Two teams in the 87-year history of the Steelers have managed to remain unscathed through seven games: Pittsburgh’s 2020 squad and the 1978 team that started 8-0 before suffering their first defeat. The ’78 Steelers ultimately won that year’s Super Bowl, a feat Pittsburgh’s current team will try to match. 

Since the start of the Super Bowl era, 40 teams, including the 2020 Steelers, have won at least seven games before losing their first game, according to StatHead. Out of those teams, 19 reached the Super Bowl, with 10 teams ending the year with the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Since the ’72 Dolphins’ perfect season, the last team to lose each season has won the Super Bowl 12 times. 

Here’s a look at each 7-0 NFL team since the start of the Super Bowl era. As you can see below, teams that started hot had more success down the road than in recent seasons. 

1969 Rams

11-0

11-3

No 

1972 Dolphins

14-0

14-0

Yes

1973 Vikings 

8-0 

12-2

No (lost to Miami)

1974 Cardinals 7-0 10-4 No
1975 Vikings 10-0 12-2 No

1977 Cowboys

8-0

12-2

Yes

1978 Rams

8-0

12-4

No

1978 Steelers

8-0

14-2

Yes 

1983 Cowboys

7-0 

12-4

No 

1984 Dolphins 

11-0 

14-2 

No (lost to San Francisco)

1985 Bears

12-0 

15-1

Yes

1985 Rams 7-0 11-5 No

1990 Giants 

10-0

13-3 

Yes

1990 49ers

10-0

14-2

No 

1991 Saints  7-0 11-5 No

1991 Washington 

11-0

14-2

Yes

1998 Broncos

13-0

14-2

Yes

1998 Vikings 7-0 15-1 No

2000 Vikings 

7-0 

11-5

No

2003 Chiefs

9-0

13-3

No

2004 Eagles 

7-0

13-3

No (lost to New England)

2005 Colts 

9-0

14-2

No

2006 Bears 7-0 13-3 No (lost to Indianapolis)

2006 Colts

9-0

12-4

Yes

2007 Colts 7-0 13-3 No

2007 Patriots 

16-0

16-0

No (lost to the Giants) 

2008 Titans 

10-0

13-3

No

2009 Colts 

14-0

14-2

No (lost to New Orleans)

2009 Saints  13-0 Yes

2011 Packers

13-0

15-1

No

2012 Falcons

8-0 

13-3

No

2013 Chiefs

9-0

11-5

No

2015 Bengals 8-0 12-4 No
2015 Broncos 7-0 12-4 Yes
2015 Patriots 10-0 12-4 No

2015 Panthers 

14-0

15-1

No (lost to Denver)

2018 Rams 

8-0

13-3

No (lost to New England)

2019 49ers

8-0

13-3

No (lost to Kansas City)

2019 Patriots 

8-0

12-4

No 

2020 Steelers 

7-0

TBD

TBD

While it’s way too early to predict the Steelers’ playoff fortunes, Pittsburgh’s depth at various positions should enable them to withstand possible injuries better than most clubs. It will also give them more versatility as it relates to their possible playoff matchups. 

One-dimensional teams seldom win the Super Bowl; just ask the ’84 Dolphins, whose prolific passing attack was not able to deliver a third Lombardi Trophy to Miami. Conversely, the ’06 Colts, after falling short of their goal the previous season, received vastly better play from their defense that allowed them to win the franchise’s first title since moving from Baltimore to Indianapolis. 

Pittsburgh’s ’78 team is another example of a team that possessed a complete team in all three phases. The Steel Curtain defense, albeit a little older, was still the league’s most dominant unit. Pittsburgh’s offense received a career year from quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who that season became the first and last Steeler to win league MVP. And while Bradshaw and the passing game was the focal point of the offense, Bradshaw certainly did not forget about his talented backfield duo of Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier, who both scored touchdowns during Pittsburgh’s 35-31 win over Dallas in Super Bowl XIII. 

While the right arm of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ main mode of transportation on offense, Pittsburgh also has a steadily improving ground attack that has gone from 29th in the league in yards gained in 2019 to 16th this season. That number, while an improvement, will need to continue to improve in order to increase Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl odds. That being said, no defense has yet to have found an answer for the Steelers’ passing attack, which features a vast array of receivers along with new tight end Eric Ebron. 


Ben Roethlisberger

PIT •

QB •

7

Roethlisberger is on pace to throw for 3,721 yards, 34 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2020. He is currently completing a career-high 67.9% of his passes.


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The Steelers’ defense, one of the league’s best last season, has not missed a beat in 2020. Pittsburgh’s defense is currently top-10 in the NFL in points allowed, passing yards allowed, rushing yards allowed, sacks, and turnovers forced. The two areas of improvement are on third down and in the red zone, as the Steelers’ defense is 20th and 18th in those departments, respectively. The Steelers’ defense did do a vastly better job in the red zone during Sunday’s 28-24 nail biter in Baltimore, as Pittsburgh forced two fumbles of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in the red zone. The Steelers also intercepted Jackson twice while batting away his end zone pass to Willie Snead on Baltimore’s final offensive play. 

Pittsburgh made a splash after their most recent win, trading a future fifth-round pick (and swapping future seventh-round picks) to acquire veteran linebacker Avery Williamson. The trade not only symbolized the Steelers’ immediate desire to improve their depth at a key position, it also showed how much Pittsburgh’s front office believes in this team’s chances at bringing home the franchise’s seventh Lombardi Trophy four months from now. 

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