Can the Steelers hang on to the number one seed in the AFC?

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7): Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7): Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers are 8-0 for the first time in franchise history. Where do they go from here?

As you already know, 2020 hasn’t been quite the year we were hoping for. We have an ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has caused shutdowns, income and revenue loss, and strict travel restrictions across the US and around the world. People like me had to sign-up for unemployment because of layoffs and lack of work, over 1.2 million people have died from the disease according to the World Health Organization (bless and pray for those the pandemic has affected), and many sports, activities, and events had to stop in order to control the spread. Currently, many teams and sports have to endure challenges caused by the pandemic, and the Steelers are no exception.

The NFL has had to deal with mini outbreaks within each organization that may push the season further into February as one FanSided contributor has reported. But there is a bright spot, for the first time ever as the Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly defeated the Dallas Cowboys this past Sunday, we’re 8-0.

During Pittsburgh’s storied history, there have been many groups of players of the Steelers past that strived for greatness and were close to perfection.  The last team with the best start in franchise history was the 1978 Steelers. Others included the remaining ’70s dynasty teams, the mid-90s powerhouses, and the mid-2000’s teams. Each of these teams reminds me of the success so far that has allowed us to be where we are at the halfway point of this season.

What the Steelers need to do

Statistically, we’re not among the top teams in the league when it comes to yards gained and points scored as each game has shown, and the margin of victory of 4 points within the last 3 games has been frightening. However, the zero in the loss column is the bottom line that we can take away from. About every game has shown its ugliness, though a win is a win.

Like the other 31 teams in the league, the Steelers have dealt with the challenges that have come from dealing with the pandemic, such as being socially distant both on and off-the-field, participating in video calls, and screening for daily temperature checks and sanitation requirements. Pittsburgh has been a team of perseverance that overcomes any obstacle and has made us an underappreciated organization throughout the years as a 6-time Super Bowl Champion.

With 8 games to go, there is a great amount of certainty based on the strength-of-schedule that this 2020 Steelers team can run the table, but upcoming games against Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Washington, and Cleveland are trap-like and may play a factor. With the NFL expanding the number of teams in the playoffs, earning the number one seed will be more important than ever before.

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The Steelers have a commanding lead in the AFC North and have a one-game lead over the defending Super Bowl Champions the Kansas City Chiefs. Pittsburgh needs to continue to take care of business on their end to earn a first-round bye.