View Full Version : Steelers dealing with a Super Bowl slumber

12-09-2009, 05:58 AM
Steelers dealing with a Super Bowl slumber
By Mark Kaboly
Daily News Sports Editor
Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Steelers have scoffed at the notion of a Super Bowl hangover. That started only minutes after winning the championship last February in Tampa.

But when you look at Steelers history and the year after a Super Bowl victory, a long losing streak is almost inevitable.

When the Steelers lost to the Oakland Raiders last Sunday, it was their fourth consecutive defeat, which tied for the second longest losing streak in NFL history for a defending Super Bowl champion.

The 2002 New England Patriots, the 1998 Denver Broncos and the 1976 Steelers all lost four games in a row the year after winning the Super Bowl.

In all instances, the team failed to make the playoffs that year except for the '76 Steelers.

A loss Thursday night in Cleveland would tie the record set by the 1987 New York Giants, who lost five consecutive games a year after winning the Super Bowl.

Since the first Super Bowl in 1966, 13 times the defending champion has lost at least three games in a row the year after winning the title. The Raiders lost three in a row in 1981 as the Oakland Raiders and again in 1984 as the Los Angeles Raiders.

The Giants also lost three in a row the year after the shocking Super XXV win over the Buffalo Bills.

But nobody has come close to the Steelers and big losing streaks the year after winning a Super Bowl.

The Steelers have won a record six Super Bowls. Twice, they defended their title, but four times they followed with a big losing streak the next season.

The first instance came in 1976, the year after the Steelers defeated Dallas in Super Bowl X when they started the season 1-4 before winning their final nine to advance to the AFC Championship Game.

After winning Super Bowl XIV over the Los Angeles Rams, the Steelers had another three-game losing streak the following year and failed to make the playoffs. That team lost to Cincinnati, Oakland and Cleveland in the middle of the season and finished 9-7.

In 2006, the year after winning Super Bowl XL, the Steelers lost six of their first eight games that year, including three in a row at Atlanta, at Oakland and home against Denver. The Steelers failed to make the playoffs and finished the season at 8-8.

The Steelers even had a Super Bowl hangover of sorts after the lost to Dallas in 1995. The next season, the Steelers lost three of four and four of their final seven games, including the playoffs.

Twice, the Steelers never lost two in a two in a row following a Super Bowl appearance and that was in 1975 and 1979, ironically, the two years they won back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

Super Bowl hangover

Winning the Super Bowl doesn't necessarily mean success the following year. Since Green Bay won Super Bowl I, 13 times teams have compiled a losing streak of at least three games the following season. That includes the Steelers, who did it following four of their six Super Bowl titles.

Five game losing streak

1987 New York Giants

Four-game losing streak

2009 Steelers

2002 New England Patriots

1999 Denver Broncos

Three-game losing streak

2006 Steelers

2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2000 St. Louis Rams

1991 New York Giants

1988 Washington Redskins

1984 Los Angeles Raiders

1981 Oakland Raiders

1980 Steelers

1976 Steelers



Saints: They were more lucky than good against the lowly Redskins.

Colts: Can a team that is unbeaten this late in the season still be under the radar?

Vikings: Need to get RB Adrian Peterson more involved in the offense.

Chargers: Bolts have the look of a Super Bowl contender.

Bengals: Barring a complete collapse they will win the AFC North.


Chiefs: Were not able to build on win over the Steelers.

Lions: The growing pains continue for rookie QB Matthew Stafford.

Buccaneers: Is coach Raheem Morris' job safe if Yuks only win one game this season?

Rams: Imagine how inept they would be without RB Steven Jackson.

Browns: They should be a get-well game for the Steelers. Should be.

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

12-09-2009, 09:34 AM
I blamed the last one on Cowher for being lax . Maybe i was wrong.

12-09-2009, 10:32 AM
I blamed the last one on Cowher for being lax . Maybe i was wrong.
Plus Ben's face plant into the windshield did not help.
He was not a good QB that season. He looked like Favre
with all those interceptions most of the time.