Steelers’ Record Under Tomlin When Favored Below League Averages

One of the most popular, or at least one of the most frequently discussed, narratives pertaining to the tenure of Mike Tomlin as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who is now in his 10th season on the job, is the idea that his teams have struggled to play ‘up’ to statistically weaker opponents, purportedly more so than is the norm.

The idea is, of course, that his teams play ‘up’ or ‘down’ to the competition, as while the Steelers have an obviously solid record against winning opponents, their record against losing teams has left something to be desired over the course of recent seasons—none more evident than in their 8-8 seasons a few years back.

The Steelers dropping a game by a 30-15 margin to a previously 1-4 Dolphins team on Sunday has reignited this talk all over again, even if it came off the back of a throttling of the Jets a week earlier, another losing team. They also took down the Bengals, who were 1-0 at the time, but are now 2-4.

However, there is some statistical framework with which to hold this discussion, and the data was provided by Scott Kacsmar of Football Outsiders, who posted a chart showing the team’s success against teams based on how many points they were favored by.

For example, in games in which the Steelers were favored by 10 or more points, they have won 16 games and lost four, a winning percentage of .800. According to the chart, this is below the line, as the league as a whole has a .878 winning percentage against such opponents.

The Steelers under Tomlin are 29-8 against opponents over which they are favored by seven points, a winning percentage of .784. This is also below the cumulative winning percentage of .830. In games in which they have been three-point favorites or more, the Steelers are 49-19, a winning percentage of .721, below the cumulative percentage of .753.

What actually interests me more in this chart, however, is how stark the difference gets when the Steelers are on the road. Factoring in sample sizes, the discrepancies between their overall percentages and the league percentages are not that statistically significant.

But when you look at the road numbers, it’s a different story, though, again, sample size comes into play. The Steelers are 4-3 on the road against teams they are favored to beat by 10 or more points, for example. That is a small sample size, but it still works out to .571, when the league average is actually higher than the overall, at .891.

When favored by seven or more on the road, Pittsburgh is just 8-5, a .615 winning percentage. Compare that to the league average of .748. When favored by three or more points, their .594 winning percentage pales in comparison to the .735 league average.

I can’t say definitively whether or not there is any merit to the idea of teams, and specifically the Steelers, ‘playing down’ to the competition level, certainly not a consistent, years-long basis. But whether or not that idea itself has validity, the numbers are the numbers, and help to inform the discussion.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • falconsaftey43

    It is definetly an area Tomlins teams struggle. I dont know whats to blame, but it is no doubt a problem.

  • treeher

    Statistics back up what everyone knows. I think this falls mostly on the coaching staff. Every coach will have a preparation routine. Whatever our routine is, it merits being examined. That said, one “soft” factor is that for a crummy team, beating the Steelers can be one of the highlights of the season and so our opponents’ motivation is often off the charts for these games.

  • Gizmosteel

    I don’t think I there is any reason to debate the merits of the argument. The
    numbers speak for themselves.

    I have been a Tomlin supporter for years. After the Eagles and dolphins losses, I’ve lost my patience. Tomlin has a little too much hubris for my taste. Too bullheaded in many of his decisions. I would support a change if one were considered. Given the Steelers history, that’s highly unlikely however.

