Can the 0-4 Pittsburgh Steelers End Up Like the ’92 San Diego Chargers?


Sep 29, 2013; London, UNITED KINGDOM; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) scores a touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Martin-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to 0-4 last week against the Vikings, and many think that loss pretty much sealed the fate of the team for the 2013 season.  When a team falls to 0-2 to start the season, playoff chances decrease greatly.  Fall to 0-3 and the percentages even lower.  There’s only been one team in the entire history of the NFL that has gone 0-4 to start a season and end up making the playoffs.

May 10, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers former coach Bobby Ross speaks at the Celebration of Life for Junior Seau at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

The 1992 San Diego Chargers started their season 0-4 (which included a loss to the Steelers) and then went 11 and 12 to finish the season 11-5.  They even got a little redemption in the playoff by beating the KC Chiefs in the first round of the playoffs after falling to them both times during the regular season.  1992 turned into quite a magical season for the Chargers.  The team didn’t really do much to correct what was ‘wrong’ with the team.  Then head coach Bobby Ross focused on the positive and never showed the ‘bad plays’ when reviewing game film with the team: “I really tried to get everybody thinking very positive.”  They practiced the plays they didn’t do well on until they got it right.  The players pulled together and overcame all that adversity.

Can the same thing happen to the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers?

You have to admit that a bit of what happened with San Diego was unique and a bit magical.  It’s a very ‘Major League’ kind of scenario where a haphazardly and motley crew of a football team put all the crud aside and rallied together to win a bunch of football games.  The Steelers’ problems seem far removed from being just a negative attitude problem.  The team is struggling in just about every category you can make a statistic for.  I don’t know Ross’ coaching style, but I don’t really think Mike Tomlin would be the guy to get this team ‘feeling good.’  And quite frankly, I’m not so sure there’s enough positive film out there to show over all the negative film.

As much as I would love to see a comeback and have this team win 11 out of the next 12 games, I really don’t see it happening.  The team needs to go 8-4 just to get to .500 on the season – an achievement that itself seems light years away at this point in time.  Despite the slim chances of the team finding the miracle within, Mike Tomlin and the rest of the team need to find ways to at lease win a game or two over the next few weeks.  Otherwise this will go down as one of the worst seasons in Steelers history.

And Steeler Nation will want to forget the 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers.