The Pittsburgh Steelers have started many seasons 2-0 before. But 3-0? That is much rarer. If the Steelers beat the Chicago Bears Sunday, they’ll leave Week Three undefeated for the first time since 2010. It’ll mark the third time Mike Tomlin has led his group to a 3-0 start. 2007, his debut season, the other.
Bill Cowher went 3-0 only once. 1992, also his debut season, but never replicating that the rest of his coaching career. And in non-strike shortened seasons, Chuck Noll did it only three times: 1973, 1978, and 1979.
For the record, the Steelers also went 3-0 in 1982, during a strike where they went nine weeks between the second and third game. But that weird season doesn’t really count.
Of course, it doesn’t mean a whole lot ultimately. Head coaches in Pittsburgh aren’t hired to go 3-0. They’re here to win Super Bowls. But for a Steelers’ team that’s been thought of as slow starters, this would help break up that notion.
In 1978, 1979, and 2010, the Steelers went on to go to the Super Bowl, winning the former two and losing the latter to the Green Bay Packers. Pittsburgh sputtered out in 2007, falling in the Wild Card game to David Garrard and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tomlin has done a great job of creating strong second-half teams. The Steelers have finished at least 6-2 over the final eight games in each of the last four seasons, including 7-1 a year ago. If he can continue that streak and add to it with an impressive start, the Steelers can make a push for the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout.