The Steelers are now in their offseason after failing to reach the playoffs in 2022, coming up just a game short of sneaking in as the seventh seed. They needed help in week 18 and only got some of it, so instead, they sat home and watched the playoffs with the rest of us.
On tap is figuring out how to be on the field in January and February instead of being a spectator. They started out 2-6, digging a hole that proved too deep to dig out of even if they managed to go 7-2 in the second half of the year.
Starting from the end of the regular season and leading all the way up to the beginning of the 2023 season, there are plenty of questions that need answering, starting with who will be the offensive coordinator. Which free agents will be kept? Who might be let go due to their salary? How might they tackle free agency with this new front office? We’ll try to frame the conversation in relevant ways as long as you stick with us throughout this offseason, as we have for many years.
Question: What is the most memorable moment between Tom Brady and the Steelers?
I tried to word this question carefully because I didn’t want to impose a Steelers-centric bias here. Given that Tom Brady, now retired “for good”, had a rather favorable record against Pittsburgh, it’s reasonable to assume that the most memorable moment could have been one of his achievements rather than his opponents’.
The most egregious fact of Brady’s history against the Steelers is that he is 3-0 against them in the postseason, all three of them in the conference finals. The most recent was in 2016, ending the team’s last competitive postseason run—they haven’t won another game in the playoffs since. It would be hard to cull up many positive memories for Steelers fans from those games.
As far as Pittsburgh’s positive moments go, the interceptions by Vince Williams and Joe Haden have to be up there. A recent negative would be the Jesse James would-be touchdown that negated a go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter in 2017 and prevented Pittsburgh from earning the top seed.
But of course, the history between the team and Brady goes back much further, virtually decades, the first encounter being the first conference finals defeat at the end of Pittsburgh’s 2001 season—and the beginning of the New England Patriots dynasty.
In all, including the postseason, the Steelers were 12-4 against Brady, most recently defeating him in 2022 in their only opportunity to face him as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They started nearly entirely a replacement secondary in that game, yet managed to hold him in check.
Notably, they had to hold Brady to 20 points or fewer in all four of their wins against him. They also lost five times while scoring more than 20 points, but were frequently held to less than that—a testament to how important the collective team was to his success as well.