 Kendrell Bell LB
Offensive Rookie of the Year: (4)
1958 Jimmy Orr WR
1972 Franco Harris RB
1984 Louis Lipps WR
2004 Ben Roethlisberger QB
Defensive Player of the Year: (6)
1974 Mean Joe Greene DT
1975 Mel Blount CB
1976 Jack Lambert LB
1993 Rod Woodson DB
2008 James Harrison LB
2010 Troy Polamalu S
Offensive Player of the Year :
NFL MVP: (2)
1946 Bill Dudley RB
1978 Terry Bradshaw QB
Super Bowl MVP: (6)
IX Franco Harris RB (1974)
X Lynn Swann WR (1975)
XIII Terry Bradshaw QB (1978)
XIV Terry Bradshaw QB (1979)
XL Hines Ward WR (2005)
XLIII Santonio Holmes (2008)
Pittsburgh Steelers Polka
Fans Must Have:
On the Air:
WDVE (102.5 FM); WBGG (970AM)
Bill Hillgrove, Tunch Ilkin, and Craig Worley
©MMXVII Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the Pittsburgh Steelers or the National Football League. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer's Sports Logos Page.
Page created on July 31 , 2002. Last updated on January 2, 2017 at 12:40 am ET.
Back to NFL Main
Back to AFC Team Index
1933: On September 20th the city of Pittsburgh finally got its first taste of pro-football when the Pirates debuted with a 23-2 loss to the New York Giants at Forbes Field. A week later the Pirates would squeeze out a 14-13 victory at Forbes over the Chicago Cardinals. The Pirates would go on to complete their first season with a 3-6-2 record. However, Coach Jap Douds was still replaced by Luby DiMelio, following the season.
1934: The Pirates win two of their first three games, but those wins end up being the only wins on the season as the Pirates suffer a miserable 2-10 season, in which they were shut out five times, and only scored more than ten points three times.
1935: Under Joe Bach, Pittsburgh's third coach in as many years the Pirates continue to struggle finishing with a 4-8 record, while compiling less than 2,000 yards total on offense on the season.
1936: The Pirates get off to a great start winning their first 3 games on the way to a 6-3 start that had them in first place in the Eastern Division. However, the bottom would suddenly fall out and the Pirates lost their final three games by a combined 72-9 score, to fall to 6-6. Had they won just one of those games they would have played for the NFL Championship. Following the season Coach Joe Bach is replaced by Johnny "Blood" McNally.
1937: The Pirates would get off to a solid start again winning their first two games but their typical struggles would arise again, as they only won two of their last nine games, to finish with a 4-7 record.
1938: The Pirates make history by signing Colorado All-American Running Back Byron "Whizzer" White a $15,800 contract, making him the first big money player in the NFL. He would pay immediate dividends leading the league in rushing. However, the Pirates still struggled and finished in Last Place with a 2-9 record. It would also be the only season in Pittsburgh for Byron "Whizzer" White, as he left to play for the Detroit Lions. He would later gain notoriety by serving on the Supreme Court of the United States for 31 years.
1939: The Pirates struggle from the start of the season losing their first three games, which included back-to-back shutouts, as Coach Johnny "Blood" McNally is fired. However, under his replacement Walt Kiesling the Pirates would not fare much better, as they did not win a game until the season finale at Forbes Field against the Philadelphia Eagles, as they finished the season with an awful 1-9-1 record.
1940: After struggling for seven years, Owner Art Rooney renamed his team Steelers, to give them a new identity, and name more closely linked with blue-collar city of Pittsburgh. The new named seemed to work as the Steelers were unbeaten through their first three games. However, the same struggles would creep up again as the Steelers lost their next seven games before shutting out the Eagles in Philadelphia in the season finale to finish with a 2-7-2 record. Following the season Coach Walt Kiesling is released.
1941: Assuming the coaching reigns is Co-owner Bert Bell. However, after two frustrating losses he would resign, and be replaced by Buff Donelli. Donelli would not fare much better as the Steelers continued to lose, before he is fired after just five games. Replacing Donelli would be Walt Kiesling who was released after the following season. The Steelers would show improvement right away tying their first game in Kiesling's return. A week later they would stun the Brooklyn Dodgers, who were a playoff contender at Forbes Field. However that would be the only win of the season as the Steelers finished with an awful 1-9-1 record.
1942: The Steelers season dose not start off good as they lose their first two games, but led by Rookie RB Bill Dudley who led the NFL in rushing the Steelers posted a 7-4 record, earning their first winning season in franchise history.
1943: With World War II fully under way the Steelers are among many teams struggling to find players, with many of their regulars off fighting the war. For the Steelers these players missing included Bill Dudley. Faced with not being able to field a team the Steelers struck a deal to merge with Philadelphia Eagles. The two teams would split alternate home games and coaches, and would officially be known as the Phil-Pitt Steagles combing the two teams' names. The makeshift Steagles would actually be competitive posting a solid 5-4-1 record.
1944: After not being able to come together for a second season with Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers sought out another merger, this time joining with Chicago Cardinals. With same deal in place the team would be officially known as Card-Pitt. However, unlike their merger with the Eagles, the merger with Cardinals was a total disaster. The Cardinals who were the worst team at the time dragged down the Steelers as Card-Pitt were rolled over and walked on all season losing all ten games.
1945: With World War II wrapping up, the NFL saw a return of many of its stars including Steelers RB Bill Dudley. However, the team would not fare much better finishing with an awful 2-8 season in their first season on their own in three years. Following the season Coach Walt Kiesling, who survived two mergers was fired and replaced by Jock Sutherland.
1946: In his first full season back from the war, RB Bill Dudley earns MVP honors by leading the league in rushing, interceptions, and punt returns. However, the Steelers who were in playoff contention all season drop three of their final four games to finish with a 5-5-1 record.
1947: The Steelers finally become serious contenders, winning six in a row after a 1-2 start to find themselves in 1st Place. However, back-to-back road losses over the Chicago Bears, and Philadelphia Eagles forced the Steelers to win their final game of the season just to finish in a first place tie with an 8-4 record. In the Division Playoff the Steelers were never in the game being completely dominated in a 21-0 loss at Forbes Field to the Eagles.
1948: Coming off a Playoff Appearance there was reason for hope. However, tragedy would strike just as Coach Jock Sutherland dies suddenly during a scouting trip. Under his replacement Johnny Michelosen the Steelers would struggle finishing with a disappointing 4-8 record.
1949: The Steelers get off to a promising start by winning four of their first five games. However they would fade quickly winning just one of their next six games. The Steelers would still manage a winning record by winning their last game over the Bulldogs in New York to finish with a 6-5-1 record.
1950: The Steelers get off to a miserable start losing five of their first seven games. However they would manage to finish on a strong note by winning four of their last five games to finish with a 6-6 record.
1951: The Steelers stumble out of the gate going winless in their first four games. They would finish the season by rotating wins and losses finish with a putrid 4-7-1 record. Following the season Coach Johnny Mickelson is fired and replaced by Joe Bach who coached the team 16 years earlier.
1952: In his 2nd stints as Coach Joe Bach's first move was to scrap the antiquated single wing used in the T-formation, making the Steelers the last team to abandon the once famous formation. However, the Steelers did not fare any better under the new scheme losing their first four games. However a late season three game winning streak gave them some hope as they finished with a 5-7 record.
1953: The inconstant Steelers show flashes of brilliance one week while stumbling the next week, during a season in which they alternate wins and losses all season finishing with a 6-6 record.
1954: The Steelers get off to a solid start winning four of their first five games, including an impressive 55-27 win at Forbes Field over the eventual NFL Champion Cleveland Browns. However, the wins would not come in the second half as the Steelers lost six of their last seven games to finish with a 5-7 record. Following the season, Coach Joe Bach is forced to resign due to health concerns. He would be replaced by Walt Kiesling who had two previous tenures coaching the Steelers.
1955: Owner Art Rooney uses a 20th round draft pick to select QB Johnny Unitas, just because he wanted to select a Pittsburgh native. However, in training camp Unitas is never given a chance and released. He would remerge a few years later with Baltimore Colts, and would become one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all-time. Perhaps the Steelers could have used Unitas as they struggled again finishing with a woeful 4-8 record.
1956: The Steelers continue to struggle amassing a 5-7 record, in what turn out to be Walt Kiesling's final year as coach. Following the season Kiesling would be replaced by Buddy Parker.
1957: In Buddy Parker's first season as coach the Steelers continued to play inconsistent football, alternating wins, and losses to finish with a 6-6 record. Following the season the Steelers made a big splash by striking a deal for Bobby Layne, who was coming off a season in which he led the Detroit Lions to a NFL Championship.
1958: With new QB Bobby Layne there was an air of optimism surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were seeking to end a quarter century of frustration and win a Division Title. However, Layne struggled early as the Steelers lost four of their first five games. However they would turn it around, and go unbeaten the rest of the season, but their 7-4-1 record was only good enough for third Place.
1959: The Steelers continue to play inconsistent football alternating wins and losses again, while compiling what had to be considered a disappointing 6-5-1 record.
1960: Over the years the Steelers have had many frustrating seasons where they were never in the race for a playoff spot. However, they could not be classified as perennial losers since they always managed to be in the middle of the pact. However, if a term could be used for the Steelers it is that they were in a consistent state of mediocrity and inconsistency. The 60's did not start out any differently as they continued to alternate wins and losses on the way to a 5-6-1 record.
1961: The Steelers stumble out of the gate losing their first four games. However, they would play solid football over the rest of the season finishing with a 6-4 record, as Bobby Layne and Rudy Bukich split time at Quarterback putting up similar numbers.
1962: The Steelers become one of the last teams to add an insignia to their helmet when they put the steelmark on their yellow helmets. The steelmark, which is used by US Steel, is only place on one side of the helmet since the team is unsure how it would look. Through the first eight games the Steelers continue to alternate wins and losses. This time the Steelers would end the season on a strong note by winning five of their last six games for a 9-5 record that earned them a second place finnish. Back then the two runner-ups would play in what was called the runner up bowl, and in that game the Steelers shifted to a black helmet keeping the Steelmark logo on just one side.
1963: With the departure of Quarterback Bobby Layne, Ed Brown fills in and has a terrific season passing for 2,982 yards, while connecting on 21 TD passes. However, the Steelers are never quite in the race as they finish in the middle of the pack with a 7-4-3 record.
1964: After five season of splitting their games between Forbes Field, and Pitt Stadium, the Steelers shift to play all their games at Pitt Stadium. Meanwhile, the Steelers go from mediocre to bad losing four in a row after a 3-3 start. They would go on to finish by splitting their final four games to finish with a 5-9 record. Following the season Coach Buddy Parkers is fired and replaced by Mike Nixon.
1965: Under new coach Mike Nixon the Steelers stumble out of the gate losing their first five games, on the way to a miserable 2-12 season in which they allow 397 points on the season. Following the season Nixon is ousted after just one year. He would be replaced by Mike Austin.
1966: Coach Mike Austin's tenure begins a solid note as the Steelers go unbeaten in their first two games. However, they would lose their next five games on the way to another poor 5-8-1 season, as they went through four Quarterbacks.
1967: The Steelers continue to struggle at the Quarterback positions as Kent Nix and Bill Nelsen combine for 28 Interceptions in a miserable 4-9-1 season in which they finish in last place.
1968: The Steelers continue to play miserable football losing their first 6 games on the way to an awful 2-11-1 season in which their defense allowed a league worst 397 points. Following the season Coach Mike Austin is fired and replaced by Chuck Noll.
