Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin may have dropped his last three season-openers, as well as having lost the franchise's first home opener in a decade this year, but he's still got the post-bye week streak.
The Steelers defeated the Jets 19-6 in Week 6, running Tomlin's overall mark to 6-1 after Steelers' bye weeks. It was the sixth consecutive year they won their first game after a week off.
Call it eight straight, if you count the playoffs in 2008 and 2010. As the second seed in both seasons, they had the Wild Card round off, and advanced to the AFC Championship game.
A week to clear one's head is beneficial more than it's not. And with the way the last three Steelers' seasons have started - 2-2 in 2011 and 2012 and 0-4 this year - the bye week could trigger something bigger. The Steelers won five of six games after the bye in 2011 and six of their final seven games coming after their Week 11 bye.
Perhaps it's a sign of things to come, especially considering their 0-4 mark is the worst start they've had in nearly 50 years. Their game against the Jets, though, was the best they've had in quite a while.
They got two turnovers and three sacks, completed a 55-yard touchdown pass and were a perfect 4-for-4 on field goals.
That can be seen as somewhat vanilla, considering the rest of the league seems to reach those marks on a game-to-game basis, but it was a virtual explosion of plays in comparison to where they started this year.
It's Steelers/Ravens week, and if there are two games each year that depend almost solely on explosive plays, this is the first of those two. At Baltimore on Thanksgiving will likely be the other.
It's too bad they don't get byes before playing the Ravens.
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