If you believe in history you better believe in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
At 7-0, they’re off to their best start ever, tying the 1978 Steelers who went on to win Super Bowl XIII. Better yet, at 7-0, they’re the only unbeaten team in the NFL … and, OK, I know what you’re thinking: So what? So, in the past two seasons … and in three of the last five … the last teams to remain unbeaten advanced to Super Bowls.
Which means history is on the Steelers’ side.
But so is just about everything else. They can run the ball. They have pass catchers galore. They can block. They have a Super Bowl- winning quarterback and a Super Bowl-winning head coach. And they have what most others in today’s NFL do not.
Entering Sunday’s game, the Steelers led the league in total defense and sacks. Then they went into Baltimore and shut down the reigning league MVP, Lamar Jackson, sacking him four times and forcing four Jackson turnovers – including the first pick-six of his career.
Oh, yeah, they also extended their streak of games with sacks to 64, five short of the NFL record.
Granted, the Ravens ran all over Pittsburgh (265 yards), but look where it got them: They produced seven second-half points and blew a 17-7 halftime lead. Furthermore, when Pittsburgh absolutely, positively had to make a stop, it did – thwarting a last-gasp Ravens’ drive by breaking up a pass in the end zone.
Until three weeks ago, the jury was out on the Steelers, with critics calling them out for a soft schedule. Then they beat 4-1 Cleveland, 5-0 Tennessee and 5-1 Baltimore. Now they’re the biggest threat to Kansas City in the AFC, with a legitimate shot to remain unbeaten when they next face the Ravens.
I’m serious. Look at the schedule. Their next three opponents are Dallas, Cincinnati and Jacksonville – opponents with a combined record of 5-16-1. Then it’s Baltimore again, only this time on Thanksgiving night and this time in Pittsburgh.
And speaking of the Ravens … here’s one more piece of history that bodes well for Pittsburgh. Until Sunday, Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson was 21-0 (including the playoffs) when playing with a 10-point lead. Now he’s 21-1.
All together now: Here we go Steelers, here we go.