The Pittsburgh Steelers' comeback attempt against the Vikings in London fell short and they dropped to an 0-4 record. While losing your first four games is relatively rare in the NFL, it is especially rare for a franchise that has won six Super Bowls and hasn't missed the playoffs for more than four years in a row since 1971. Which also happens to still be more recent than the last time the Steelers started a season 0-4.
They hadn't done that since 1968.
Things for the Steelers have essentially fallen apart this year and they are looking at their first losing record since 2003, when they were 6-10. They parlayed that into drafting Ben Roethlisberger the next year and went 15-1 in 2004, then won the Super Bowl in 2005. Pittsburgh has won another championship since then and remained one of the best franchises in football, but that is not the case right now.
The Steelers have lost to the Titans, Bengals, Bears and now Vikings and have been outscored 110-69. Perhaps if there is one saving grace it's that if Pittsburgh can get it together at all, the AFC North currently has a three-way tie for first place with every other team in the division being 2-2. Getting it together might be difficult, though.
The Steelers have turned it over 11 times and forced zero turnovers this year.
Rookie Le'Veon Bell made his NFL debut on Sunday and ran for 57 yards, which already puts him second on the team in rushing yardage. They have not been able to get any sort of consistent offense going and the defense allowed big play after big play against Minnesota in a 34-27 loss, even though the Vikings were 0-3 themselves going into the game.
It's been a long time since the Steelers started a season this poorly, but how long will it be before they get their first win?
Things to happen since the Steelers were last 0-4 to start a year:
- Man had not landed on the moon yet (allegedly)
- 1968 was the last season for Pittsburgh head coach Bill Austin. The team hired Chuck Noll in 1969 and has had three head coaches since. (Noll, Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin)
- The Steelers had been to the playoffs one time in franchise history until 1972.
- President Barack Obama, who has shown love for the Steelers in the past, was seven years old in 1968.
- Richard Nixon had not yet entered office. There have been eight presidents since 1968.
- Jennifer Lopez wasn't born yet. Not even Brett Favre was born until 1969 and he's super old.
- In the Heat of the Night won Best Picture (1968) and Marvin Gaye was topping the charts with "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."