Opening Blowout Losses Don’t Always Equal a Bad Season for Steelers

The Steelers opening day 35-7 loss to the Ravens was one to remember – but for all the wrong reasons. The team did nothing to give fans a lot of hope of a return to the Super Bowl in February 2012, but it is just one game, and in case you forgot, the Steelers have bounced back from some awful opening day losses in the past.

Case and point:

August 31st 1997 vs Dallas 37-7: It was the first start for new QB Kordell Stewart, and it wasn’t a good one to say the least. HOF QB Troy Aikman threw four TD passes, two to fellow HOF’er Michael Irvin, and the Steelers were down 37-0 until Stewart hit TE Mark Bruener in garbage time. The 97 Steelers went on to an 11-5 record, and got to the AFC Title Game before losing to the Denver Broncos.

September 10th 1989 vs Cleveland 51-0: One of the most unwatchable games in Steelers history, the team was beat up all day long with mistakes and errors that resulted in two Cleveland fumble returns for scores, and an interception return for a score. After this loss, there was no way anyone felt the Steelers would somehow make the postseason, but they did so, as Chuck Noll led them to a 9-7 season and an eventual loss to Denver and John Elway.

September 4th 1994 vs Dallas 26-9: The Steelers felt they could flex their muscles against the Big Bad Cowboys, but it was not to be. Dallas dominated, going up 16-3 at halftime, and Akiman again had a big opening day vs the Steelers, going for 245 yards and a TD. The Steelers eventual #1 ranked defense was no match for the Cowboys huge O-line. The Black and Gold did recover, they went 12-4, and ended up in the AFC Title Game.

September 9th 2002 at New England 30-14: Opening the new stadium for the Pats, the Steelers and New England were tied 7-7 after one quarter, but it was over after that, as Tom Brady went for 294 yards and three scores. Kordell Stewart limped to 242 yards and three picks as he would last just two more games as the starter till Tommy Maddox took over. The team jumped on his back, went 10-5-1, and wound up losing to the Titans in the Divisional Playoffs.

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