Steelers are getting the "Dickens" beat out of them due to "A Tale of Two Tomlins"

Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts
Pittsburgh Steelers v Indianapolis Colts / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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2020: Poor finish spoils Steelers' perfect 11-0 start in COVID season

This was the best season for Tomlin and the Steelers over the last six years, with Roethlisberger returning from injury to guide Pittsburgh to a perfect 11-0 start in a season remembered for quirky scheduling and mostly playing in front of no fans due to the COVID pandemic.

Pittsburgh was 10-0 after a 27-3 win at Jacksonville on Nov. 22 but had its next game against rival Baltimore delayed due to a COVID outbreak with the Ravens. When the two teams were finally able to play on Dec. 2 in a rare Wednesday afternoon game, the Steelers improved to 11-0 with a 19-14 victory.

But playing on just five days rest the following week proved to be too much for the Steelers, as visiting Washington (5-6) scored 13 consecutive fourth-quarter points to rally for a 23-17 victory on Dec. 7.

The loss snapped Pittsburgh's season-opening 11-game winning streak and essentially started a season-ending tailspin. The Steelers again dropped three straight and four of their last five games, only managing to hold onto the AFC North crown thanks to a three-touchdown rally over the final 18-plus minutes in a 28-24 home win over Indianapolis (9-5).

A 27-17 loss at Cincinnati (2-10-1) was most embarrassing, as the Bengals led 17-0 at the half despite playing with backup quarterback Ryan Finley. The Steelers also lost the season-finale at Cleveland (10-5), 24-22, but sat some starters -- including Roethlisberger -- since the number one seed in the AFC playoffs was off the table.

Pittsburgh (12-4) hosted the Browns in a rematch the next week in the first round of the playoffs. Cleveland exploded for 28 first-quarter points and eventually led, 35-7, late in the first half. Roethlisberger, who threw for 501 yards and four touchdowns, tried to rally the home team, but couldn't catch up in the 48-37 loss to the Browns.