Pittsburgh Steelers off to best start in franchise history, leading NFL

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Photos by Erik Drost

James Conner fights for extra yards vs. the Cleveland Browns

Sean Herbst, Entertainment Assistant Editor

The Pittsburgh Steelers are off to their best start in franchise history, starting 10-0 through the first 11 weeks of the NFL season. They look to join three other teams in completing 16-0 seasons. Pittsburgh is the first team since the 2015 Carolina Panthers to begin a season with 10 straight wins.

Historically, there have been 16 teams in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) that have begun the season with 10 wins. Of these 16 teams, 10 have reached the Super Bowl and only six have secured the Vince Lombardi Trophy. The Steelers will be looking to become the second team ever to go undefeated throughout the regular season and capture the Super Bowl ring, behind the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Although the Steelers have established themselves as the team to beat, many are attempting to discredit their season, as they have even been ranked as low as the third best team in the league by ESPN’s Football Power Index. The Steelers have managed to escape a few close calls, with five of their wins being decided by a touchdown or less. Along with this, the Steelers have a weak schedule, as seven out of their 10 wins have come against teams with a losing record. This is the second easiest schedule faced by a 10-0 team since the Indianapolis Colts in 1985. And if this was not enough hate put upon the last undefeated team in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win the Super Bowl, not the Steelers.

On the other hand, Pittsburgh is looking to improve upon their perfect record. With six weeks left in the season, the Steelers are taking every game one at a time and not getting ahead of themselves by looking at the bigger picture. 

“We don’t really talk about our undefeated season at all. We treat every week as if it’s a new week and we always keep preaching the types of games that we’re in,” said Stephon Tuitt, Steelers defensive end to Sports Illustrated.

The players, staff and fans have their eyes on the ultimate goal: the Super Bowl. Players have reiterated the fact that their record is pointless if they do not achieve this ultimate goal, as have coaches and fans. 

“We’re not too concerned with our record, that’s why we don’t talk about it. Because we don’t care that we’re 10-0. We have one purpose and if we don’t fulfill that purpose then we ultimately fail,” said Eric Ebron, Steelers tight end to Sports Illustrated.

The Steelers are looking to improve upon their already record-setting year but COVID issues could be a real threat to the team’s success. Starting running back, James Conner, has already missed week 12 due to a positive coronavirus test and it is a real risk that other Steelers players could come down with the virus during the rest of their campaign. Not only is coronavirus directly affecting the Steelers but they also had their bye week taken away after the NFL had to adjust schedules due to the Tennessee Titans having an outbreak.

“From a fans point of view, I’m really happy with how the Steelers season has been going thus far and I hope they can keep it up. Obviously I, along with all the other Pittsburgh fans out there, want them to win the Super Bowl, but I’d still be really happy with how the year went even if they lost. They’re making history for the franchise right now and it’s really good to see them play a lot better this year than in recent years past,” said Elena Englert, Athens Drive senior.