1969: New Coach Chuck Noll's first move is to rebuild the defense as he selects Defensive Tackle Mean Joe Greene with first choice in the draft. The Steelers would win their first game of the season by beating the Detroit Lions 16-13 at Pitt Stadium. However, the win would stand alone all season as the Steelers lost all 13 of their remaining games. However, not all news was grim as Mean Joe Greene won the Defensive Rookie of the year despite being on a team that allowed 404 points.
1970: The Steelers began a new decade in a new conference and a new stadium with a new quarterback. After nearly 40 years in the NFL in which they only played in one playoff game the Steelers, are among three teams shifted to the AFC, to complete the merger between the NFL and AFL. That year the Steelers had the first over pick and selected QB Terry Bradshaw. Bradshaw was made the starter right away as the Steelers lost to the Houston Oilers 19-7 in the first game ever at Three Rivers Stadium. The rest of the season did not go much better as the Steelers finished with a 5-9 record, while Bradshaw had an awful rookie season throwing 24 interceptions to just six touchdown passes. Long suffering Steelers fans thought they had another bust on their hands, as Bradshaw was labeled a dumb hick by the media.
1971: Terry Bradshaw continues to struggle with turnovers in his second season throwing 22 interceptions to 13 touchdown passes. However, the Steelers show improvement finishing in second Place with a 6-8 record.
1972: After a typical 2-2 start the Steelers start to play championship football as Offensive Rookie of the Year RB Franco Harris give the offense the spark it needs during a five game winning streak. This time there was no coming back to earth as the Steelers went on to win another four games in a row after a 26-24 loss to the Cleveland Browns in week 10. With Harris rushing for 1,055 yards the Steelers were able to end four decades of frustration by winning the AFC Central with an 11-3 record. On December 23rd the city of Pittsburgh was all a buzz as the hosted the Oakland Raiders in the Divisional Playoffs. The game was a defensive struggle all day as the Steelers held a tenuous 6-0 lead late into the fourth Quarter. However, with 1:13 left in the game Raiders QB Ken Stabler seemed to have taken the game away with a 30-yard TD run. The Steelers would get the ball to their own 40-yard line, but with 22 seconds left they needed a miracle facing 4th down and 10. Terry Bradshaw was able to get rid of the ball just before being hit, as his pass sailed to John Fuqua Raiders DB Jack Tatum knocked the ball away. However, out of no where Franco Harris caught the ball a few inches form the ground, and raced up the field untouched for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 13-7 win. The play, which would become known, as "The Immaculate Reception" would be viewed as the turning point for the franchise. In the AFC Championship game the Steelers out played the undefeated Miami Dolphins most of the first half establishing a 10-7 lead at Three Rivers. However, the game turned on a trick play by Dolphins punter Larry Sieple, as the Dolphins stayed perfect with a 21-17 win. However, despite the Championship Game loss the Steelers had turned the corner.
1973: The Steelers seized the momentum for the "Immaculate Reception", and got off to a terrific start winning eight of their first nine games. However, a costly three game losing streak would put their playoff hopes in jeopardy. The Steelers would recover to win their last two games, but had to settle for a Wild Card berth with a 10-4 record. The Steelers would get bounced in the playoffs right away losing to the Raiders 33-14 in Oakland.
1974: The Steelers seeking to round out there team had one of the greatest drafts in NFL history selecting four future Hall of Famers. To complete the Steel Curtain the Steelers select Linebacker Jack Lambert, to strengthen the offensive line the selected Center Mike Webster, and to give the team a deep threat they drafted a pair of receivers in Lynn Swann and John Stallworth to give the offense another dimension. Despite the new weapons QB Terry Bradshaw struggled early as was benched in favor of Joe Gilliam. However, Gilliam did not do much better, and by the end of the season Bradshaw had earned his job back. Despite the Quarterback inconsistency the Steelers would capture the AFC Central with a 10-3-1 record, as the Steel Curtain defense, led by Defensive Player of the Year Mean Joe Greene, began to dominate the NFL. In the Divisional Playoffs the Steelers completely shut down O.J. Simpson on the way to beating the Buffalo Bills 32-14. In the AFC Championship Game the Steelers continued to dominate beating the Raiders 24-13 in Oakland to earn a trip to the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl IX: The Steelers met the Minnesota Vikings in the Super Bowl on cold, damp, and windy day in New Orleans. The first half was a completely defensive struggle as the only points scored came when Dwight White took down Vikings QB in the endzone for a safety. The Steelers caught a break right away after halftime when they recovered a fumble on the Vikings 33-yard line. Franco Harris would collect all 33 yards on thre straight handoffs to give the Steelers a 9-0 lead. In the 4th Quarter the Steelers defense continued to dominate, although the Vikings got on the board when they blocked Bobby Walden's punt, and recovered it in the endzone. After the Vikings missed the PAT the Steelers put the game away driving 66 yards on 11 plays to seal the 16-6 victory, as Franco Harris was named the game's MVP. Following the game a choked up Art Rooney received the Lombardi Trophy, after 40 years of frustration.
1975: The Steel curtain defense continued to dominate allowing just 167 points, as Cornerback Mel Blount became the second straight Steeler to capture Defensive Player of the Year honors. Meanwhile on offense Terry Bradshaw had his finest season to date by passing for 2,055 yards while connecting on 18 touchdown passes to just 9 interceptions, as the Steelers captured the AFC Central for the third time in four years with a 12-2 record that was highlighted by a dominant 11-game winning streak. In the Divisional Playoffs at Three Rivers the Steelers overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit and beat the Baltimore Colts going away 28-10. In the AFC Championship the Steelers faced the Oakland Raiders on brutally cold and windy day with periodical snow flurries. The game would tune into a turnover filled defensive struggle, as Jack Lambert caused three fumbles to give the Steelers a16-0 lead in the 4th Quarter. However, the Steelers turned the ball over three times in the final five minutes to get the Raiders back into the game at 16-10. Things were thrown into further peril when the Raiders recovered an on-side-kick. However, the Steelers defense would toughen up and time would run out preserving the 16-10 win.
Super Bowl X: In the Super Bowl for the second year in a row the Steelers were matched up against the Dallas Cowboys in Miami. Heading into the 4th Quarter the game was a defensive struggle as the Cowboys had a 10-7. However, the game turned Reggie Harrison blocked a Dallas punt through the endzone. On the ensuing possession the Steelers would take a 12-10 lead on a 36-yard Roy Garella Field Goal. Garella would add another Field Goal just two minutes later after Cowboys turnover. The Steelers would strike again on their next possession when Terry Bradshaw hit Lynn Swann on a 64-yard TD pass. However, the Cowboys grabbed momentum back when Garella missed the extra point. The Cowboys would strike quickly to get back in the game at 21-17. After the Steelers recovered an on-side-kick, the Cowboys got the ball back on their own 39 when the Steelers offense playing without Bradshaw who was knocked out on the touchdown pass to Swann failed to get a first down. However, when need the Steel curtain came crashing down on Dallas as Glen Edwards picked off desperation pass. Lynn Swann who set a Super Bowl record by collecting 161 receiving yards on four acrobatic catches was named the game's MVP, after most thought he would not play after suffering a concussion in the AFC Championship Game.
1976: Playing a tough early schedule the Steelers get off to a rough start losing four of their first five games. However, down the stretch the Steel curtain defense firmly established itself as the greatest defensive unit of all time during an incredible season ending nine game winning streak in which they allowed opponents seven or less points eight times, including four shutouts. Highlighting this run, which helped earn Linebacker Jack Lambert Defensive Player of the Year, were three shutouts in a row. Making the three straight shutouts more impressive were the week prior and the week following they only allowed just nine total points. In total during the nine games winning streak the Steel curtain smothered the other teams allowing just 28 points. In total they allowed 138 points on the season compiling a 10-4 record to capture the AFC Central for the fourth time in five years. In the playoff the Steelers continued their domination beating the Colts 40-14 in Baltimore. However, both Franco Harris, and Rocky Bleier who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark during the season were injured and unable to play in the AFC Championship Game. Without Harris and Bleier the Steelers offense drifted as their Championship reign ended with a 24-7 loss to the Raiders in Oakland.
1977: The Steelers never quite seemed as sharp as usual sure they won the AFC Central again with a 9-5 record, but they had a hard time doing it, and for most of the season their record hovered around .500. Even the Steel curtain seemed to have a little wear and tear allowing 243 points on the season, more then 100 more then the previous season. There lackluster play would catch up with them in the Divisional Playoffs when they are knocked off by the Broncos 34-21 in Denver.
1978: A greater commitment to the passing game proved to be the spark the Steelers need as Terry Bradshaw has his finest season, winning the NFL while passing for 2,915 yards while connecting on 28 touchdown passes. The Steel curtain would respond too allowing just 195 points, as the Steelers won the AFC Central again with an impressive 14-2 record. The Steelers dominance continued into the playoff where they beat the Denver Broncos 33-10 at Three Rivers Stadium. A week later in the AFC Championship Game the victims were the Houston Oilers who were utterly destroyed in a dominant 34-5 win at the confluence.
Super Bowl XIII: After a two year absence the Steelers were back in the Super Bowl facing the Dallas Cowboys in a rematch in Miami. Unlike the first match up when the defense ruled, this game was about offense as the Steelers out slugged the Cowboys 21-14 in the first half. After the Cowboys scored a FG in the 3rd Quarter the Steelers seemed to put the game away in the 4th Quarter when they scored 2 Touchdowns in 19 seconds. However, the Cowboys would make a furious comeback score two touchdowns in the final three minutes. However, with 22 seconds left the Steelers recovered an on side kick to seal a 35-31 victory, that mad them the first team ever to win three Lombardi Trophies. Terry Bradshaw was named the game's MVP by passing for 318 yards.
1979: Times could not be better for sports fans in Pittsburgh as The Pirates were on the way to winning the World Series, the Steelers began defense of their Super Bowl Championship. With Terry Bradshaw passing for 3,724 yards the Steelers won their sixth straight, and eighth Division title in nine years by posting a solid 12-4 record. This time it was the offense that drove the Steelers furnace as the team scored 416 points on the season, while the defense allowed 226. In the Playoffs the Steelers continued to roll beating the Miami Dolphins 34-14 in the Divisional Playoffs at Three Rivers Stadium. In the AFC Championship Game the Steelers found themselves in a tight game with Houston Oilers. In the 3rd Quarter it appeared the Oilers shad actually tied the game but a TD catch was ruled out of bounds, as the Steelers stayed out in front before pulling away with a 27-13 victory.
Super Bowl XIV: Even though they were essentially the road team playing the Los Angeles Rams in the LA suburb of Pasadena the Steelers were a heavy favorite to win the fourth Super Bowl in six years. Playing before the largest crowd in Super Bowl history the Steelers actually found themselves down 19-17 entering the 4th Quarter. This could have been worse as the Rams missed two PATs, while outplaying the Steelers through the first 45 minutes. On the first possession of the 4th Quarter the Steelers finally grabbed control of the game when Terry Bradshaw hit John Stallworth on a 73-yard touchdown pass to give the Steelers a lead. The Steel curtain would close on the Rams as the Steelers scored late in the 4th Quarter to seal a 31-19 victory that cemented them as the team of the decade. Terry Bradshaw who passed for 309 yards became the second player to win two Super Bowl MVP awards while the Steelers became the first team with four Lombardi Trophies.