  • Jim McCarley

    Maybe if we look back, we can see some correlation to injuries as well……The defense was porous with Shazier and Heyward out and the Dolphins just kept the ball for longer periods and scored either three or seven in most cases. In cases of injuries, one play per drive can make a difference and your best player either makes that play or they are a cause of the play being made because they get double teamed or push the ball carrier right into another player…With the two best defenders out in Shazier and Heyward, the defense played pretty well at times but just could not seem to make that BIG play….In many cases, one or two plays per game make the difference and it is usually your best player that makes it….As far as the offense goes, Ben kept pushing it because he thought that they needed to score a lot to win and so he forced some throws and made some mistakes. I disagreed with some of the play calling as well. The offense seemed slow to start as if they felt like once they got going they would easily win the game, but that did not happen….AB seems to not be getting open the last few games, even when getting single coverage. I’m not sure what his problem is, but Ben does not need to throw it to him regardless of whether he is open or not. Two plays in a row, Ben threw to AB along the sideline and neither time was AB open, not even close to being open and one time the ball should have been picked…Someone is always open but for some reason Ben’s not seeing them. maybe he’s to intent on getting AB or LB the ball when he needs to go to one of the other guys….Maybe LJ will be okay this week and spread the ball around…they have to be able to throw and run to beat the Pats……and YES, they can beat the Pats, even with LJ.

  • Paddy

    That along with not having a backup QB that you could count on, they likes Dak Presscott at the draft decided to go with Gradkowsky/ Jones

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Troubling for sure. Always has been the case with Tomlin. Hopefully the result won’t be to “unleash hell”.

  • Paddy

    A friend of mine unleashed hell on his wife, he’s still paying for it

  • Steel Realist PAul

    Suggest editing that post Paddy.

  • budabar

    Motivation, going for the juggler, pedal to the medal, this is the pros you have to come out with the attitude of pounding your opponent – a time to pad the stats – a MT coached team always comes out flat that is an obvious coaching problem the time to relax is in the 4th quarter with a 40 point lead

  • Craig M

    I personally would simply support a change in Tomlin’s coaching philosophy in at least in making adjustments at half-time. His “it is what it is” position seems to keep him from deviating to a better game plan when needed- and that, I believe, is his weakness, as a coach, that he needs to overcome . He has IMO still much potential to develop as a HC before he reaches his high water mark.

  • Uncle Rico.

    Using percentages with small samples is a fine way to advance a narrative. Although I am curious what his record is under the same breakout, but using the betting line when it opens instead of when it closes, after the dumbass yinzers who complain about Tomlin losing these types of games help drive the line up a point or two by betting hard on their beloved favorites. Steeler fans are one of the few NFL fan bases that can and do drive a line. That Mia game opened at 6.5, closed at 7.5. For example.

    Using percentages like this will look damning. But in most cases, if you move just one game from the loss column to the win column puts them at average. Not that average is the goal. Just trying to contextualize the volatility of small sample percentages.

  • Jacob

    I wonder what the stats are for the last 5 years. That seems to be when I noticed a problem.

  • Steelers Pride

    I find it interesting that poster’s here are so quick to blame and point the finger coach Tomlin.

    Who was the quarterback of those teams??? If it wasn’t our starting top 5 quarterback, team captain, highest paid player on the team with the most guaranteed money and who has one of the most expensive offensive lines in the league, then it was someone else because he was injured and missed games.

    How many full seasons (16+ games) have our quarterback played in in the last 10 years? Is he dependable? Compare that to other top quarterbacks in the league over a 10 year period. I have and its actually disturbing.

    So I always find it interesting that coach Tomlin is always the blame and we fans are so quick to point fingers at our head coach. I’m convinced now that it’s not about his football acumen in its totality.

    Our quarterback is not reliable to play a full 16+ game season and no one seems to have a problem with that or point the finger at him or blame him.

    He needs to be held accountable, but we continue to blame the head coach and his staff. Interesting.

  • Gizmosteel

    Yup. It’s the fans’ fault. Good luck pushing that narrative.

  • Uncle Rico.

    I don’t think that’s at all what I said. I’m suggesting Kacsmar is gaming the numbers, and probably why he put this out as a tweet, and not as a column on FO. Because he knows this will fly with the pitchfork crowd, but would get laughed off the front page at FO.

  • LHW

    Hindsight is 20/20 (cliche I know here, but it applies). Had the Steelers known he would be so successful at this point they of course would have drafted him.

