This might be a bit of odd timing considering the three-game slide that the Pittsburgh Steelers just suffered through but now with the end of the decade, it is only appropriate to look back and reflect.
The 2019 season did not end how the Steelers had hoped. No Super Bowl or postseason action again this year but that does not change the overall success this team has enjoyed over the last ten years. Since the turn of the decade, only one team has won more football games than the Steelers.
Most Regular Season Wins This Decade (2010-2019):
New England Patriots – 125
Pittsburgh Steelers – 102
Green Bay Packers – 102
To no one’s surprise, only the evil empire that is the New England Patriots enjoyed more regular season success than the Steelers this decade. Even with three 8-8 seasons, the Steelers have been one of the NFL’s most consistent franchises when it comes to putting a winning product on the field. In fact, this decade saw the Steelers finish just one win short of their best decade in franchise history.
Steelers’ Total Wins By Decade:
2010 – 2019: 102
2000 – 2009: 103
1990 – 1999: 93
1980 – 1989: 77
1970 – 1979: 99
While the Steelers won more games over this decade and the previous decade, their winning percentage during the 1970s was substantially higher due to the NFL schedule only including 14-games up until 1978. If there is a silver lining in the Steelers’ success this decade, it is this; this decade has been the only decade in which the Steelers never finished a season with a winning percentage under .500.
Were it not for the Patriots’ dynasty, many would be talking about the Steelers’ track record this decade but yet, even with all the victories, this decade does feel rather empty. It is as if there is a void still placed at the heart of this franchise and that may be because in spite of all the regular season success, there has not been a lot of postseason success to go along with it.
The trophy case containing all of the Steelers’ Lombardi Trophies has not been opened since 2008. Sure, the Steelers had one Super Bowl appearance in 2010 but they have not made it back to the big game since then.
Mike Tomlin’s team will also finish this decade with a postseason record of 5-6, their lowest tally since the 1990s, when the Steelers also went 5-6. Out of those six postseason appearances, three have ended with one and done outcomes. There were playoff upsets to Tim Tebow, Joe Flacco and even the debacle that was Blake Bortles hanging 45-points on this defense at Heinz Field.
The Steelers have won more than majority of the NFL this decade and there is a lot to appreciate there but it is clear what the goal for the next decade should be. Continue setting the standard in regular season success but return to the standard in postseason success. One of the most winningest franchises in the NFL, the Steelers have set a standard in success but they have fallen short when it comes to postseason success this decade. The goal should be to continue winning, both in the regular season and postseason.
If Ben Roethlisberger returns back healthy and the defense plays at the level witnessed this season, they might be able to get the next decade off on the right foot. The only unfortunate part is that Pittsburgh is going to have to wait until next September to find out if that is possible.