1980: The Steelers started off the 80's on the right note by winning four of their first five games. However the Steel Curtain began to show some wear as they lost three games in a row. In the second half the Steelers would not fair much better playing mediocre football as they lost their grip on the division title and missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.
1981: The Steelers continued to fade playing mediocre football all season before finishing out of the playoffs again with an 8-8 record. Following the season the great players that were the core of the Super bowl teams began retiring as Mean Joe Greene called it a career.
1982: In a season in which they celebrated their 50th Anniversary the Steelers show flashes of their former glory in a strike-interrupted season in which they made the playoffs with a 6-3 record. However, their season ended quickly with a 31-28 loss to the San Diego Chargers at Three Rivers Stadium. Following the season, the Steelers super Bowl team continued to go its separate ways as Lynn Swann, and Jack Ham ended their Steelers careers.
1983: Injuries limited Terry Bradshaw to just eight pass attempts, as the great Steelers Quarterback career ended due to an arm injury. However, with back up Cliff Stoudt passing for 2,553 yards the Steelers continue to be a playoff contender by willing 9 of their first 11 games. However, the Steelers would enter the playoffs in bad shape as they lost five of their final six games. Despite the struggles the Steelers still won the AFC Central with a 10-6 record. However, in the playoffs the struggle would catch up to them, as they were thrashed 38-10 by the Raiders in Los Angeles. Following the season Franco Harris Steelers came to an end when he was acquired by the Seattle Seahawks.
1984: With most of the stars form the 70's departed; the Steelers were set to begin rebuilding. However, the Steelers showed signs of their past glory in amassing a 9-7 record to capture the AFC Central Title again. The highlight of the season was an October 14th win over the 49ers in San Francisco. It was the only loss the 49ers suffered all season. Also serving up highlights that season was WR Louis Lipps who won the Offensive Rookie of the Year. In the playoffs the Steelers stunned the Broncos 24-17 in Denver to earn a trip to the AFC Championship. However, the Steelers season would end with a 45-28 thrashing at the hands of the Dolphins in Miami.
1985: The Steelers challenge for the AFC Central most of the season sitting at 7-5, through the first 12 games. However, a season ending four game losing streak would end both their division title and playoff hopes, as they finished with a 7-9 record, their first season with a losing record in 14 years.
1986: With all but a few players from the glory days departed, the Steelers were a shell of their former glory struggling all season on the way to a terrible 6-10 record.
1987: After splitting their first two games the Steelers represents perform well and keep their playoff alive by winning two of their next three games. However, the regulars returned and played mediocre football, on the way to an 8-7 record. As the Steelers lost their last two games fans came to Three Rivers Stadium asking Santa for a new quarterback, after Mark Malone had a miserable season throwing 19 interceptions to just 6 touchdown passes.
1988: Just ten days before the start of the season the Steelers lose their patriarch with the passing of Art Rooney. The benevolent Rooney had owned the Steelers since the start in 1933; along the way he suffered through 40 years of losing, before glory in the 70's with four Super Bowl Championships. His son Dan who had been with team since 1955 would take over the day-to-day operations. The Steelers began the season on a positive note beating the Dallas Cowboys 24-21 at Three Rivers. However, the Steelers would lose six games in a row, and 10 of 11 games on the way to a last place season. However, the Steelers would end the season on strong note by winning three of their last four games to finish with a 5-11 record. Following the season Center Mike Webster the last holdover from the Super Bowl glory years was released.
1989: The Steelers get off to a miserable start losing their first two games by a combined 92-10 score. However, the Steelers would recover, and would hover around .500 all season before winning their final three games of the season to finish with a 9-7 record, which was good enough for a Wild Card spot. In the Wild Card game at Houston the Steelers stunned the Oilers with a 26-23 win in overtime over the Oilers. A week later the Steelers were on the verge of another stunning win in Denver in the Divisional Playoffs. However, John Elway would lead the Broncos to a last minute 24-23 comeback win.
1990: The Steelers continued to show improvement overcoming a 1-3 start to find themselves in a showdown with the Oilers in Houston for the AFC's final playoff spot in the final game of the season. However, the Steelers are never in the game as the Oilers thrash the Steelers 34-14 ending their season without the playoffs.
1991: The Steelers struggle early as Neil O'Donnell takes over from a struggling Bubby Brister at Quarterback. The Steelers would end the season on a strong note winning their last two games 17-10 over the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns at Three Rivers Stadium to finish with a 7-9 record. Following the season Coach Chuck Noll would announce his retirement ending his successful 23-year career in which he won four Super Bowls while posting an overall record of 209-156-1.
1992: A new era began as Bill Cowher made his coaching debut a success as the Steelers won their first three games on the way to claiming the AFC Central Title for the first time in eight years with an impressive 11-5 record. However, the Steelers season would end quickly with a disappointing 24-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Three Rivers Stadium in the Divisional Playoffs.
1993: The Steelers get off to a good start again winning six of their first nine games. However, after the Steelers lost four of their next six games they needed to win and get help just to get the sixth and final seed in the playoffs. The Steelers did their part by beating the Cleveland Browns 16-9. They would get their help as the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets each lost allowing the Steelers to make the playoffs with a 9-7 record. In the 3-6 game the Steelers held a lead late in the 4th Quarter in Kansas City against the Chiefs. However, the Chiefs would rally to send the game to overtime where the Chiefs broke the Steelers heart with a 27-24 win.
1994: After splitting their first four games the Steelers catch fire and tear through the entire AFC winning 10 of their next 11 games on the way to capturing the AFC Central Division and Home Field Advantage with a 12-4 record. Along the way was a tough defense reminiscent of the Steel Curtain that allowed just 234 points, while earning the nick of Biltzburgh for the number of times they blitzed, led by Kevin Greene who collected 14 sacks on the season. In the playoffs the Steelers continued to dominate beating the Cleveland Browns 29-9 to advance to the AFC Championship. With a trip p the Super Bowl on the line the Steelers dominated the San Diego Chargers all game on rainy day at Three Rivers. However, they could not put them away, and the Chargers would make a comeback scoring a touchdown in the final minutes of the 4th Quarter to take a 17-13 lead. The Steelers would have one chance to take back the lead and got to the foot of the goal line, but their hopes would end when Neil O'Donnell's 4th Down pass was deflected away in the endzone.
1995: The Steelers stumble out of the gate trying to overcome the loss of RB Barry Foster, and the injury of CB Rod Woodson. Through the first seven games the Steelers were muddling along sitting at 3-4. However, rookie QB Kordell Stewart would add a spark to the offense and which helped sparked the entire team on to an eight game winning streak. The rookie QB would provide the spark in the most unique way lining up at halfback, and receiver as well as Quarterback Kordell Stewart earned the nickname slash and became the most dangerous player on the field. The Steelers would go on to finish with an 11-5 record, to capture the AFC Central Title. In the playoffs the Steelers continued to roll destroying the Buffalo Bills 40-21 at Three River Stadium. In the AFC Championship Game the Steelers faced the surprising Indianapolis Colts on a balmy day in Pittsburgh. Like the previous year the Steelers held the lead all game but just could not pull away. Leading 20-16 in the final seconds it almost caught up with them again as Jim Harbaugh's desperation pass bounced in and out of a Colts receivers hands in the endzone. The Steelers finally were heading to their fifth Super Bowl, but the ending made it more of a sense of relief then a sense of victory.
Super Bowl XXX: Back in the Super Bowl for the first time in 16 years the Steelers faced the Dallas Cowboys for the third time. However, unlike the first two, which the Steelers won in Miami, this game would be played in Tempe, Arizona and it would not be the Steelers day. Heading into the 4th Quarter the Steelers found themselves down 20-7 as QB Neil O'Donnell was having a miserable game. However the Steelers suddenly got back in the game when the recovered an on-side-kick after kicking a Field Goal early in the 4th Quarter. The Steelers would drive down the field and would get to within three points on a Bam Morris touchdown run. The Steelers defense would shut down the Cowboys and had a chance to take the lead or tie the game, as they were driving into Dallas territory. However, O'Donnell was picked off for the third time in the game, and the Cowboys would go on to salt the game away 27-17. Following the game Neil O'Donnell who was viewed as the goat was allowed to walk away and sign a Free Agent deal with New York Jets.
1996: To help compensate for the loss of QB Neil O'Donnell the Steelers strengthened their running game by acquiring Jerome Bettis from the St. Louis Rams. The Steelers offense would hop on the bus as he gained 1,431 yards, while the Steelers got off to a terrific 9-3 start to capture the AFC Central Division for the third year in a row. However, losses in their final three games cost them a playoff bye as the Steelers finished with a 10-6 record. In the Wild Card round the Steelers made quick work of the Indianapolis Colts crushing them 42-14 at Three Rivers Stadium However, their season would end a week later with a 28-3 loss to the Patriots on a foggy day in New England.
1997: After two season of being the all everything slash Kordell Stewart was given the reigns of starting Quarterback. Stewart would prove himself right away passing for 3,020 yards while connecting on 21 touchdown passes. In addition he was still a dangerous runner scoring 11 touchdowns with his legs while rushing for 476 yards. Only Jerome Bettis with 1,665 had more yards on the ground, as the Steelers won the AFC Central for the fourth year in a row with an 11-5 record. However, in the Divisional Playoff Kordell Stewart struggled mightily as the Steelers defense saved the day in a 7-6 squeaker over the New England Patriots at Three River Stadium. However, a week later there would be no saving the Steelers who were beaten 24-21 by the Denver Broncos in Three Rivers Stadium.
1998: Despite early struggles from Kordell Stewart the Steelers were right in the middle of the playoff race sitting with a 7-4 record. However, Stewart's struggle would catch up with the Steelers, as turnovers seemed to cost the Steelers every week in a season ending five game losing streak that dropped the Steelers out of the playoffs with a 7-9 record.
1999: Kordell Stewart continued to struggle with turnovers as he was benched in favor of Mike Tomczak. However Tomczak did not play much better as the Steelers won just one of their final eight games on the way to a terrible 6-10 record.
2000: The Steelers started their final season at Three Rivers Stadium on the wrong foot by losing their first three games. However, Kordell Stewart would start overcoming his struggles as the Steelers won their next five games. However, an ensuing three game losing streak would virtually end their playoff chances. The Steelers would go on to win three of their last four games to finish with a 9-7 record but it was not good enough for the playoffs, as the Steelers closed out Three Rivers with a 24-3 win over the Washington Redskins.
2001: The Steelers spilt their first two games as the September 11th terrorist attacks postponed their first game at Heinz Field. On October 7th the Steelers finally played their first official game at Heinz Field and beat the Cincinnati Bengals 16-7. Led by an improved defense highlighted by Defensive Rookie of the Year Kendrell Bell the Steelers got off to a terrific start as they won 9 of their first 11 games. However, an injury to Jerome Bettis threatened to derail the Steelers, as he missed the final five games of the season. Luckily for the Steelers Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala filled in well as the Steelers stayed on course winning four of their final five to win the AFC Central Division and Home Field Advantage with a 13-3 record. In the Divisional Playoff the Steelers were forced to play without Bettis again, but the defense stepped up and created their own offense in a 27-10 win over the Baltimore Ravens. The Bus would return for the AFC Championship Game, but the Steelers would develop a flat tire, making several special teams mistakes on the way to a heartbreaking 24-17 loss to the New England Patriots.