    With that in mind, why not take a chance on a QB, any QB. They keep Jones around for what? To hand the ball of and chuck 10 yard passes? To higher guys like Vic off the street ahead of him? And make statements like “We are going to keep keep Jones in his comfort zone?” Why, why, why? They know the game plan when they he plays – he can’t make good throws consistently. He has nothing to prove – he knows his role and will not challenge himself, let alone be challenged by the Steelers to be more than they think he can be. This has been going on for years. I ask why, why, why? My head is going to explode….

  • David Paul

    IMO, they go into these games with no sense of urgency – with a game plan of “don’t screw up, don’t make mistakes, and we can’t lose”. They abandon the aggressiveness that gets them 45 points vs. the Chiefs, or 31 vs. the Jets, and button everything up.

    That attitude permeates throughout the team throughout the week and they collectively don’t take the opponent seriously.

    These games are lost during the week, not on Sundays. Does anyone have think if they treated this game as “Redemption Sunday” all week they would have gotten blown out?

  • David Paul

    They went into Baltimore to play a crippled Ravens team with the division title on the line last year and laid a similar egg.

  • David Paul

    Don’t go after the juggler – they entertain me so.

  • 6 ring circus

    To speak to one component of your post, that’s what happens when you have a superstar, bit of a diva, wide receiver. He can and does demand the ball. And when he starts to come unglued about it a little (not often, thank god), Big Ben and Haley and Tomlin begin to capitulate and force it in there and that’s when bad things start to happen.

  • David Paul

    Yeah, you’re right. The game plans and preparation are identical on the road, as is the performance of everyone but Ben.

    Our problem is that we need a new QB.


  • Jim Foles

    Are there any stats on the Steelers home vs away games comparing the number of INT totals and Penalty yard totals..

  • Orlysteel

    They lay eggs all over the place, when playing bad teams on the road, that’s the difference between playing at home or on the road come playoff time.

  • Rusted Out

    Sorry but we are not talking hindsight here. It is a lack of foresight. They’ve known for 3 years now that an upgrade at the backup QB spot was necessary. Ben misses 2-4 games regularly and he’s not getting any younger.
    As usual they sat back on draft day and waited for Prescott in this case. They had every opportunity to get him, but didn’t. He was high on their board, but backup QB is just not a priority.
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Mike Tomlin must be bludgeoned over the head with an issue before he will address it as a problem. Complete and total lack of foresight and intuition.

  • francesco

    I’ve been blaming BR since forever. The same for Tomlin.
    I will now add Butler and Haley on this list.
    Soon Rooney has to go!

  • RickM

    I think it’s clear Tomlin is not a good road motivator against weaker, non-
    divisional teams when we’re coming off a win. The Steelers’ players are naturally motivated by: home fans, divisional rivalries, season openers, true revenge games, games after a loss, etc. The head coach doesn’t really have to do much of anything to get his players up for these type of games.

    But when we’ve just won and go on the road against a lesser, non-divisional team, we struggle a lot. The players should be able to motivate themselves, but it’s pretty clear they don’t. That’s where Tomlin needs to dictate the urgency and most times he fails. Let’s face it. We had an important chance to go to 5-1 against a weak team and we had 17 missed tackles, O and D lines that were bullied, players who weren’t ready for the heat and humidity, and bad O and D game plans. How does all that happen? You have to look to the head man. As much as I believe players should self-motivate, I agree that Tomlin has a major role in these type of losses. He doesn’t develop any sense of urgency and intensity within the team.

  • LHW

    I agree with what you said as far as “foresight.” My statement on hindsight meant in regard to a particular QB, in this case Dak P. The comment about Tomlin was spot on. He reminds of a story about the Stegosaurus – it had a brain so small it would take seconds for any stimulus to go from the tail to the brain and register. In Tomlin’s case it seems to take months, entire football seasons, and even years. It could be of course he addresses issues we discuss outside of the media and fandom, but this entire Landry thing leads me to believe otherwise. I am still scratching my head over the Micheal Vic fiasco last season. Why groom a QB who has been on the team for a few years, is familiar with the system, and then replace him with MICHAEL VIC? I hear Bradshaw is available, maybe they could suit him up.

