I've written quite recently about the Pittsburgh Steelers improved road record from a year ago. With two road tilts remaining on the schedule - at Baltimore and at Tennessee- the Steelers are assured of finishing the 2008 year with a winning record on the road. The team is 5-1 through 6 games thus far, with the lone blemish coming in Week 3 against the Philadelphia Eagles. Since then, we've notched road wins at Jacksonville, at Cincinnati, at Washington, and at New England. Of course, the combined home record of those four teams is 9-17-1, with only New England carrying a winning record at home (4-3).
Nevertheless, our 5-1 record is a marked improvement from our 3-5 record away from Heinz Field in 2007. Included in our five defeats on the road was a Week 17 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens. Now granted, we had already secured the AFC North and could neither improve nor hinder our playoff seeding that week, so we understandably rested some ailing bodies - most notably Ben Roethlisberger.
Still, the 21-17 loss in Baltimore was our fifth in as many years. Let's take a look at how we fared since the last time we won in Baltimore in 2002. What I'm paying close attention to is the lack of production on offense, and just how much worse we fared offensively than normal, by looking at the differential in points scored between our home and away contests with the Ravens each year.
|Year||Road Game @ BAL||Offensive Pt Differential Home vs. Away||Rushing Yards||Sacks Allowed|
Well the data all speaks for itself. Even in 2004, a year where we lost only one game, it was at Baltimore. In our SB year, we lost at Baltimore. As I mentioned in a recent comment, the 2006 road loss to Baltimore was maybe one of the worst games I've ever watched as a sports fan of any team. I was so proud of how the team had clawed its way back into Wild Card contention after a disastrous 4-7 start. BUt we did, winning our next four to improve to 8-7. I remember that game being awful, but I had forgotten just how bad. 9 sacks? 21 yards rushing? Ouch.
As you can see, we've scored more points against Baltimore at home than we have at their place each year. That's not surprising really, but I guess it's somewhat interesting that there's not even one exception to the trend.
This is stuff most of us already know, but as we head to Week 15 with the opportunity to wrap up the AFC North and the #2 seed in the AFC as well, it's good to know that if we are in fact able to accomplish a feat that we've only been able to do once in the past six years, we'll have yet another thing to feel good about this season, regardless of what happens afterwards.