2002: The Steelers stumbled out of the gate being blown out in their first two games in primetime against the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders by a combined score of 60-31. After a bye week the Steelers continued to struggle, as they need overtime to beat the Cleveland Browns, as backup Quarterback Tommy Maddox came on to rally the Steelers after Kordell Stewart continued to struggle. A week later Maddox would be named the starter making his first NFL start in a decade. Although Maddox would lose his first start to the New Orleans Saints he soon would become the Comeback story of the year. In the ten years since his last start Tommy Maddox had retired completely from football before making a comeback in the Arena League and winning the only MVP award in the wretched XFL. Maddox would lead the Steelers to four straight wins as they overcame their slow start to reclaim first place in the newly formed AFC North. Maddox would continue to impress as he battled Atlanta Falcons superstar QB Michael Vick to a 34-34 stalemate. However on November 17th on the road disaster struck as Maddox was taken off the field with numbness throughout his body after being hit by Keith Bulluck in a 31-3 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Tommy Maddox would not be kept down he would overcome his temporary paralysis, and return after just 2 weeks, in which Kordell Stewart led the Steelers to two straight wins. Maddox may have returned to early as he had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a stunning 24-6 loss to the Houston Texans at home. Maddox would recover though and lead the Steelers to 3 straight wins to clinch the division title with a record of 10-5-1. In the playoffs against the Cleveland Browns the Steelers looked to be heading for a disappointing loss trailing 33-21 with less then five minutes left. However the comeback kid would strike again as Tommy Maddox led the Steelers down the field twice to give the Steelers a dramatic 36-33 comeback win. The win would send back to Tennessee where Tommy Maddox was nearly paralyzed two months earlier. This time around the Steelers and Titans would battle in a classic back and forth battle that went to overtime tied at 31. The Titans would take the first possession in overtime and setup for a game winning Field Goal, which Joe Nedney nailed. However the Steelers had called timeout and it would not count. On his second try from 31 yards Nedney would miss. However the Steelers would take a controversial running into the kicker penalty giving Nedney a third chance which he hit from 26 yards to win the game for the Titans 34-31.
2003: The Steelers began the season in style with an impressive 34-15 win over the Baltimore Ravens at home; as Tommy Maddox had three touchdown passes. However, it would be the best game Maddox would have all season as he played mediocre football all season throwing just 18 touchdowns against 17 interceptions for the entire season. While Jerome Bettis only rushed for 811 yards as he had a diminished role in the offense. On defense the Steelers secondary was the weakness as they allowed big passing games against the Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, and St. Louis Rams early in the season while they got off to a disappointing 2-6 start. The Steelers would not recover from their poor first half as they went on to finish with a disappointing 6-10 record.
2004: The Steelers got the season off to a good start with a dramatic last minute 24-21 win over the Oakland Raiders. A week later the Steelers were soundly beaten by the Baltimore Ravens 30-13 as Quarterback Tommy Maddox was lost to an elbow injury. The elbow injury forced Rookie Ben Roethlisberger the Steelers first round draft pick into action. A week later playing in the wake of a hurricane, Roethlisberger got his first start leading the Steelers to a 13-3 win over the Miami Dolphins. Big Ben would not show any rookie nervousness as he soon became a Pittsburgh sensation leading the Steelers to consecutive home wins over the Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns, before beating the Dallas Cowboys on the road. Coming off their bye week Roethlisberger and the Steelers continued to roll ending the New England Patriots record 21-game winning streak with an impressive 34-20 win on Halloween. A week later facing the NFL's lone remaining unbeaten team the Steelers beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-3, as Ben Roethlisberger the QB of the future continued to make the future now. The Steelers would continue to win week in and week out as they would not lose another game in the regular season winning their last 14 games to finish with a NFL best 15-1 record, as Ben Roethlisberger with a 98.1 QB rating and 17 touchdowns was named Offensive Rookie of the Year, while veteran Jerome Bettis showed the Bus had plenty left in the tank with a career best 13 Touchdowns, as the Steelers had the top rated defense in the NFL. Hoping to avoid a playoff let down the Steelers faced the New York Jets in the Divisional Playoffs. However, in his first playoff game Ben Roethlisberger was shaky having an interception returned for a Touchdown in the 3rd Quarter. The Steelers would rally to tie the game, but need to dodge a bullet when Jets field goal Doug Brien missed two field goals in the final minute, one coming after a Roethlisberger had another pass picked off. In overtime after stopping the Jets on their first possession the Steelers drove down the field to set up Jeff Reed up for the game winning 33-yard field goal as the Steelers moved on to the AFC Championship Game with a 20-17 win. In the AFC Championship the Steelers faced the Patriots again. However, this time it would be different as the Pats jumped out to a big lead and never looked back beating the Steelers 41-27 to earn a trip to Super Bowl XXXIX.
2005: Coming off a 15-1 regular season the Steelers had plenty of reason for optimism, as Ben Roethlisberger looked to show his rookie season was not a fluke. In the season opener against the Tennessee Titans, the Steelers won easily 34-7 as Roethlisberger threw two Touchdown passes, while passing for 218 yards, while second year RB Willie Parker had a breakout performance rushing for 161 yards. Following an easy win against the Houston Texans, the Steelers face an early test against the New England Patriots, and came up short as the defending champions beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh again 23-20. The following week, the Steelers showed some of their grit and tenacity in a Monday Night Road Showdown with the San Diego Chargers, as Jerome Bettis saw his first action of the season scoring a TD, while Ben Roethlisberger playing on a sprained knee put the Steelers in position for a 40-yard field goal by Jeff Reed as time expired in a 24-22 win. Playing without Big Ben the following week the Steelers would be stunned in overtime as backup Quarterback Tommy Maddox had his pass intercepted and returned 41 yards for Touchdown in a 23-17 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Roethlisberger would return and lead the Steelers to wins in the next two games, but the knee became too painful and he was forced to have arthroscopic surgery and miss a month. This time the Steelers turned to Charlie Batch and the Steelers continued to win, as Batch led the way in wins over the Green Bay Packers and Cleveland Browns as the Steelers were sitting at 7-2. However, Batch himself would suffer an injury forcing the Steelers to go back to Maddox who struggled again in 16-13 overtime loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Ben Roethlisberger would return for a Monday Night Showdown with the Indianapolis Colts, but was clearly off as the Colts won going away 26-7. The following week the struggles would continue for the Steelers as they lost a shoot out with the Cincinnati Bengals at home 38-31, despite 386 yards passing from Roethlisberger. At 7-5 the Steelers found their playoff hopes in jeopardy as they faced a Chicago Bears team on an eight game winning streak. The Steelers would win the game 21-9 as Jerome Bettis had perhaps his best game of the season with 101 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The win got the Steelers back on track as they would not lose again, winning their final four games to squeeze into the playoffs as the sixth seed with an 11-5 record.
2005: In the playoffs the Steelers would face the Cincinnati Bengals again, and would get an early break as Kimo von Oelhoffen inadvertently injured Bengals QB Carson Palmer on the first series of the game. Despite the loss of Palmer the Bengals got off to a fast start leading 10-0 after the 1st Quarter and 17-7 midway through the second. However, the Steelers defense would stiffen and not allow another point as they pulled to with a field goal on a short TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Hines Ward. In the second half it was all Steelers a Jerome Bettis put them ahead on a five yard run in the 3rd Quarter, which was followed up by a Roethlisberger to Cedric Wilson 43-yard touchdown score, as the Steelers won 31-17. Facing the Indianapolis Colts the Steelers were not given a chance to make the AFC Championship Game, as the Colts were simply dominant all year at 14-2 while beating the Steelers easily in November. However, things would be different from the start of the game as they drove up the field methodically on the first possession for a touchdown. After stopping the Colts on their first series the Steelers quickly got the ball back and had another long touchdown drive to take an early 14-0 lead. As the Steelers defense shutdown Peyton Manning the Steelers would extend the lead late in the 3rd Quarter to 21-3 as Bettis scored on short yardage near the goal line. In the 4th Quarter, the Colts offense would come alive as they scored 15-unaswered points and were with a field goal late in the game. Looking to hold on the Steelers defense again swarmed Manning and sacked him twice; including at the Colts own two yard line on 4th down with less than two minutes left. With 1:20 left and the ball on the Colts two all the Steelers had to do was run out the clock to win the game, putting the ball in the hands of Jerome Bettis the Steelers saw their lives suddenly flash before their lives as the Bus fumbled, and Nick Harper looked to be on his way of running coast to coast with the for a game winning touchdown. However, the last man to beat Ben Roethlisberger got just enough of Harper's leg to bring him down near midfield. The Colts would get in field goal range, but would see Mike Vanderjagt's 46-yard kick sail wide right as the Steelers held on for a stunning 21-18 win becoming the first sixth seed to make the Conference Championship Game. Facing the Denver Broncos the Steelers again would get off to a fast start as they shutdown the Broncos early and dominated the first half leading 24-3 at halftime. The Broncos would creep back into the game getting within ten points midway through the 4th Quarter, but the Steelers would prove to be too strong as Ben Roethlisberger put the game away on a four yard touchdown run in a 34-17 to advance to Super Bowl XL.
Super Bowl XL: The feel good story of Super Bowl hype week was the Jerome Bettis who was playing in his final NFL game in his hometown of Detroit, finally reaching the Super Bowl at the end of a 13-year Hall of Fame Career. The Steelers also reversed course a bit deciding to where white despite being the "home team designee" continuing the role from becoming just the second team ever to reach the Super Bowl with three road wins. Early on the game belonged to the Seattle Seahawks as they scored first on a 47-yard field goal and led 3-0 late in the 2nd Quarter. However, with two minutes left the Steelers finally broke through as Ben Roethlisberger scored a controversial touchdown on short yardage at the goal line sneaking the ball just into the endzone, while replays, showed the ball may have not gone over at all. The touchdown would stand as the Steelers led at halftime 7-3. In the 3rd Quarter the Steelers would not wait long to score again scoring on the 2nd play from scrimmage as Willie Parker raced down the field for a Super Bowl record 75-yard touchdown run to give the Steelers a 14-3 lead. Heading into the endzone for another score the Steelers suddenly found themselves forced to scramble again as Ben Roethlisberger who struggled all game was intercepted at the Seattle four yard line with ball being returned all the way down to the Steelers 20, setting up a Matt Hasslebeck to Jeremy Stevens TD pass to make the score 14-10 at the end of three quarters. As the 4th Quarter began the Seahawks were driving into Steelers territory looking to take the lead, when Ike Taylor picked off Matt Hasslebeck near the endzone and returned to midfield. Following a key five yard sneak by Roethlisberger the Steelers looked to trickery to extend their lead back to 11 points as Big Ben gave the ball to Willie Parker who gave the ball to Antwaan Randle-El on a reverse to daze and confuse the Seahawks defense that left Hines Ward all alone to receive a 43-yard TD pass from Randle-El to give the Steelers a 21-10 lead that sent the pro black and gold crowd at Ford Field into a frenzy. From there it was all the Steelers defense as they shut down the Seahawks for a 21-10 win, earning the long anticipated one for the thumb. The game would indeed be the last for Bettis who announced his retirement during the trophy presentation as Hines Ward was named the game's MVP.