  • So whats your solution? Hire Rex Ryan? Get rid of Tomlin and he’d have a new job in no time. Relax people. He’s still better than 90 pct of the coaches in any football league. I always hear the complaints about coach T, but no real solutions. New England and Belicheat, are the only team more consistent than the Steelers in the NFL since 2000. Name me another team that has been to 3 Super Bowls since 2005. I’ll wait for the solution from the experts on the site.

  • So whats the solution? Hire Rex Ryan? Get rid of Tomlin and he’d have a new job in no time. Relax people. He’s still better than 90 pct of the coaches in any football league. I always hear the complaints about coach T, but no real solutions. New England and Belicheat, are the only team more consistent than the Steelers in the NFL since 2000. Name me another team that has been to 3 Super Bowls since 2005. I’ll wait for the solution from the experts on the site.

  • Michael Pennant

    To what/whom? Change just because puts us in the Browns category. Can certain things be better YES, can they be perfect NEVER. This is the NFL. There are no perfect teams, general mangers, coaches, players, ONLY perfect FANS who constantly criticize because…., but find it difficult to give credit when its due. We win because of the players BUT we lose because of the coaches.

  • Michael Pennant

    Let just make a team of all the players we could have taken and see what it looks like. The problem would be that there are many more players that DID NOT make it in the league that we passed on than the ones you are saying we should have picked. Picking players after they have proven to be capable is SO easy anyone can do it. Watching the JETS game the other it was mentioned that Marshall was one of the top receivers of his era but he has NEVER been to the playoffs. TEAM success is hard in this league but you guys make it sound so easy.

  • Michael Pennant

    As hard as it is to win in the NFL its even harder to win on the road regardless of opponents record. Tomlin chooses to give credit to his opponent when its due and criticize himself, his coaches and players when its deserved, but that not enough for some fans who expect perfection the next week even if we have 9+ players on the injury list. TOMLIN has brought this team thru a lot of adversity and I think he should be applauded for it, can he do better YES and he has said so himself.

  • Michael Pennant

    What have you seen for Tomlin, Ben, AB, Cam, Timmons that leads you to believe that this team is LESS motivated to beat a lesser opponent? This team is consistently focused on the opponent for that week. The media can bring up a big game in the near future, but our leaders do not fall into those types of traps. Before we had the new CBA players practiced more and practiced harder and it seemed like compared to today they rarely got hurt. I see “more practice/contact = less injuries” and “less practice/contact = more injuries” and that was with more blocking below the waist, more crack back block, horse collars, cloth lines, head slapping, helmet to helmet, hardly any quarterback protections, and almost anything goes against the receivers.

  • David Paul

    Did you read the article? It’s harder for us to win on the road vs. bad teams than other.

  • David Paul

    I’d like to see how Tomlin would do on a team without a future HOF QB, and not stepping into a championship caliber defense.

    He’d be another 2-3 year experiment in Cleveland or Miami.

  • LHW

    It is not, I never even as much as hinted at that. But to keep Landry around for so long and use him the way they have defies logic. They talk the talk with Landry but they don’t walk the walk. Tomlin should have said they will challenge him” and not “keep him in his comfort zone.” And they should challenge him. I say lose the game with trying to win – it is my guess they will play predictably and merely try to keep the score within 1-2 and make it sound like a success. Fortune favors the bold, mediocrity favors everyone else.

  • Norton

    This isn’t just Tomlin’s teams.

    Field Goal Bill’s teams had this issue as well –

    2002 at Heinz against the expansion Texans
    1999 at Heinz against the expansion Browns

    1995 at Jax against the expansion Jaguars

    The Steelers seem to believe their own hype.

  • Dorian James

    I agree, people see beating the Steelers as a huge victory. However, that’s still no excuse to play Down to the competition.

  • RickM

    Sorry Michael, but our team lacked desire which resulted in them being physically manhandled. Teams don’t go from looking like SB contenders one week to also-rans the next week for no reason. It’s not because they forgot how to play football.

    The “always motivated” Steelers’ team you are suggesting lost virtually every one-on-one battle against a weaker opponent….after winning most of those battles the previous two weeks. Motivation for teams is not a constant. The Philadelphia beatdown and our throttling of K.C seven days later showed that conclusively, as did the Miami loss after two relatively easy wins. As for the CBA, practise rules, etc. being a factor, they are identical before wins and losses. They had no bearing on Sunday’s loss.

  • RickM

    It’s not up to us as fans to remedy this deficiency within Tomlin. Many of us are not calling for his ouster. We are saying, correctly, that this same pattern has continued season after season in recent years. It’s Tomlin’s job, not ours, to recognize the problem and adjust his preparation style to fix it.

  • RickM

    Unless I’m misreading about 10 articles on this site, and the affiliated
    comments after those articles, blame is being apportioned everywhere. Why are you suggesting Roethlisberger, or any other player, is being exempt? Even the Coordinators have had articles critical of their efforts.

    Suggesting (“interesting”) that this is a ‘just blame Mike’ or a ‘just blame Mike and his coaches’ issue is disingenuous. He’s the head man in terms of overall preparation. We already have other articles and comments about the O and D lines being dominated, Roethlisberger under-performing, 17 missed tackles, etc. We should be able to have an article, and comments, about Mike Tomlin without someone suggesting he is being unfairly singled out for blame.

  • k33ger

    and maybe excessive drinking which lead to the cramps issue….

  • Again RickM, I’d take this so called “deficiency” over what the other 90 pct of coaches in all other football leagues are dealing with. The man’s not perfect. No coach is. We can quibble and make arguments about Tomlins so called deficiencies all day long. We need to stop acting like the man can’t coach. I remember how he used to get killed about clock management. Now this. Spoiled fan base. Period!!!

  • You mean the way Bilicheat was in Cleveland before Brady fell in his lap. I’m so glad the Rooney’s don’t think like the other idiot owners in the league or the know it all never put a football helmet on fans who post on this and sites like this. Get real. I’m sure your not the apple of your bosses eye every day of the week. I still remember how fans would complain about Noll and Cowher. It’s funny, but we still have the most wins and super bowls since 1970. Seems like a winning formula to me. Spoiled fan base.

  • RickM

    I’m nowhere near as big a Mike T. fan as you. He inherited a team that had won the Superbowl two years previous and that team was intact with a franchise QB in his mid-20’s. That doesn’t mean he can’t coach, but you couldn’t walk into a more ideal situation.

    Unlike some others, I don’t feel we need a different head coach. He has definitely had some success after the core of the SB team left, although critics would argue that the biggest piece, Ben, remains. Tomlin is a good coach but his biggest failing by far is not recognizing, and therefore repeating, the same mistakes. He has done nothing different to end this pattern of very much unexpected losses, his (and Ben’s) clock management skills remain sub-par, and he stubbornly defends keeping stars in the game after it has clearly been decided. He’ll never correct the mistakes because he refuses to acknowledge them, which is unfortunate because they are mostly correctable. So I’m in the middle in terms of my impressions of him. It will be interesting to see how we do post-Ben. That will be his truest test.

  • RickM

    You do love uppercase and overstatement. No one is suggesting (as you write) that Tomlin needs to be “perfect” and win every one of these games against inferior competition on the road. A disturbing trend has been noticed that we lose too many of these games, as the author and many commenters have pointed out. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging what is happening.

    As for applauding Mike Tomlin right now, every coach will be applauded after wins and even sometimes after hard losses. No one deserves applause for last Sunday’s effort. Thanks for the chat.

