The good news is that the Pittsburgh Steelers are a 4-1-1 team on the road this season. The bad news is that they are just 3-3 in games played at home in Heinz Field. They have two games remaining there this season, including the New England Patriots two weeks from now and then in the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. There is a very real chance they end up going .500 or worse at home in 2018.
Granted, some of that does come down to the schedule. Two of their four losses this season came against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, who of the better teams not just in the AFC but in the NFL. Their other home loss came against the Baltimore Ravens, who are always a difficult opponent, though the Steelers later went into Baltimore and won.
It’s nearly assured that they will be finishing the season with a better record on the road than at home, and the Steelers are not happy about that. Ramon Foster made an observation after Sunday’s loss at Heinz Field about their struggles to win there and said that they have to be road warriors in the playoffs.
During his radio appearance yesterday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also talked about the frustrations about losing in their own stadium. “We don’t expect to lose at home. We always talk about winning all your home games and then when you go on the road, trying to get half of them”, he said. “It seems recently that we’ve done a lot better on the road for whatever reason”.
Of course it’s unrealistic to expect to go undefeated at home, though they often go 6-2. They finished 7-1 at Heinz Field last year, and did so in 2007 as well. The last time they won every game at Heinz Field was in 2004, the year that they went 15-1, and even then they lost at home in the AFC Championship game.
Roethlisberger called home losses frustrating, and not just because they are supposed to be games that are easier to win. “It’s frustrating, especially because you let the fans down”, he said. “They come out to see a great show. You want to win it for them, and then when you don’t, you feel like you let them down, and it’s hard”.
While they have struggled to win, one thing they have done for the home crowd has been scoring points. With the exception of the ugly loss to the Ravens in which they put up just 14 points, the Steelers scored at least 30 so far in every other home game.
That included the 30 points they put up Sunday against the Chargers before Los Angeles scored the game-winning field goal. They also had 37 points in the loss to the Chiefs. They scored 33, 41, and 52 in their three home wins, so they are averaging 34.5 points per game.