2006: Coming off the Super Bowl Championship, the Steelers endured a tough off-season, as Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. As the season started Roethlisberger had more health concerns as he needed an emergency appendectomy. With Roethlisberger sidelined in Week 1, back up Charlie Batch played well and led the Steelers to a solid Thursday Night 28-17 win over the Miami Dolphins. However, former Stealer Jerome Bettis who was now working for NBC stole the headlines, when he announced that Coach Bill Cowher was likely to leave Pittsburgh following the season to spend more time with his family. While the announcement made Bettis no friends with his former team, there was no denial from Coach Cowher. Ben Roethlisberger would return in Week 2, but struggled badly as the Steelers were shutout by the Jacksonville Jaguars 9-0. Roethlisberger and the Steelers would not play much better then next two games as they were beaten by the Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers. Against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Steelers appeared to get back on track as Ben Roethlisberger completed 16 of 19 passes in a 45-7 win at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger would play well a week later in Atlanta with three touchdown passes before leaving with a concussion as the Steelers were stunned by the Falcons in overtime 41-38. Perhaps still feeling the effects of the concussion, Roethlisberger was picked off by the Raiders four times, two of which were returned for touchdowns as the Steelers were beaten by the lowly Oakland Raiders 20-13 despite limiting the Raiders to 98 yards total offense. Things continued to spiral at home a week later as the Steelers committed six turnovers falling to 2-6 with a 31-20 loss the Denver Broncos. Needing a big performance to begin the road back to respectability, Willie Parker rushed for 213 yards with two touchdowns in a solid 38-31 win over the New Orleans Saints. Parker would struggle to duplicate those numbers the following week as he was held to 46 yards rushing by the Cleveland Browns. Trailing 20-10 in the 4th Quarter the Steelers appeared to be heading for another loss, but with two touchdowns in the final five minutes the Steelers were able to rally and beat the Browns 24-20. After a 27-0 setback against the Baltimore Ravens, the Steelers defense took control in three straight wins allowing just 13 total points in wins over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, and Carolina Panthers. At 7-7 the Steelers were suddenly back in the playoff picture, however against the Ravens their hopes would evaporate as the Ravens jumped out to a 14-0 lead on the way to winning the game 31-7. Looking to close their season 8-8 and doom another division rivals playoff hopes the Steelers went into Cincinnati and took down the Bengals 23-17 with a dramatic 67-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes in overtime. Following the season Bill Cowher would indeed resign, as the Steelers hiring their third coach in nearly 40 years used the same formula hiring a young assistant, this time it would be 35-year old Minnesota Vikings Offensive Coordinator Mike Tomlin.
2007: The Steelers celebrated their 75th Anniversary with a new Coach in Mike Tomlin, who hoped to return to the playoffs. Early on things looked good in Pittsburgh as the Steelers got off to a fast start, winning their first three games easily by 21 points or more. After a 21-14 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, who were coached by former Steelers Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, the Steelers shutout the Seattle Seahawks 21-0 in a rematch of Super Bowl XL. Following the bye week the Steelers came out flat as they fell behind the Denver Broncos early 21-7 at halftime. With two touchdowns in the fourth quarter the Steelers would fight back to tie the game with one minute left. However, the Broncos would win the game 31-28 on a 49-yard Field Goal by Jason Elam as time expired. Following the loss in Denver, the Steelers again won three in a row, beating the Cleveland Browns for a second time to take a stranglehold off the AFC Northern Division with a 7-2 record. However, the Steelers would begin to show some signs of weakness losing on the road to the 1-8 New York Jets in overtime 19-16. A week later on a sloppy rainy Monday Night in Pittsburgh against the winless Miami Dolphins, the Steelers offense was stuck in the mud, as they were held scoreless through three quarters. Fortunately the Dolphins offense bordered on incompetent and they were unable to get going either. The Steelers would end up controlling the ball through most of the fourth quarter as Jeff Reed hit a field goal with 17 seconds left to win the game 3-0. After beating the Cincinnati Bengals 24-10, the Steelers were exposed again, as they were blow out by the New England Patriots 34-13. Returning home the Steelers continued to struggle as they trailed the Jacksonville Jaguars 22-7 in the fourth quarter. However, the Broncos would again battle back to tie the game. Unfortunately the Jaguars would end up with the win as Fred Taylor gave the Jags 29-22 with a 12-yard touchdown run with 1:57 left. The Steelers would still win the division as they hammered the St. Louis Rams 41-24 in Week 16. However, resting many of their starters the Steelers would end the regular season with a 27-21 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers entered the playoffs with a 10-6 record as they had a rematch at Heinz Field with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Once again the Steelers fell in an early hole as the Jaguars held a 28-10 lead entering the third quarter. However, in the fourth quarter the Steelers would make a charge scoring three touchdowns to take the lead. However, Coach Mike Tomlin decided to go for two twice, and the Steelers only led by one point with six minutes left. It would be too much time for the Jaguars as they were able to get in field goal range and win the game 31-29 on a 25-yard field goal by Josh Scobee with 37 seconds left.
2008: Heading into the season the Steelers knew they would have a tough road to the Super Bowl, as they had the toughest schedule in the NFL. That meant they had to take advantage of any potential soft spot on the schedule, which included the opening week of the season where they faced the Houston Texans. The Steelers did just that winning their Week 1 match up 38-17. A week later they faced the division rival Cleveland Browns, and made an early statement on the road shutting down the Browns passing game completely in a 10-6 defensive struggle in primetime. After a 15-6 setback against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 3, the Steelers rebounded to win a thriller in overtime, as they overcame a 13-3 halftime deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 as Jeff Reed hit a 46-yard field goal in OT. With the Steelers running game banged up, it was time for Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to step up, as the Steelers took revenge on the Jacksonville Jaguars with a 26-21 win on the road, as Big Ben passed for 309 yards with three touchdown passes. After the bye week the Steelers spilt their next four games, losing tough games against the previous two Super Bowl winners at Heinz Field. Sitting at 6-3 the Steelers found themselves in another defensive struggle against the San Diego Chargers, as Jeff Reed gave the Steelers an 11-10 victory with a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left. It would be the start of an five game winning streak, as the Steelers defensive took on ferociousness of the Steel curtain as they led the NFL with fewest yards allowed and fewest points scored, earning James Harrison a one time member of the Steelers practice squad Defensive Player of the Year honors. The Steelers winning streak would come to an end with an ugly 31-14 loss on the road to the Tennessee Titans, as several members of the Titans stomped the terrible towel into the ground, as the Steelers lost a chance to get home field advantage in the AFC Playoffs. Nonetheless, the Steelers would close out the season with a 31-0 whitewashing of the Browns, to get the all important playoff bye, as they won their second straight AFC North Title with a 12-4 record. In the playoffs the Steelers had a rematch with the San Diego Chargers this time it would be the offense that decided the game, as the Steelers jumped out to a 28-10 lead, behind the running of Willie Parker who rushed for 146 yards with two touchdowns as the Steelers advanced to the AFC Championship Game with a 35-24 victory. In the AFC Championship the Steelers would have another rematch on their hands, as they faced the Baltimore Ravens, whom they beat twice in the regular season. The Ravens had a week earlier knocked off the Titans, bring the AFC Title game back to Heinz Field, where a sea of fans waving the terrible towels greeted the division rival Ravens, as the Steelers jumped out to an early 13-0 lead highlighted by a 65-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes. However, the Ravens would claw their way back into the game, behind two touchdowns from Willis McGahee to cut the Steelers lead to 16-14 early in the fourth quarter. With 4:24 left the Steelers defense slammed the door on the Ravens as Troy Polamalu returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown to widen the margin. Meanwhile Ryan Clark turned out the lights on Baltimore with a jarring hit on Willis McGahee on a screen pass, as the Steelers advanced to Super Bowl XLIII with a 23-14 victory.
Super Bowl XLIII: Heading into the Super Bowl the Steelers were heavy favorites as they faced the Arizona Cardinals who were hoping to erase a legacy of losing. Once upon a time the Steelers shared that legacy with the Cardinals, as they two teams merged for the 1944 season due to player shortages from World War II. Early on it was all Steelers as they jumped out to a 10-0 lead. However as halftime approached the Cardinals had a chance to at least tie the game, as they had the ball deep in Steelers territory. However, James Harrison intercepted a pass from Kurt Warner at the goalline and returned it the length of the field in an exhausting run to widen the lead to 17-7 as the half expired. In the third quarter the Steelers would expand the lead to 20-7 on a 21-yard field goal by Jeff Reed. However, just as it seemed the game was firmly in control the Cardinals made a furious 4th Quarter comeback. After cutting the lead to six points, the Cardinals defense turned on the pressure, as Justin Hartwig was called for holding in the endzone giving the Cardinals a safety with under three minutes left to cut the Steelers lead to four points. Suddenly reeling the Steelers did not have time to blink before the lead had vanished completely as Kurt Warner hit Larry Fitzgerald on a 64-yard touchdown pass to give the Cardinals 23-20 lead with 2:37 left. The Steelers now faced desperation as they had the ball and needed to at least tie the game on this drive. However, things did not start off on the right foot as Chris Kemoeatu was called for holding giving the Steelers 1st down and 20 at their own 12-yard line. However, Ben Roethlisberger kept his cool, connecting twice with Santonio Holmes to begin taking the Steelers down the field. After getting the ball to midfield, Roethlisberger and Holmes connected again for 40-yard pass to the Cardinals six yard line, with just one minute left on the clock. After failing to connect with Holmes on first down, Roethlisberger hit Holmes, who managed to get a toe in bounds for a dramatic touchdown catch to give the Steelers back the lead with 42 seconds remaining. After replay determined the catch was good it was up to the Steelers defense to preserve the 27-23 victory, which they were able to do as LaMarr Woodley took down Kurt Warner who was attempting a desperation pass as time expired. The win gave the Steelers one for the other hand as they became the first team to win six Lombardi Trophies, as Santonio Holmes whose dramatic reception won the game was named Super Bowl MVP.
2009: After winning the Super Bowl the Steelers went to work defending their crown with a Thursday Night showdown with the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. The game would be close throughout with the Steelers winning in overtime 13-10 on a 33 yard Field Goal by Jeff Reed. The game came at a price, as All-Pro Safety Troy Polamalu sprained his MCL and would miss several games. A week later, it was two missed Field Goals by Reed that would cost the Steelers a victory as they lost to the Chicago Bears, 17-14. In Week 3 the Steelers would be stunned by the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20, as the Bengals scored 14 unanswered points in the 4th Quarter, with Andre Caldwell catching the winning Touchdown pass with 14 seconds left on the clock. With Rashard Mendenhall taking over at Running Back, the Steelers quickly turned things around winning their next five games to enter their rematch with the Bengals at Heinz Field with first place in the AFC North on the line. Once again the Steelers would end the game shaking their heads, as the Steelers offense was unable to get in the endzone as the Bengals won 18-12 and would win the division championship. A week later the Steelers would suffer a terrible loss to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs, losing in overtime 27-24. Making matters worse, QB Ben Roethlisberger suffered a concussion and was unavailable against the Baltimore Ravens a week later. Backup Quarterback Charlie Batch also was injured forcing the Steelers to give Dennis Dixon his first NFL start. Dixon played well, but had a costly interception in overtime as the Ravens won the Sunday Night Showdown 20-17. Roethlisberger returned a week later, but the Steelers slide continued as they lost their fourth straight game, losing to the Oakland Raiders 27-24 with Louis Murphy catching an 11 yard Touchdown pass from Bruce Gradkowski with 11 seconds remaining. The Steelers would drop below .500 a week later as they were stunned by the lowly Cleveland Browns 13-6, for their fifth straight loss. It was the first time since the 1987 New York Giants that a defending Super Bowl Champion team suffered five consecutive losses. With the playoffs slipping away the Steelers hosted the Green Bay Packers, desperately needing a win. On the first play of the game, Ben Roethlisberger would find WR Mike Wallace for a 60 yard Touchdown strike. The Packers would answer back right away with an 80 yard Touchdown from Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings. This would be an indicator of the back and forth nature of the entire game. Trailing 36-30 with three seconds left, Roethlisberger connected with Wallace again as time expired on a 19 yard game winning Touchdown pass that resembled the Santonio Holmes Super Bowl winning catch, as Ben Roethlisberger passed for 503 yards with three touchdown passes. A week later the Steelers climbed back above .500 with a 23-20 win. However, they needed help to reach the playoffs as they entered the final week of the season. The Steelers would do their part beating the Miami Dolphins 30-24 to end the season with a 9-7 record, but they would end up falling short of reaching the playoffs because of tiebreakers.
