I'm not too crazy about the Fox Network's coverage of the NFL. Don't get me wrong, they do a decent enough job. But there are all those funky graphics, the animated robot, and when you throw in Joe Buck, Tony Siragusa, Brian Billick and Jimmy Johnson's hair, let's just say I'd rather watch coach Cowher and the boys over on CBS. Unfortunately, whenever NFC teams visit AFC venues for Sunday afternoon telecasts, Fox has the rights to broadcast those games. Therefore, when NFC teams come to Heinz Field two times a year, I have to put up with that animated robot doing calisthenics the entire time.
However, my personal feelings aside, whenever those gents from "the Network that Homer Simpson Built" have rolled into Pittsburgh to produce a broadcast of a Steelers game vs. an NFC opponent at Heinz Field over the years, it's almost always been a rousing success for the home team.
Robert Griffin III and the rest of the Washington Redskins will be battling Pittsburgh on the turf of Heinz this Sunday, and if you consider just how much the Steelers have dominated visiting NFC teams there, RG3 might be pulling pieces of that turf out of his face mask the entire time.
Since Heinz Field opened in September of 2001, the Steelers have played 23 home games against NFC teams, and they are an incredible 20-2-1.
Pittsburgh's most recent home defeat vs. an NFC opponent was in October of 2008, when a 21-14 loss to the defending champion New York Giants was helped along when James Harrison, filling in for the injured Greg Warren as the emergency long-snapper, snapped the football so long over punter Mitch Berger's head, it went clear through the end zone for a safety and knotted the game at 14. New York then took the subsequent free kick and marched down field for the winning touchdown in the game's final moments.
Otherwise, it's been total home dominance vs. the senior conference way more often than not. All-in-all, the Steelers have outscored their NFC opponents 603-339 at Heinz. They've held eight opponents to nine points or less, complete with three shut-outs--including a combined 45-0 against the Seattle Seahawks in the two games played between the teams since Super Bowl XL. To illustrate the dominance even more, when Michael Vick and Co. came to town a few weeks ago and scored a couple of touchdowns, they were the first Pittsburgh had given up to an NFC visitor since December of 2009 in a game against the Packers.
Last week, I said Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium was a home away from home for the Steelers. And it proved to be the case once again as Pittsburgh righted its ship (for the time-being) with a 24-17 comeback win over the Bengals Sunday night to move to 12-2 all-time at the Jungle.
If Paul Brown Stadium feels like a home away from home for the Steelers, visiting NFC teams must seem like the traditional cream puffs some college teams schedule for their annual "Homecoming Game."
Maybe that's why the Steelers decided to wear these uniforms this Sunday. Imagine getting your butt whipped by someone wearing that?
Close your eyes, RG3.