A quick graph from me that shows just how many teams have made the playoffs after starting their seasons 1-3. The 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers are of course 2-2, and not in this predicament. But if you sift through all the things written by Steeler Nation here on BTSC last week leading up to the Chargers game, you'd think that Sunday Night's game against the Chargers was 100% do-or-die. Not at all the case.
Let's take a look.
|1990||New Orleans (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1990||Philadelphia (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1991||New York Jets (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1992||San Diego (0-4)||Divisional Playoffs
||Green Bay (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
||Houston (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
||Detroit (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1995||Philadelphia (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
|1996||Dallas (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
|1996||Jacksonville (1-3)||Championship Game
|1997||New York Giants (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
|1998||Buffalo (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
||New Orleans (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
||New England (1-3)||Won SB XXXVI
||Atlanta (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
||Tennessee (1-3)||Championship Game|
||New York Jets (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
||Pittsburgh (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
||Green Bay (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
|2005||Chicago (1-3)||Divisional Playoffs|
|2007||San Diego (1-3)||Championship Game|
|2008||Minnesota (1-3)||Wild Card Playoffs|
There you have it. Just about every single year since 1990, a team has made its way in to the playoffs after starting 1-3. There were a few years where that didn't happen (2003, 2006, 1994), but not many. And in some instances, there were even multiple teams that made their way to the 'second season' after poor starts to their seasons, like in 2002 when four teams made the playoffs after 1-3 starts.
Last weekend against San Diego was not at all a 'must win', despite what many would have liked you to believe. It was a very good win though, and one that puts the Pittsburgh Steelers in plenty good shape to make a run at their third playoff run in as many years. This weekend against Detroit, the Steelers have a great opportunity to keep building a little momentum and take care of some of the requisite legwork that will be needed to get back to the playoffs. They can, and should be able to do that at Forld Field in Detroit this Sunday. But, if for some ungodly reason they do not, just remember, there's plenty of reason to still be hopeful that the end is not upon us.
16 games is a lot. As Coach Mike Tomlin once (or on many occasions said), we don't ride the emotional roller coaster.
Lots of football left. Let's hope we can get what should be ours this weekend - that being a very winnable road game against one of the NFL's very worst teams this decade. Doing so would put the Steelers comfortably clear of a hole that teams have still managed to repeatedly get themselves out in recent memory.