2010: After missing the playoffs the Steelers endured a tumultuous off-season, as QB Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for the early part of the season, after an incident where he allegedly assaulted a female college student in the bathroom of a Georgia Nightclub. Though he never faced criminal charges, Commissioner Roger Goodell wanting to send a message decided to discipline the Steelers quarterback after a series of troubling off the field incidents. Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes also faced suspension for a series of incidents including a failed drug test that led to a four game suspension. The Steelers considered dealing Big Ben at the deadline, while sending Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a fifth round draft pick, which they would use to send to the Arizona Cardinals to re-acquire Bryant McFadden. As the season began, Ben Roethlisberger's suspension was reduced from six to four games, as Dennis Dixon started the season against the Atlanta Falcons. The game would be close throughout as the Steelers defense put forth a big effort in a game that would go to overtime tied 9-9. In overtime it would be Rashard Mendenhall who would be the hero at Heinz Field as he scored on a 50 yard run to give the Steelers a 15-9 win. In Week 2 the Steelers were forced to improvise again as Dennis Dixon suffered a knee injury in the 2nd Quarter against the Tennessee Titans, leading the Steelers to use longtime backup Charlie Batch at quarterback. The Steelers would win again on the road, as the defense stepped up again, with LB James Harrison collecting three sacks and a forced fumble, while Troy Polamalu had an interception and stopped QB Kerry Collins on a goaline stand as the Steelers won 19-11. In Week 3 Batch got the start and connected with Mike Wallace on two 40 yard plus Touchdown receptions as the Steelers crushed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-13. In their final game without Roethlisberger the Steelers would host the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers defense had another strong game as they held a 14-10 lead late in the 4th Quarter. However, Joe Flacco would find T.J. Houshmandzadeh with in the endzone with 33 seconds remaining for a 17-14 win. After the bye week the Ben Roethlisberger returned as the Steelers faced the Cleveland Browns. While he got off to a slow start, Roethlisberger would end the game with 257 passing yards as the Steelers beat the Browns 28-10. The game would have some controversy as James Harrison received a big fine for illegal hits on Mohammed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs, which became part of the NFL's focus on cracking down on headshots. Harrison feeling singled out contemplated retirement. Harrison would be part of the team as the Steelers faced the Miami Dolphins on the road in a back and forth game in Week 7. In a game marked mostly by field goals, Roethlisberger connected with Mike Wallace on a big 53 yard Touchdown pass. In end it would be a chip shot Field Goal by Jeff Reed and the Steelers defense that made the difference in a 23-22 win. Playing on Sunday Night, the Steelers would lose the battle of the past two Super Bowl Champions as the New Orleans Saints doubled up the Steelers 20-10 at the Superdome. The Steelers would rebound the following week to beat the Cincinnati Bengals on the road 27-21, as Antwan Randle-El had another TD pass to fellow WR Mike Wallace in the 4th Quarter. Coming home after three straight games on the road, the Steelers played their worst game of the year on Sunday Night losing to the New England Patriots 39-26. The Steelers would rebound to win their next two games setting up a Sunday Night showdown with the Ravens on the road with the division on the line. In the game Ben Roethlisberger showed his true grit as he battled a broken nose that left his uniform full of blood, and a sprained foot. However, it was the Steelers defense that made the biggest play as Troy Polamalu forced a fumble on a Joe Flacco sack late the 4th Quarter. The ball would be picked up by Lamarr Woodley and returned to the Ravens 9, as Roethlisberger connected with Issac Redman on a 9 yard TD pass to complete the comeback in a 13-10 win as the Steelers scorer ten unanswered points in the 4th Quarter. With the win the Steelers at 9-3 took over first place in the AFC North. The Steelers would go on to win the division winning three of their final four games, with the only blemish coming in a Week 15 loss to the New York Jets at Heinz Field. At 12-4 the Steelers went into the playoffs with a bye, as Troy Polamalu was named Defensive Player of the Year.
2010 Playoffs: In the playoffs the Steelers would face the Baltimore Ravens yet again in the Divisional Playoff Round. Early on it would be all Ravens as they jumped out a 21-7 lead. In the 3rrd Quarter, the Steelers offense came to life, as Ben Roethlisberger led two touchdown drives connecting with Heath Miller and Hines Ward to tie the game. In the 4th Quarter the Steelers regained the lead for the first time since the early part of the 4th Quarter as Shaun Suisham hits a 35 yard Field Goal. However, the Ravens were not done yet as Bill Cundiff answered with a 24 yard Field Goal. Finally the game would be decided with 1:33 left as Rashard Mendenhall who scored in the 1st Quarter scores in the 4th Quarter to give the Steelers 31-24 win, earning a spot in the AFC Championship Game. Facing the New York Jets at Heinz Field the Steelers jumped out early as Rashard Mendenhall wrapped up a nine minute opening drive, with a one yard Touchdown run. The Steelers defense crowd had the Jets off track throughout the first half. After Shaun Suisham hit a chip shot Field Goal the Steelers took a 24-0 lead, as on two TDs in 37 seconds as Ben Roethlisbeger scored on a bootleg, and William Gay returned a fumble 19 yards for a Touchdown. The Jets would get on the board just before halftime, thanks to a Nick Folk Field Goal. In the second half the Jets began a furious comeback as former Steeler Santonio Holmes scored a 45 yard TD catch from Mark Sanchez on the first series of the second half. The Steelers defense would hold the lead at two touchdowns stopping the Jets at the goaline midway through the 4th Quarter. However, on the ensuing series Ben Roethlisberger was tackled in the endzone by Mike Devito with 7:38 left. The Jets would continue their comeback as Sanchez connected with Jericho Cotchery to make the score 24-19 with 3:06 left. Needing a first down, Roethlisberger who struggled in the second half hit Antonio Brown to allow the Steelers to run out the clock and earn a trip to Dallas for Super Bowl XLV.
Super Bowl XLV: Facing the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers were a slight favorite to win their seventh Lombardi Trophy. However, it would be the Packers who struck first as Aaron Rodgers connected with Jordy Nelson on a 29 yard Touchdown pass late in the 1st Quarter. Just 24 seconds later, the Packers would strike again Nick Collins picked off Ben Roethlisberger, and returned the ball 37 yards for a Touchdown. The Steelers would get on the board in the 2nd Quarter as Shaun Suisham nailed a 33 yard Field Goal. However, late in the 2nd Quarter Aaron Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a 21 yard TD pass that gave the Packers a 21-3 lead. With time winding down in the first half the Steelers suddenly got on a track, as Roethlisberger hooked up with Hines Ward on an eight yard Touchdown strike with 39 seconds to cut the deficit to 21-10. Despite being down by 11 points things looked good for the Steelers, as the Packers Defensive Captain Charles Woodson was knocked out of the game with a broken collar bone. The Steelers surge continued as the second half began with a Rashard Mendenhall eight yard Touchdown run on the first series of the second half. The Packers defense stiffened and no more points will be scored in the 3rd Quarter. The Packers offense would strike again early in the 4th Quarter as Aaron Rodgers again connected with Greg Jennings. The Steelers would not quit as Roethlisberger hooked up with Mike Wallace on a 25 yard Touchdown pass with 7:34 left to cut the deficit to 28-25. However, the Packers would answer with a Field Goal, giving the Steelers 2:07 to stage another great Super Bowl last minute drive. This time it would not be in the cards for the Steelers, as their drive stalled before reaching midfield on three straight incomplete passes by Ben Roethlisberger as the Packers won their fourth Super Bowl and 13th NFL Championship 31-25.
2011: Coming off their loss in Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers were tested right away as they faced the rival Baltimore Ravens on the road to start the season. It would be a bad day for the Steelers from the start, as the Ravens quickly jumped in front, with two first quarter touchdowns and did not look back, as they beat the Steelers 35-7. Among the Steelers having a bad game was QB Ben Roethlisberger who had three interceptions and a fumble as the Steelers committed seven turnovers in suffering their first Week 1 loss in eight years. The Steelers would quickly rebound in their home opener as they blanked the Seattle Seahawks 24-0. In their first game in primetime the Steelers found an unexpected challenge from the Indianapolis Colts, who were without Peyton Manning. The Steelers continued to have trouble turning the ball over as a fumble by Ben Roethlisberger led to a 47 yard fumble return by Jamaal Anderson as the Colts led 13-10 at the start of the fourth quarter. After Shaun Suisham tied the game with a short field goal, the Steelers grabbed the lead as Troy Polamalu returned a Curtis Painter fumble 16 yards for a touchdown. The pesky Colts would even the game 20-20, but Suisham would have the final word with a 38 yard game winning field goal as the Steelers improved to 2-1 with a 23-20 win. In Week 4 the Steelers would suffer another setback as they lost to the Houston Texans on the road 17-10, as their game tying drive was ended by a Ben Roethlisberger interception. After scuffling over the first four weeks, Big Ben struck back in Week 5, as the Steelers clobbered the Tennessee Titans 38-17, as Roethlisberger had five touchdown passes. A week later it was Running Back Rashard Mendenhall who led the way, rushing for 145 yards as the Steelers edged the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-13. The Steelers would win get a third straight win the following week as Ben Roethlisberger passed for 361 yards with three touchdowns, including a 95 yard TD pass by Mike Wallace as the Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 32-20. Prior to a key showdown with the Ravens at Heinz Field, the Steelers had perhaps their best team effort of the season, as they beat the New England Patriots for the first time since 2008, with a 25-17 win, as Roethlisberger had another strong game with 365 yards passing. The Sunday Night showdown with the Ravens would take on a playoff air, as the Steelers rallied to take the lead in the fourth quarter with a Touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall and a pass to Mike Wallace. However, the Ravens would answer back and win the game 23-20 on a 26 yard pass from Joe Flacco to Torrey Smith with eight seconds left in the game. The Steelers would rebound to beat the Cincinnati Bengals the following week 17-10 as Rashard Mendenhall's two touchdowns were the difference. After the bye week the Steelers survived a scare against the Kansas City Chiefs, winning 13-9 as they picked off Chiefs QB Tyler Palko three times. The Steelers would continue to play strong football as they improved to 9-3 with a 35-7 win over the Bengals at Heinz Field, as Antonio Brown capped a four touchdown second quarter with a 60 yard punt return for a touchdown. Facing the Cleveland Browns at home four days later on Thursday Night Football, the Steelers season would suffer a serious blow as Ben Roethlisberger injured his ankle during a 14-3 win. Always wanting to show his toughness, Roethlisberger attempted to play a week later, but had three interceptions as the Steelers lost to the San Francisco 49ers on the road 20-3. With Charlie Batch getting the start in Week 16, the Steelers clinched a playoff spot with a 27-0 whitewash of the St. Louis Rams at Heinz Field. Ben Roethlisberger would return in the final game of the regular season, as the Steelers beat the Browns 13-9. However, they would get more bad news a RB Rashard Mendenhall would suffer a season ending knee injury as he fell just short of a 1,000 yard season. At 12-4 the Steelers had one of the best records in the AFC, but with their two losses to the Ravens they were forced into the Wild Card spot.
