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The Pittsburgh Steelers’ perfect setup for a must-win game

Although Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season, history says the Steelers will still remain competitive

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers are in trouble. Heading into Week 4 without a victory on the season, the Steelers are in a must-win game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on Monday night. While an 0-3 start has many Steelers’ fans discouraged, the fact the Steelers play Cincinnati in prime time at home does offer some encouragement.

Although historical stats do not guarantee anything when it comes to the Steelers getting their first win of 2019, it can show some possible trends. In this week’s installment of Crunching the Numbers, we’ll take a look at how NFL teams have fared starting 1-3 versus 0-4. Additionally, we’ll outline the encouraging stats of playing both the Cincinnati Bengals and on Monday Night Football at Heinz Field.


Since 2000, there have been 59 teams who have started the season 0-4. Of those teams, none of them have made the playoffs. Only seven of those 59 teams managed to get to .500 or better to finish the season. The only team to ever start 0-4 in the history of the NFL and make the playoffs were the 1992 San Diego chargers who finished the rest of their season 11-1.


As for teams who have started the season 1-3 since 2000, 19 of them have gone on to make the playoffs out of the 139 possible teams. That is 13.7% of the time a team who starts 1-3 goes on to make the playoffs. While those are not great odds, they are obviously better than the 0% of going 0-4. Additionally, since 1970 the Steelers have made the playoffs 25% of the seasons they began 1-3.


Since 1970, the Steelers have gone 0–3 to start a season four times. In those four seasons, they managed to win their next game on three occasions in 1970, 1986, and 2000. The only loss after a 0-3 start for the Steelers was in 2013 when they lost to the Minnesota Vikings in London 34-27.

For The remainder of the stats, we will be looking at the favorable matchup the Steelers have Monday night at Heinz Field. All things considered, it may be the best-case scenario of the perfect opponent on the perfect stage at a time when the Steelers really need a win.


The Steelers currently have an eight game winning streak against the Cincinnati Bengals including the playoffs. The last time the Steelers lost to Cincinnati was in 2015 when they fell 16–10 at Heinz Field. The Steelers have won 11 of their last 12 games against the Bengels dating back to 2013.


The Steelers have a current 16 home game winning streak on Monday Night Football dating back to 1991. The Steelers have also won 14 of their last 16 Monday night games regardless of where they were played. As for the Bengals, they have lost their last four games on Monday Night Football and have a seven-game road losing streak dating back to 1990.


Since 2000, the Steelers have faced a winless Bengals team in Week 4 or later three times. In those games, the Steelers are 3-0 with an average margin of victory of 23 points. With the exception of their Week 7 win in 2000, the Steelers also have had a losing record entering their other two matchup’s against a winless Bengals team in 2002 and 2008.

So there are some numbers which lay out the importance of winning this week and the Steelers history with both the Cincinnati Bengals and Monday Night Football. But do these statistics against Cincinnati matter? Can the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers get back on the winning track in Week 4? Please leave your answers in the comments below!