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Examining Mike Tomlin’s Career Record Against Teams With A Losing Record

The winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers come to Heinz Field Sunday to play the Pittsburgh Steelers and a popular narrative leading up to the game seems to be centered around head coach Mike Tomlin and is inability to beat teams with a losing record. In fact, I had one reader email me to say that Tomlin is just slightly over .500 against teams with a losing record since he became the head coach in 2007. Let’s have a look.

For starters, I understand why this current narrative exist and that’s because over the course of the last two seasons the Steelers are 6-8 against teams that have more losses than wins when they play them.

Prior to 2012, however, Tomlin had a record of 27-8 against teams with a losing record when the Steelers played them. Heading into Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers, that gives Tomlin a 33-16 record against teams with a losing record.

You will notice below that 14 of those 16 losses have come on the road. That’s encouraging when it comes to the game Sunday as that means Tomlin’s only lost twice at home during his career when the Steelers play a team that has a losing record.

Another narrative I’m sure that you’ve heard over the years is that when Tomlin’s Steelers do beat teams that have a losing record when they play them is that they don’t beat them convincingly.

You might be surprised to know that in those 33 wins listed below that the Steelers have outscored their opponents by an average of 13.27 points. In fact, only 12 times have they failed to win by 10 or more points in those 33 games.

Also, in their 16 loses, they have lost by seven points or less 14 times.

For your convenience, the table below is sortable.

Year Week Date Opponent Score Margin
2013 2 Mon, Sep 16 @ 8:40 PM ET at Cincinnati Bengals L, 10 – 20 -10
2013 4 Sun, Sep 29 @ 1:00 PM ET at Minnesota Vikings L, 27 – 34 -7
2013 8 Sun, Oct 27 @ 4:05 PM ET at Oakland Raiders L, 18 – 21 -3
2013 10 Sun, Nov 10 @ 1:00 PM ET Buffalo Bills W, 23 – 10 13
2013 12 Sun, Nov 24 @ 1:00 PM ET at Cleveland Browns W, 27 – 11 16
2013 13 Thu, Nov 28 @ 8:30 PM ET at Baltimore Ravens L, 20 – 22 -2
2013 17 Sun, Dec 29 @ 1:00 PM ET Cleveland Browns W, 20 – 7 13
2012 3 Sun, Sep 23 @ 4:25 PM ET at Oakland Raiders L, 31 – 34 -3
2012 6 Thu, Oct 11 @ 8:20 PM ET at Tennessee Titans L, 23 – 26 -3
2012 8 Sun, Oct 28 @ 1:00 PM ET Washington Redskins W, 27 – 12 15
2012 10 Mon, Nov 12 @ 8:30 PM ET Kansas City Chiefs W, 16 – 13 3
2012 12 Sun, Nov 25 @ 1:00 PM ET at Cleveland Browns L, 14 – 20 -6
2012 14 Sun, Dec 9 @ 1:00 PM ET San Diego Chargers L, 24 – 34 -10
2012 17 Sun, Dec 30 @ 1:00 PM ET Cleveland Browns W, 24 – 10 14
2011 2 Sun, Sep 18 @ 1:00 PM ET Seattle Seahawks W, 24 – 0 24
2011 3 Sun, Sep 25 @ 8:20 PM ET at Indianapolis Colts W, 23 – 20 3
2011 6 Sun, Oct 16 @ 1:00 PM ET Jacksonville Jaguars W, 17 – 13 4
2011 7 Sun, Oct 23 @ 4:05 PM ET at Arizona Cardinals W, 32 – 20 12
2011 12 Sun, Nov 27 @ 8:20 PM ET at Kansas City Chiefs W, 13 – 9 4
2011 14 Thu, Dec 8 @ 8:20 PM ET Cleveland Browns W, 14 – 3 11
2011 16 Sat, Dec 24 @ 1:00 PM ET St. Louis Rams W, 27 – 0 27
2011 17 Sun, Jan 1 @ 4:15 PM ET at Cleveland Browns W, 13 – 9 4
2010 6 Sun, Oct 17 @ 1:00 PM ET Cleveland Browns W, 28 – 10 18
2010 9 Mon, Nov 8 @ 8:30 PM ET at Cincinnati Bengals W, 27 – 21 6
2010 12 Sun, Nov 28 @ 1:00 PM ET at Buffalo Bills W, 19 – 16 3
2010 14 Sun, Dec 12 @ 1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Bengals W, 23 – 7 16
2010 16 Thu, Dec 23 @ 8:20 PM ET Carolina Panthers W, 27 – 3 24
2010 17 Sun, Jan 2 @ 1:00 PM ET at Cleveland Browns W, 41 – 9 32
2009 2 Sun, Sep 20 @ 4:15 PM ET at Chicago Bears L, 14 – 17 -3
2009 5 Sun, Oct 11 @ 1:00 PM ET at Detroit Lions W, 28 – 20 8
2009 6 Sun, Oct 18 @ 1:00 PM ET Cleveland Browns W, 27 – 14 13
2009 11 Sun, Nov 22 @ 1:00 PM ET at Kansas City Chiefs L, 24 – 27 -3
2009 13 Sun, Dec 6 @ 1:00 PM ET Oakland Raiders L, 24 – 27 -3
2009 14 Thu, Dec 10 @ 8:20 PM ET at Cleveland Browns L, 6 – 13 -7
2009 17 Sun, Jan 3 @ 1:00 PM ET at Miami Dolphins W, 30 – 24 6
2008 2 Sun, Sep 14 @ 8:15 PM ET at Cleveland Browns W, 10 – 6 4
2008 7 Sun, Oct 19 @ 1:00 PM ET at Cincinnati Bengals W, 38 – 10 28
2008 11 Sun, Nov 16 @ 4:15 PM ET San Diego Chargers W, 11 – 10 1
2008 12 Thu, Nov 20 @ 8:15 PM ET Cincinnati Bengals W, 27 – 10 17
2008 17 Sun, Dec 28 @ 1:00 PM ET Cleveland Browns W, 31 – 0 31
2007 2 Sun, Sep 16 @ 1:00 PM ET Buffalo Bills W, 26 – 3 23
2007 4 Sun, Sep 30 @ 4:15 PM ET at Arizona Cardinals L, 14 – 21 -7
2007 7 Sun, Oct 21 @ 8:15 PM ET at Denver Broncos L, 28 – 31 -3
2007 8 Sun, Oct 28 @ 1:00 PM ET at Cincinnati Bengals W, 24 – 13 11
2007 11 Sun, Nov 18 @ 4:05 PM ET at New York Jets L, 16 – 19 -3
2007 12 Mon, Nov 26 @ 8:30 PM ET Miami Dolphins W, 3 – 0 3
2007 13 Sun, Dec 2 @ 8:15 PM ET Cincinnati Bengals W, 24 – 10 14
2007 16 Thu, Dec 20 @ 8:00 PM ET at St. Louis Rams W, 41 – 24 17
2007 17 Sun, Dec 30 @ 4:15 PM ET at Baltimore Ravens L, 21 – 27 -6
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