2011 Playoffs: Facing the Denver Broncos on the road, despite having the superior record, the Steelers were heavy favorites. However, without Mendenhall their top rusher and Safety Ryan Clark, who was unable to play in Denver's altitude due a sickle cell condition that caused him to be severely ill when playing at Mile High a few years earlier. The Steelers would play sloppy football in the first half as the Broncos raced out to a 20-6 halftime lead. In the second half the Steelers would claw their way back into the game, as Ben Roethlisberger connected with Jerricho Cotchery on a 31 yard touchdown pass to tie the game 23-23 late in the fourth quarter. The game would go to overtime, but it would be over within the blink of an eye, as Broncos QB Tim Tebow connected with Jerricho Cotchery on a game winning 80 yard Touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage in overtime. Following the stunning 29-23 loss the Steelers would say good bye to WR Heinz Ward, who after being released by the Steelers would announce his retirement, ending a 14 year career spent entirely in Pittsburgh. Though fans would see Ward make one more race down the field, as Heinz Field made an appearance in the Dark Knight Rises, with many fan favorites on the Steelers dressed up as the Gotham Rouges.
2012: The Steelers season began where the previous season ended as they faced the Denver Broncos who added Peyton Manning in the off-season. The game would be a Sunday Night game, with the Broncos using a strong second half to win the game 31-19, as Tracy Porter returned a Ben Roethlisberger interception to seal the game. The Steelers would bounce back in their home opener as they down the New York Jets 27-10. Against the Oakland Raiders a week later, the Steelers suffered a stunning setback, despite Ben Roethlisberger passing for 384 yards with three touchdowns, as the Raiders scored 13 unanswered points in the 4th Quarter to win the game 34-31. Coming out of the bye week, the Steelers saw another lead slipping away as the Philadelphia Eagles overcame a 10-0 halftime deficit took a 14-13 lead late in 4th Quarter. However, the Steelers would get the ball down the field and set Shaun Suisham hit a game winning 34 yard Field Goal as time expired for a 16-14 win. In Week 6 on the road against the Tennessee Titans, the Steelers 4th Quarter troubles continued as they blew a 23-16 lead and lost 26-23 on a last second 40 yard Field Goal by Rob Bironas. Playing the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football, the Steelers would start to turn things around as they rallied from an early 14-3 hole to win the game 24-17 to improve their record at Paul Brown Stadium to 11-2. The following week saw the Steelers climb above .500 for the first time all season as they beat the Washington Redskins 27-12, while earing bumble bee throwbacks to the early days of the Steelers. The Steelers would carry the momentum into their next game, as they got a big 4th Quarter from Roethlisberger to beat the New York Giants 24-20 in the Meadowlands. However, a week later the Steelers had another lackluster effort on Monday Night Football. Fortunately they were playing the worst team in the NFL in the Kansas City Chiefs who held their first lead all season in the 1st Quarter. The game would be decided in overtime as Lawrence Timmons interception set up Shaun Suisham to kick the game winning Field Goal as the Steelers improved to 6-3 with a 16-13 win. During the game the Steelers lost Ben Roethlisberger to a shoulder injury. Without Roethlisberger the Steelers hosted the Baltimore Ravens and put forth a tremendous defensive effort, but it would not be enough as the Ravens won the game 13-10, as backup Quarterback Byron Leftwich suffered broken ribs. With Charlie Batch starting at quarterback the Steelers would lose again to the Cleveland Browns, the following week 20-14, with Batch throwing three interceptions. Batch and the Steelers recovered the following week to stun the Ravens on the road 23-20, as the black and gold scored ten unanswered points in the 4th Quarter, with Suisham getting his third game winning Field Goal of the season from 42 yards. Ben Roethlisberger would return the following week, but did not provide a boost as the San Diego Chargers jumped out to a 27-3 at Heinz Field. The Steelers would get back in the game on a 40 yard Touchdown catch by Mike Wallace, but in the end their comeback would fall just short as they lost 34-24. The Steelers struggles continued the following week as a 27-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in overtime. The loss all but ended the Steelers playoff hopes, as Josh Brown put the nail in the coffin with a last second 43 yard Field Goal to give the Bengals a 13-10 win at Heinz Field. The Steelers would end the season with a 24-10 win over the Browns to finish the season at 8-8.
2013: After missing the playoffs for the second time in six years, the Steelers looked to get off to a quick start as they hosted the Tennessee Titans in the season opener. The Steelers got an early break as Darius Reynard grabbed the opening kickoff and stepped back into the endzone for a safety, but could not take full advantage as their offense came out flat as the Titans held a 7-2 lead at the half. The Steelers continued to struggle in the second half as the Titans won the game 16-9, with Steelers running game managing a paltry 31 total yards, as Ben Roethlisberger passed for 191 yards. The Steelers would not do much better a week later, losing a Monday Night game on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals 20-10, once again the Steelers run game was stuck in neutral gaining just 44 yards. Things would only get worse in Week 3, as the Steelers committed five turnovers 40-23 Sunday Night loss to the Chicago Bears at Heinz Field. The Steelers struggles continued in London, as they dropped to 0-4 start for the first time in 46 years as they were defeated by the Minnesota Vikings 34-27, despite the loss Ben Roethlisberger appeared to get his season on track with 383 yards passing. Following the bye week, the Steelers would earn their first win of the season against the New York Jets. The big play came in the third quarter when Ben Roethlisberger connected with Emmanuel Sanders on a 55 yard TD pass on the way to a 19-6 win. The Steelers would get their first home win a week later as they squeezed past the Baltimore Ravens 19-16. Shaun Suisham won the game with four field goals including one for 42 yards as time expired. However, the Steelers reverted to September struggles with back to back losses to the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots on the road. The loss in Foxboro was particularly disturbing as the Steelers gave a up a team record 55 points, losing 55-31. The Steelers defense was much better a week later as they returned to Western Pennsylvania, allowing just a late touchdown and an early Field Goal as the beat the Buffalo Bills 23-10. A week later it was the Antonio Brown show, as Ben Roethlisberger connected with Brown for two long touchdown passes in the first quarter to set the tone in a 37-27 victory over the Detroit Lions. Roethlisberger had his finest game of the season, passing for 367 yards with four touchdowns. Antonio Brown meanwhile had 147 yards on seven receptions. The Steelers second half resurgence would continue in Week 12, as they came within one game of .500 by beating the Cleveland Browns 27-11, as Antonio Brown had another big play catching a 41 yard TD pass from Roethlisberger. Looking to reach .500 on Thanksgiving, the Steelers got off to a slow start and trailed 13-0 early in the third quarter. After the Steelers finally got on the board, it appeared the Ravens would answer right back as Julio Jones was well on his way to running back the kick off. However, when Mike Tomlin wandered on to the field Cortez Allen was able to catch Jones and hold the Ravens to a Field Goal. The Ravens would add two more Field Goals as the Steelers clawed their way back. However, looking to tie the game Ben Roethlisberger was off target on his pass to Emmanuel Sanders as the Ravens held on to a 22-20 win. Trying to stay in the playoff race, the Steelers staged one of the most thrilling games of the season against the Miami Dolphins on a snow Sunday at Heinz Field. The game would tick back and forth as the Steelers took a 21-17 lead, as Brown had another 43 yard TD reception and Troy Polamalu returned an interception 19 yards for a score. The Dolphins and Steelers would trade the lead two more times, with Miami taking a 34-28 lead in the final minutes. Down to a wing and a prayer the Steelers nearly pulled off the ultimate miracle latteraling the ball around as time expired. The ball would wind up in the hands of Antonio Brown who appeared to have scored a game winning TD, but it was ruled he stepped out of bounds at the four yard line. The Steelers would not go out quietly, beating the Bengals the following week 30-20. At Lambeau Field in Week 16, they would keep their faint playoff hopes alive with a 38-31 win over the Green Bay Packers. The Steelers who had trouble running the ball early in the season got a big game from Le'Veon Bell, who had 149 all purpose yards, with two touchdowns including the game winner. Despite not once seeing .500 during the season, the Steelers entered the final week of the season with an outside shot at the playoffs. They would need a win, and several other games to fall in their favor. The Steelers would do their part, beating the Browns 20-7 to finish at 8-8. The other dominos would fall in the early game as the Dolphins and Ravens lost their games. Needing the Kansas City Chiefs to beat the San Diego Chargers, the Steelers came within inches of perhaps the most improbable playoff berth ever. However, Ryan Succuop's 41 yard Field Goal sailed wide right as the Chargers won in overtime to clinch the sixth spot in the AFC playoff field. Antonio Brown who caught 110 passes for 1,499 yards became the first player in NFL history to record at least five catches and 50 yards in every game.
