10 greatest single-season performances in Pittsburgh Steelers history

Pittsburgh Steelers, Rod Woodson
Pittsburgh Steelers, Rod Woodson / Focus On Sport/GettyImages
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When you have the winningest franchise in NFL history, you are going to have some historic performances. The Pittsburgh Steelers have six Super Bowl wins and the best record since the NFL merger. Their Steel Curtain defense is loaded with Hall of Fame players and some of the best to ever play the game.

To no surprise, the Steelers have also had some of the best single-season performances fans have ever witnessed in the NFL. As you can imagine, narrowing down the top 10 greatest seasons wasn't easy, and there will be a range of opinions.

Because there have been so many All-Pro players and performances over the years, I don't have a single name repeating on this list, and it's important to remember that this isn't a ranking of the best players in the history of the franchise. With all of that said, here are the ten best single-season performances in Pittsburgh Steelers history.

*All stats and Approximate Value courtesy of Pro Football Reference

10. James Farrior, 2004

You might be surprised to see James Farrior on this list. The former long-time Steelers linebacker was a very solid player, but only earned a grand total of two Pro Bowl appearances in his 15-year NFL career as an inside linebacker.

After five seasons with the New York Jets and two with the Steelers, the former 8th overall pick had the best season of his professional career at the age of 29 in 2004. In this season, Farrior played like a man possessed -- earning 95 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 3 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 12 passes defended, and 4 interceptions for 113 return yards and a touchdown.

Farrior went from never even making a Pro Bowl to being second in the NFL in Defensive Player of the Year voting. This outstanding performance helped catapult a pedestrian Steelers defense that was 15th in the NFL in points allowed in 2023 into one that would soon go on to win two more Super Bowls.

Though he racked up a whopping 1,440 tackles over his professional career that lasted until age 36, James Farrior didn't have enough personal accolades for Hall of Fame consideration, but his 2004 season was phenomenal. His 19 Approximate Value score (which is an attempt from Pro Football Reference to attack a value number to each player-season since 1960) was the 4th-highest ever by a Steelers player.