For as much talk as there has been in recent years about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ ‘road woes’, it seems to have gone completely under the radar that they have basically been excellent away from home for the past season’s worth of games, should anybody have bothered to notice.
That is, of course, in terms of exiting visiting stadiums with a victory, which is the entire point. And to that end, they certainly have gotten the job done and then some.
Dating back to roughly the middle of last season, following their loss in Baltimore after the bye week, which was Ben Roethlisberger’s first game back from injury, the Steelers have played 10 games on the road. They have won nine of those games.
Over the course of the past 16 games, they have played about 63 percent of their games away from Heinz field, and have won 90 percent of those games. Has it often been pretty? No. I wouldn’t say it has even been rarely pretty. It basically never has. But they’ve won, and that is, believe it or not, what matters.
Last season, during their seven-game winning streak that closed out the regular season, four of those games came on the road. They recorded victories over the Browns and the Bengals in Ohio, the latter requiring a comeback, but beat the Browns by 15 points.
A week after beating the Browns, they had a much easier time against the Colts than they just did, winning 28-7. And two weeks after that, they had Le’Veon Bell run down the throats of the Bills up in Buffalo.
The Steelers are 7-2 this season, and that includes a 5-1 record on the road. They only have two road games left, but they have already secured a winning record away from their home stadium. While they narrowly beat the Browns in the opener, and then lost in overtime to the Bears in Chicago, they have won three straight since then.
Starting with a 24-9 handling of the Ravens in Baltimore—the first time they have won there in years, mind you—they went into Kansas City and handed the Chiefs their first loss of the season, which has seen them go 1-2 since.
Two weeks after that, they went up to Detroit and bent, but didn’t break, against Matthew Stafford’s Lions, allowing him the yardage, but not the points, as his offense was blanked on all five trips inside the 20-yard line.
Coming off a closer-than-it-should-have-been win out in Indianapolis on Sunday, the Steelers don’t have to worry about traveling again until next month, when they have to be in Cincinnati on the fourth of December.
Then they’ll swing by Houston for a Christmas showdown with a flailing Texans team to close out their road trip for the 2017 season, which could very well see them go 7-1. And for as ‘ugly’ as some of those wins might have been, they did win seven of them by more than a field goal, including four by a touchdown or better.