2014: The Pittsburgh Steelers came flying out of the gate to start the season against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field taking a 27-3 lead in the first half. The Browns would make a game of it in the second half and battle back to tie things up in the fourth quarter. The Steelers would not panic and would win the game 30-27 as Shaun Suisham hit a 41 yard Field Goal as time expired. The Steelers would come out flat four nights later as they faced the Baltimore Ravens in a Thursday Night road game. After being shut out most of the first half Suisham put the Steelers on the board with a 25 yard Field Goal with 2:50 left in the second quarter. He would add a second Field Goal in the early stages of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 10-6. However, it would be all the Steelers would score as the Ravens won the game 26-6. In primetime again in Week 3, the Steelers again had trouble finding the endzone as they managed just three Shaun Suisham Field Goals in the first 30 minutes to lead the Carolina Panthers 9-3 at halftime. The Steelers offense would get on track in the second half, as Antonio Bryant had a pair of touchdown catches as Pittsburgh pulled away to a 37-19 road win. Returning home, the Steelers again started slowly, trailing the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10-0 early in the first quarter. The Steelers would quickly rebound and take a 17-10 lead into halftime as Ben Roethlisbeger completed another two touchdowns to Antonio Brown. The Buccaneers continued to give the Steelers a fight, with each side scoring in the third quarter. The Steelers offense would stall in the fourth as the Bucs drew closer with a Patrick Murray Field Goal. Leading 24-20 the Steelers would not be able to hold on as Vincent Jackson caught a pass in the endzone with seven second left as Tampa stunned the Steelers 27-20. The Steelers continued to sputter in Week 5, as they held a slim 10-9 against the winless Jacksonville Jaguars in the fourth quarter. This time the Steelers would hold on for the win as Brice McCain returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown to clinch victory at 17-9. A week later the Steelers poor play would continue as they were crushed in Cleveland 31-10, with Lance Moore scoring a late cosmetic touchdown in a day in which the Steelers offense never found its tracking. Things appeared to be going bad to worse, as they trailed the Houston Texans 13-0 late in the second quarter on Monday Night Football. Shaun Suisham would get the Steelers on the board with a 44 yard Field Goal with 3:08 left in the second quarter. After the Steelers defense turned aside the Texans, their offense suddenly awoke from it season long funk as it took just two plays to go 63 yards and get back in the game with Martavis Bryant making a 35 yard Touchdown reception. The Steelers would quickly get the ball back and score again, as Arian Foster's fumble set up the Steelers on the Houston 3-yard line where it took one play for Ben Roethlisberger to connect with Lance Moore. On the next possession Brett Keisel intercepted Ryan Fitzpatrick, allowing the Steelers to add to their lead, with Le'Veon Bell scoring on a two yard run. The Steelers scoring 21 points 73 seconds would go on to win the game 30-23. The Steelers offense continued their momentum with another explosion in the second quarter scoring 28 points in the second quarter. Rocking the bumble bee throwbacks, Ben Roethlisberger had one of the greatest passing games in NFL history, while earning his 100th career win, as he passed for 522 yards with six touchdowns as the Steelers crushed the Indianapolis Colts 51-34. Six was the magic number again just one week later as Ben Roethlisber repeated six touchdowns performance in a 43-23 Sunday Night win over the Ravens at Heinz Field. The 12 touchdowns in two games, established a new NFL record as he passed for 340 yards. The Steelers could not carry the momentum any further as they stubbed their toe in the Meadowlands, falling behind the New York Jets 17-0 in the first quarter. Managing just a Shaun Suisham 53 yard Field Goal at the end of the first half, the Steelers trailed 20-3 until midway through the fourth quarter. Suisham would add a second field goal with 7:21 left, and finally found the endzone as Ben Roethlisbeger had an 80 yard hook up with Antonio Brown, but it was too little too late as the Jets won 20-13, with the Steelers hurt by four turnovers. Against another bottom feeding team, the Steelers again stumbled on Monday Night Football against the Tennessee Titans and trailed 24-13 entering the final quarter. This time the Steelers were able to salvage the game thanks to Le'Veon Bell who ran for 204 yards with a fourth quarter touchdowns to lead the black and gold to a 27-24 win. Following a bye week the Steelers returned home and once again but themselves behind early as they had no solution for Drew Brees who had five touchdown passes. The Steelers would make the score look close at the end with Brown catching a score touchdown pass and Lance Moore getting a two point reception at the end of a 35-32 loss to the New Orleans Saints. Despite their up and down season, the Steelers were in good shape to win the AFC North as they faced the Cincinnati Bengals in the first of two meetings. The game would tilt back and forth with the Bengals holding a 21-17 lead at the start of the fourth quarter at home. The fourth quarter would be all Steelers, as they scored 25 unanswered points with Bell ringing for two touchdowns, but the big play was a 94 yard pass play to Martavis Bryant which broke the game open in a 42-21 win. The Steelers would go on to win their final three games and won the AFC North with a record of 11-5.
2014 Playoffs: The Steelers would find a familiar foe in the Wild Card round as they hated the arch rival Baltimore Ravens. A tight first quarter would see the Steelers score first on a 45 yard Field Goal by Shaun Suisham. The Ravens would respond, with Bernard Pierce scoring on a five yard run. The Steelers answered, but managed just a field goal when a 12 play drive stalled on the goal line. The Ravens and Steelers would each and another field goal as the game went to overtime with Baltimore in front 10-9. The third quarter would bring nothing but trouble for the Steelers, as the Ravens scored ten unanswered points. Martavis Bryant caught Ben Roethlisberger only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter, but time and again the Ravens had an answer, scoring on six of nine possessions. The Steelers meanwhile had two Roethlisberger interceptions to overcome, which they were unable to do as the Ravens won the game 30-17. It would be the end of an era in Pittsburgh as Troy Polamalu, Brett Keisel, and Jason Worilds all retired following the season. The Steelers also lost their defensive genius as longtime Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau left to take a job with the Tennessee Titans.
2015: Heading into the season, there were many questions surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, after the departure of longtime Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau and the retirement of Troy Polamalu, Brett Keisel, Jason Worilds and Ike Taylor. The Steelers defense would face a major test right away as they played the New England Patriots in the Thursday Night season opener in Foxboro. Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Brown and DeAngelo Williams each had strong games, but Tom Brady had four touchdowns to lead the Patriots to a 28-21 win. A week later in the home opener, DeAngelo Williams and Ben Roethlisberger each had three scores as the Steelers slammed the San Francisco 49ers 43-18. In the game the Pittsburgh defense also had a strong game, sacking Colin Kaepernick five times as the 49ers did not score a touchdown until the fourth quarter when the game was already well out of reach. Scoring would be at premium the following week as Ben Roethlisberger was carted off with a knee injury in the third quarter. However, the Steelers defense only allowed two Field Goals as the Steelers beat the St. Louis Rams on the road 12-6. Back on Thursday Night Football in Week 4, the Steelers hosted the arch rival Baltimore Ravens without Ben Roethlisberger, who was sidelined with a sprained knee. Michael Vick got the start and helped them build a 20-7 lead in the third quarter, as Le'Veon Bell had a big game running for 129 yards with a touchdown. However, the Steelers were unable to put the game away as Josh Scobee missed two short Field Goal attempts in the fourth quarter. The Ravens would rally and win the game in overtime 23-20. The Steelers would cut Scobee two days later, as Coach Mike Tomlin showed a lack of confidence in his kicker choosing to go for it on fourth down rather than attempt a game winning 50-yard kick. Michael Vick would get another start in Week 5 as the Steelers faced the San Diego Chargers in a Monday Night game on the road. After trailing at the half 7-3, the Steelers got a big play from Antwon Blake who returned an interception 70 yards to turn the game in their favor. The fourth quarter would see the game tilt back and forth, with Vick and Markus Wheaton hooking up for a 72-yard touchdown pass play. Still the Steelers trailed as time was running out. Down 20-17, Mike Tomlin rolled the dice and went for the win. Le'Veon Bell would make the gamble pay off as scored from one yard out as time expired, giving Pittsburgh a big 24-20 win. Returning home, the Steelers took another blow, as Michael Vick was injured during the first half of action against the Arizona Cardinals. Down 10-6, third string quarterback Landry Jones connected with Martavis Bryant from eight yards to give the Steelers a lead they would not give back. Jones would later connect with Bryant on an 88-yard touchdown pass as the Steelers won the game 25-13. Landry Jones would get his first start a week later, but struggled as the Steelers were beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs 23-13. Ben Roethlisberger returned for a Week 8 showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field, but struggled with three interceptions after leading the Steelers to on an 80-yard scoring drive to open the game. The Bengals would eventually win the game 16-10. Making matters worse for Pittsburgh, Le'Veon Bell suffered a season ending knee injury on a dirty hit from Vontaze Burfict. Without Le'Veon Bell, the Steelers got a big game from DeAngelo Williams who rushed for 170 yards with three touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger also had a big day with 344 yards and two touchdowns, as the Steelers overcame a late comeback to beat the Oakland Raiders 38-35 on an 18-yard Field Goal by Chris Boswell. Looking to give Roethlisberger's sore knee a rest before the bye week, Landry Jones started against the Cleveland Browns. However, after Jones was injured Big Ben needed to go into action and had another strong game, passing for 379 yards with three touchdowns as the Steelers clobbered the Browns 30-9. Following the bye week, the Steelers faced a tough road game against the Seattle Seahawks. Roethlisberger had big numbers with 456 yards, but two costly interceptions helped Seattle win the game 39-30. Returning home for a Sunday Night game against the Indianapolis Colts, Ben Roethlisberger nearly matched his record setting performance from 2014, passing for 364 yards with four touchdowns, as the Steelers won easily 45-10. Also having a big game was Antonio Brown who had two touchdown receptions and a thrilling 71-yard punt return for a score. In a rematch with the Bengals, the Steelers defense made life hell for Bengals Quarterbacks with three sacks and three turnovers, including a pick six by William Gay to win the game 33-10. Returning home, the Steelers found themselves in a big hole trailing the Denver Broncos 27-10 in the second quarter. Just before the half the Steelers began their comeback as Ben Roethlisberger put Chris Boswell in position for a 41-yard Field Goal. In the second half it was all Antonio Brown, as the Steelers receiver with 189 yards in receptions scored twice as the Pittsburgh rallied to win the game 34-27. With a chance to clinch a playoff spot the Steelers were beaten for a second time by the Ravens, losing on the road 20-17 as their defense failed to create a turnover for the first time all season. Needing a win and help entering the final game of the season, the Steelers got the help they needed when the New York Jets lost to the Buffalo Bills, they then did what they had to do themselves beating the Cleveland Browns 28-12, with their defense leading the way with four turnovers and seven sacks as they finished the year with the sixth seed and a record of 10-6.
2015 Playoffs: As the sixth seed the Pittsburgh Steelers would once again face the Cincinnati Bengals. Longtime division rivals it was clear the hatred between the two teams was getting amped up as both sides knocked out key offensive players with the Steelers injuring QB Andy Dalton's thumb in Week 14, after Le'Veon Bell was lost for the season in Week 8. With rain falling throughout the game, there was a chill in the air over Cincinnati as the two teams slugged it out in a defensive battle of wills and penalties as the two teams combined for 18 times for 221 yards. The Steelers would hold a 15-0 lead at the end of three quarters but got a dose of bad news when Ben Roethlisberger rode off the field with an injured shoulder courtesy Vontaze Burfict who injured Le'Veon Bell with a dirty hit, with fans throwing debris and cheering his injury. With Roethlisberger injured, the Bengals rallied to take a 16-15 lead. The Bengals appeared to have the game locked up when Vontaze Burfict picked off Landry Jones at the Steelers 26. However, the Steelers defense got the ball back as Ryan Shazier stripped Jeremy Hill. Given an unlikely reprieve Ben Roethlisberger made an unlikely return, but the Steelers who faced long odds with 1:23 left and the ball on their own 9-yardline. Unable to throw the ball deep the Steelers needed to rely on short throws to try to get in Field Goal range, even compling a key fourt down coversion. With 22 seconds left the Steelers had the ball on their own 41, when Vontaze Burfict struck again this time laying a devastating hit to the head of Antonio Brown at midfield. The play would result in an unnecessary roughness call that gave the Steelers a first down. Burfict, who was also ejected for a dangerous play and the rest of the Bengals threw a tantrum resulting in another 15-yard unsportsmanlike penalty to put the ball into Field Goal range. Not wanting to play with fire Chris Boswell nailed a 35-yard Field Goal on first down with 14 seconds left to win the game 18-16. After the win the Steelers limped their way into the Divisional Round against the Denver Broncos. Ben Roethlisberger who battled sore knees and a sore shoulder made the start, but Antonio Brown was unable to go with a concussion following the cheap shot from Vontaze Burficit. Roethlisberger had a solid game, passing for 339 yards as the Steelers held a 13-9 lead in the third quarter, but eventually the Broncos defense and the attrition of a tough season were too much to overcome as the Steelers season ended with a 23-16 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champions.
Visit our Sponsors
Partner of USA TODAY Sports Digital Properties
Many NFL players choose to spend their money on cars and motorcycles, but like Big Ben's motorcycle accident in 2006 where he wasn't wearing a helmet shows, safety should always be on every player's mind. While high-paid players don't need to think about car loans or Titlemax motorcycle loans since they can buy outright, they should still remember the value not only of their vehicle, but also the need to protect anyone who rides in it. All vehicle owners, whether they have a regular car loan or a Titlemax loan, owe it to themselves and all other drivers on the road to drive their car or ride their motorcycle responsibly.