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Crunching the Numbers: Avoiding the big letdown

Between coming off a big win and being heavily favored, a lot of Steelers’ fans have been using the “T” word all week.

NFL: NOV 01 Steelers at Ravens Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 7-0 and heavily favored going into Dallas. Add in the fact the Steelers are coming off a big win in Baltimore against the Ravens and some of the fan base are very apprehensive about the upcoming game. Do the Steelers historically lose these kind of games?

In this installment of Crunching the Numbers, we’ll take a look at some of the numbers in regards to the Steelers being heavily favored, coming off a win against the Ravens, and traveling to Dallas.


Under head coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have been favored by two touchdowns or more 10 times. In those games, the Steelers have a record of 9-1. Of course, being so heavily favored one would hope the team would win every game. But in December 2009, we all know what happened when the Steelers lost to the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field. Since that game, the Steelers have won seven straight games when favored by 14 or more points.


Perhaps some of the reason fans feel a little uneasy in games in which the Steelers are favored by so much is they are only 3-7 under head coach Mike Tomlin in covering the point spread. So when the Steelers are heavily favored, they don’t usually win the game by as much as anticipated when the spread is that large.


The other issue is the classic “let down” game after the Steelers face the Baltimore Ravens. Under head coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have a record of 6-6 in games following a win against the Ravens. Unfortunately, in games following when the Steelers won in Baltimore, they are only 2-3 since 2007. On a side note, last week was only the second time under Mike Tomlin where the Steelers won in Baltimore when it was the first matchup between the two on the season and only the fifth time in 13 games when the Steelers won the first matchup of the season against the Ravens.


Just for the fun of it, the Steelers have only faced an NFC opponent the week after playing the Ravens five times under Mike Tomlin. In those games, the Steelers are 4-1 with wins over the Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, and the Carolina Panthers on two occasions. The Steelers loss to an NFC team following a game against the Ravens was in 2016 when the Steelers lost at home to the Dallas Cowboys.


The largest point spread in favor of the Steelers when playing in Dallas was actually the last time the Steelers faced the Cowboys in Texas in 2012. The Steelers were favored by 2.5 points but ended up falling short in overtime. It is actually the only time prior to 2020 where the Steelers were favored in Dallas.


Just for reference sake, the Steelers have only played six games in Dallas since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger. The Steelers have a record of 2-4 in Texas with wins coming in 1982 and 2004.


Just to throw in another fun number, not only have the Steelers won seven straight games in which they were favored by two touchdowns or more, they have also won seven straight games against quarterbacks making their first NFL start. With Garrett Gilbert set to get his NFL debut under center to begin the game against the Steelers on Sunday, both of the streaks have a chance to extend to eight.

So there are some numbers in regards to the Steelers in games were they are heavily favored, how they perform after facing the Ravens, and some history when they travel to Dallas. Based on the numbers, there could be any number of arguments for a Steelers victory or defeat. Of course, these are just fun things to discuss. Ultimately, it will come down to the team taking care of business in order to set the franchise record for consecutive wins to start a season.