Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The Pittsburgh Steelers will open 2020 on the road. That’s been a true statement for the last six seasons and if that feels unusual, you’re right. It’s the longest road opener streak in franchise history. Despite that team record, it falls short of being historic.
Since the 1970 merger, here are the longest road opener streaks in the NFL. Pittsburgh’s six straight seasons ranks tied for 9th longest.
|Arizona Cardinals||1988-2005 (17 seasons)|
|Miami Dolphins||1976-1988 (13 seasons)|
|San Francisco 49ers||1984-1993 (10 seasons)|
|San Francisco 49ers||1973-1981 (9 seasons)|
|Cincinnati Bengals||2010-2016 (7 seasons)|
|Indianapolis Colts||2000-2006 (7 seasons)|
|Oakland Raiders||1978-1984 (7 seasons)|
|Los Angeles Chargers||1978-1984 (7 seasons)|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||2015-2020 (6 seasons)|
|Denver Broncos||2005-2010 (6 seasons)|
|Minnesota Vikings||1990-1995 (6 seasons)|
|Kansas City Chiefs||1992-1997 (6 seasons)|
|Philadelphia Eagles||1983-1988 (6 seasons)|
|New York Jets||1983-1988 (6 seasons)|
|Los Angeles Rams||1973-1978 (6 seasons)|
The Arizona Cardinals top the list, playing away from home for 17 straight seasons from 1988 to 2005. Since the start of this century, only the 2010-2016 Bengals and 2000-2006 Colts have had longer road streaks than the Steelers. The 2005-2010 Denver Broncos played on the road for six straight years.
Still, the Steelers still have a long ways to go to reach the NFL record. According to Pro Football Reference, first and second place are some pretty absurd streaks. From 28 seasons, 1940 to 1967, the Chicago Bears played Week One away from home. But no one tops the New York Giants, who did so for 36 consecutive seasons from 1925 to 1960. Funny enough, the Giants will host the Steelers in this year’s opener. That’s set to take place on September 14th, a Monday night matchup.
The last time Pittsburgh played at home was in 2014, a 30-27 win over the Cleveland Browns. Under Kevin Colbert, opening on the road hasn’t been kind to the Steelers. They’re 3-6-1 since 2000, including an ugly 33-3 loss to New England a year ago. Compare that with an 8-2 record at home over the same timespan.