Well, it doesn’t sound as though the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be going undefeated this year. Colin Cowherd has already handed them two losses courtesy of the Baltimore Ravens, because ‘The Herd’ sees the two-time-running AFC North champions with a good chance of running the table in 2020.
That’s what he said on his show late last week during a brief excerpt in previewing the team as training camps get underway. Last season, they did go 14-2, their best record in franchise history, riding a 12-game winning streak into the postseason, but they were unceremoniously defeated at the hands of the Tennessee Titans.
“I think Baltimore has a chance to go 16-0, because there are two things: they’re stacked, and they’re ticked off”, Cowherd said. “They were humiliated in the playoffs. Lamar still has his critics, they’re 0-2 against Mahomes, everybody says they can’t play from behind. This is the first time I ever remember thinking, ‘that’s a 16-0 football team’. I looked at their schedule. They don’t travel west”.
Needless to say, Baltimore would have to sweep the division in order to go undefeated, and they didn’t even manage to do that in 2019. While they did beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals twice, they lost 40-25 to the Cleveland Browns early in the season before going on their win streak.
The last time that the Ravens swept the AFC North was in 2011, which including a 35-7 blowout of the Steelers in the season opener. Both teams ended up finishing 12-4 that year, but Baltimore, of course, owned the tiebreaker. The Steelers proceeded to be hosted by a poor Denver Broncos Wildcard team and were promptly Tebowed out of the playoffs.
Only one team in NFL history has ever gone 16-0 during the regular season, that being the New England Patriots of 2007. While they did advance to the Super Bowl, they were defeated by Eli Manning and the New York Giants. The 1972 Miami Dolphins, who played during a 14-game schedule, remain the only undefeated team for an entire full season.
The Ravens do have two titles, most recently winning in 2012, but they fell into decline immediately after, failing to reach the postseason in four of the next five years and posting a .500 record, 40-40, in all during that time.
They were 4-5 when Lamar Jackson took over just a bit beyond the halfway point of the 2018 season, and since then, they have won 20 out of 23 regular season games, and won the division title in both years. However, despite the opportunity to host two playoff games, they have been defeated handily on both occasions.