This is the first season since 1979 that the Pittsburgh Steelers have opened with a 4-0 record. Those were the days of the Steel Curtain, and the Steelers have had quite a few good teams in the 40 years since then. Their undefeated start would lead you to believe that this year’s version of the team is very good, and there are reasons to believe that it will continue to be. The optimism surrounding this season should still carry a “cautious” tag, though.
A team can play only those listed on its schedule, but the Steelers’ four victories this season have come against the New York Giants, Denver Broncos, Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles. The combined record of those teams is 3-15-1 through the first five weeks of the season, and those three wins have come against the New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers — who do not look like the same squad that represented the NFC in the Super Bowl last season. To put it bluntly, no one in the NFL has had an easier path to an undefeated start than Pittsburgh early in the year.
The Steelers haven’t exactly buried those teams, either. Their largest margin of victory came in Week 1 with a 26-16 win over the Giants. It’s worth questioning just how good the team atop a competitive AFC North is through the first five weeks of the season. It’s not a satisfying answer, but the truth is that we don’t actually know.
Most team pressures through first three weeks in the past decade
|Green Bay Packers||2019||82|
|St. Louis Rams||2011||77|