  • Well my man, Eli Manning is also a sure fire hall of famer in the eyes of many and his team will miss the playoffs for the 5th straight season so having a franchise QB is only part of it. At the end of the season Tomlin will have at least 100 wins in 10 years and 2 superbowl trips. But we still whine.

  • RickM

    Eli Manning is nowhere near lock for the Hall of Fame, nof even close for the reason you mentioned. As for your stats, for the last time that was with the 2005 SB team. Since that team retired we have not even made a Conference championship game. But I can see you think Tomlin walks on water and he shouldn’t be criticized for anything. Thanks for the chat.

  • RickM

    I realize facts that go against your argument mean squat to people like you, but Belichick went 11-5 with Cassell and 3-1 to start this year without Brady. He has been an excellent coach in N.E. in recent years, with or without Brady.

  • thehugster

    He does poorly in these games because he is lazy with his game planning. Notice the new wrinkles put in during the KC game after the Steelers got demolished by the Eagles repeating their game plan from the previous weeks. The league is too competitive talent wise and running the same plays in the same situations with the same looks can get you beat by opposing coaches who prepare for what you do on film.

  • I understand facts better than most RickM. Maybe because I played at a very high level and have been around coaches most of my life, I realize that most coaches are nitpicked to death. I just choose to exemplify the positives rather than dwell on the minute negatives. Again, coaches coach, players play and fans complain about everything. Learn to be content RickM. No one gets everything right. Glass is more than half full or would you rather be a Browns fan.

  • You and I both know that injuries are the only reason we were not in the AFCC game last year. Why don’t you ask Brady if Eli is a first ballot hall of famer.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    I think where losses like this hurt the most (and is often overlooked by fans), is the playoff seeding. We are such a strong team at home and because we continue to lose winnable games we end up playing on the road in the playoffs.

    Add into that the narrative David Todd has been bringing up about Ben on the road vs Ben at home and it is a recipe for failure.

    Blame who you want but I don’t see anyway we get to the Superbowl without at least 1 home game or the playoffs coming through Pittsburgh. We can all revel in the WC magic from 2006 but never forget that was when we had a bada$$ defense to carry us through the tough times.

    Now when Ben fails there is no defense to pick him up. Best if we win these games and are in the Burg for the playoffs.

  • RickM

    You could ask all other 31 QB’s in the league if Eli was a HOF’er and 31 of 31 would say yes. Why would any of them put him down? He has two rings where his D basically kept him in the game. His relatively poor 3-2 TD to INT ratio absolutely does not make him a lock. He’ll make it, but he’s not a sure thing like Ben who is close to a 2-1 ratio.

    As for almost getting to the SB in 2015, here’s what I know as factual. We were 6-5 as a football team and had our D throttled by Carr and Wilson. We had the good fortune to then play 5 straight back-up QB’s and we went 4-1 and won a WC spot with a 10-6 record. We went into Cincinnatti and faced a back-up QB who had never even thrown a pass in the NFL until later in the 2015 season. We had control, gave it away after Ben got hurt and won because Joey Porter came on the field. We’ll take that break – and the 5 straight back-up QB’s – anytime. We then went into Denver played well and lost because of injuries and a fumble.

    As someone who resides in the middle on this, I’m not married to providing only the good or bad facts about our play or Head Coach. Tomlin is a good coach, but definitely not a great one. And yes, those are few and far between.

  • RickM

    I’ll be polite other than saying I would match my knowledge of football against yours 7 days a week, but that is neither here nor there. As for throwing stones, perhaps you might want to look at your own posts a little more where you talk about “idiot” owners, cheating coaches and a “spoiled” fan base. When you write posts like that and are incorrect, don’t be surprised if someone corrects your inaccuracies.

  • I guess we’re stuck my man. Good debating with you RickM.

  • Let’s be real my friend. You didn’t say anything earth shattering. You gave your opinions. Each one of your points can be debunked just like my opinions. But I guess only your opinions are fact. Wow, ego any one.

