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Don’t panic! A look at the worst starts in Pittsburgh Steelers history

Tomlin’s worst home loss is far from team’s darkest moment.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

This was not the worst start in Pittsburgh Steelers history. Although, for a lot of fans, it sure felt like it.

It may have been Mike Tomlin’s worst home loss ever, but there have been quite a few poor Week 1 performances through the annals of the black and gold.


The Steelers lost in New England 33-3. Ben & Co. had three 3-&-outs in the first half. Pittsburgh also had only 1 offensive snap past the 50 in that half, and it was a punt. The offense went 3-12 on third downs in that game. The Steelers’ defense gave up 465 total yards, and allowed the Patriots to score on 7 out of 10 drives. This would later become the season of Duck Hodges, with Pittsburgh just missing a trip to the playoffs.


Pittsburgh lost to the Tennessee Titans at home 16-9. Although the score doesn’t seem like a blowout, the Steelers only earned 194 total yards on offense. Pittsburgh’s leading rusher was LaRod Stephens-Howling, who had 19 yards on 6 carries. It was a weird game, where Darius Reynaud grabbed the opening kickoff at the goal line, took a step back, and kneeled in the end zone, giving Pittsburgh a safety. The Steelers wouldn’t score again until there was 1:26 left in the fourth. They had four 3-&-outs in the second half, and another drive that only lasted 5 plays. This team actually started 0-4, but unleashed hell in December to finish 8-8.


Pittsburgh traveled to Baltimore, only to take a 35-7 L. The Steelers gave up 170 yards on the ground to Ray Rice and Ricky Williams. Check out these Steelers drives: Punt, fumble, TD, 3-&-out, 3-&-out, fumble, INT, INT, 3-&-out, INT, fumble, fumble, turnover on downs. However, this team will be remembered as losing in overtime to Tim Tebow and the Broncos in the AFC Wild Card.


The Steelers lost in Jacksonville, 21-3. Pittsburgh scored a field goal on their second drive, but after that, they couldn’t seem to cross midfield. And whenever they actually did make it into Jaguars territory, the offense turned it over. There were 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions in that game, plus a 4th and 1 where Kordell Stewart took a sack. This team would play in the AFC Championship, losing to New England.


Pittsburgh lost at home to the Ravens 16-0. This Jeff Graham-led offense had three 3-&-outs and a fumble in the 1st quarter alone. This team ultimately missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record.


Dallas came into Three Rivers Stadium and walked out with a 37-7 victory. The Steelers had 174 total yards, and they didn’t score until 3 min left in 4th. Kordell Stewart was 13 for 28 with only 104 yards of passing offense. This team would ultimately play in the AFC Championship, losing to John Elway and the Denver Broncos.


Another loss at home to the Cowboys. This time the final was 26-9. Pittsburgh gave up 442 total yards and racked up only 126. The opening drive ended with three straight sacks. At one point, Bill Cowher chose to punt from the Dallas 39 yard line. The defense gave up 171 rushing yards to Emmitt Smith. This team would ultimately make it to the AFC Championship, losing to San Diego in the “3 More Yards” game.


OGs will never forget this game, losing to the Browns at home 51-0. The Steelers had 53 yards of total offense.

Chin up, Steelers Nation. It could be worse.