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The historical significance of the Steelers 9-0 start

The Steelers are continuing to extend their franchise-record start to a season.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have started their 2020 NFL season with a record of 9-0. Finally returning to the friendly confines of Heinz Field, the Steelers allowed their fans to have a much more relaxed second half as they cruised to a 36-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals

It is the first time in franchise history the Steelers have won their first nine games of the season. The record which is continuing to grow replaces the 1978 Steelers who began their season 7-0 and went on to win Super Bowl XIII over the Dallas Cowboys.

Last week we highlighted the Steelers 8-0 start. Now it’s time to update the numbers now that they have pushed their record to 9-0.

In NFL history, there have been 32 teams who have previously started their season 9-0. Since the 1970 NFL merger, there have been 20 teams start 9-0 with all 20 of them making the playoffs. The last team to start 8-0 and not make the playoffs was the 1948 San Francisco 49ers of the AAFC who finished 12-2 but did not win their division as the 14-0 Cleveland Browns was the West Division representative.

Since 1970, 12 of the 20 teams who started their season 9-0 made it to the Super Bowl which equates to exactly 60% of teams. Out of those 12 teams, 7 of them went on to win the Super Bowl with only one time having two teams meet in the game who had won their first nine games of the season. The only time two teams met in the Super Bowl who both started the season 9-0 was in 2009 when the 13-3 New Orleans Saints defeated the 14-2 Indianapolis Colts.

Should the Steelers push their record to 10-0 after their match up with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 11, league history gets into even more elite status. The 16 teams who have started the season winning their first ten games since the 1970 merger have made the playoffs 100% of the time with 63% making the Super Bowl and 38% winning the championship game.

While starting 9-0 does increase the likelihood of going to the postseason and guarantees a winning season, there is still work to be done. The Steelers travel to Jacksonville to face a hungry Jaguars team who have been coming up just short as of late. The Steelers have the lead in the AFC, and it will take continued focus to keep it that way.

On to Jacksonville.