  • Rusted Out

    We are talking about the QB position here. I can site many other instances where a lack of foresight was obvious as well. The fact of the matter here is either they were not aggressive enough to secure a player they wanted, or, they believe Landry Jones can win 2-4 games for them. They were forced to sign Mettenberger due to injury, but I’m glad he is on the roster. He’ll be called upon soon.

  • Steeler-Drew

    You hit the nail on the head. It’s the crux of the issue that these become critical losses when it makes a difference in whether they play a home or road playoff game. These losses have come back to bite them in the past and will continue to in the future. Championship teams just don’t typically lose these type of games.

  • Slab

    What a joke! This “Tomlin isn’t a good coach” narrative is just silly. The guy has the 3rd highest winning percentage among active head coaches. That is a stat. This manipulation of numbers to try to make another point is bogus. Since when does winning percentage based upon point spreads mean anything? Point spreads don’t correlate to football, they correlate to fans betting on football. By the way, Scott Kazmar is a self avowed Colts fan living in Pittsburgh. He has always had a known bias against all things Steelers. He either genuinely can’t stand the Steelers or he does it for reactions.

  • James Bradley

    And yet Mia is 5-4 and in contention for a playoff spot & PHI is also a winning team thick in the playoff hunt
    Not so bad it would seem

  • James Bradley

    Unless you are SEA who was swept by the 6 win Rams last year, or NE who lost to sub .500 PHI & MIA last year, or DEN who won last year SB despite losing to SD & OAK, two teams with a combined 12-20 record…

  • James Bradley

    Ben does not regularly miss games, in fact in 2008, 09, 11, 13, & 14 he missed a combined 2 games total in 6 years.

  • James Bradley

    Franchise QBs dont win titles, teams do. Tom Brady has one lone SB win since 2005, Drew Brees has had as many losing seasons as winning ones

  • James Bradley

    Yes and Tomlin went a combined 6-3 in 2010 & 2015 with Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, Landry Jones, & M. Vick as his starting QB.

    We also saw Belicheck go 7-9 & 5-11 in CLE.

  • James Bradley

    The KC game was just dumb luck, PGH did exactly the same stuff in dud games vs CIN & PHI but KC had a bad night and we got lucky. At 7-2 KC, an 11 game winner last year, is a strong well balanced team. They just laid an egg, every team does it, just ask NE about those butt whoopins they recieved from PHI & MIA last year

  • Rusted Out

    Lol, you cherry picked years just be able to justify that. Ben has had 4 fully healthy seasons in his career of 13, and routinely comes back too soon from injury. He misses enough time to consider the backup spot a lil more deeply.

  • James Bradley

    I didnt cherry pick anything, between 2007 & 2014 Ben had only one season interrupted by a bad injury (missed 3 games in 2012). That’s pretty healthy for a 7 year stretch

  • James Bradley

    Dont forget the shut out loss vs a 6 win Rams team in 1993, the 27-3 beatdown on Thurs Night Football inflicted on them in 95 by tje 3-13 Bengals, the loss to the sub .500 Bengals in 98 (Neil O’Donnell fake spike play TD pass to Pickens to win the game for CIN), losing to the 5-11 Browns in 2003 (and 2000 when they won I believe only 4 games).

    In 15 years Cowher had some bad losses, including on multiple playoff (one Super Bowl) team

  • James Bradley

    These are many of the same people who today hail Cowher as so superior to Tomlin yet they wanted his head on a stick when he lost 18 of 24 games between the end of the 98 & start of 2000 seasons, including at home vs the expansion CLE (probabably the worst loss in franchise history in the post 1969).

  • James Bradley

    For the record Pgh played 7 games vs teams under .500 last season and was 5-2 (one of those losses with M. Vick at QB). Including the playoffs they played 11 games vs teams .500 or better and finished 6-5.

    For comparison sake NE last year played 9 games vs teams under .500 & went 7-2. The big difference was in games vs teams .500 or better where including playoffs they went 6-3.