Three NFL teams entered the weekend with undefeated records, and two of them didn’t make it past Sunday while the other survived.
Through seven weeks of professional football, only the Pittsburgh Steelers still have an unblemished record. It wasn’t without high drama Sunday afternoon and later into the night.
The Steelers took their unbeaten record into Nashville, where they played the previously unbeaten Tennessee Titans. The Steelers took a big lead and, just like many big-time NFL games, let their lead slip. Tennessee missed a field goal with 19 seconds remaining that would have tied the game.
Tennessee lost their first game of the season.
Later in the evening, the undefeated Seattle Seahawks lost at the Arizona Cardinals in overtime. The Seahawks had a chance to win it in both regulation and overtime, but lost both chances on the road.
This makes the Steelers the lone undefeated team in the NFL. For now. Look at most power rankings, and the Steelers aren’t even leading their own division—the AFC North. That would be the Baltimore Ravens, who won the North last year, as well as the AFC’s top record.
Up next? The Steelers travel this Sunday to play the Ravens, who just had a week off, and also have reigning MVP Lamar Jackson at quarterback.
But why are the Steelers doing so well this year? First of all, the schedule has been kind. And it will be kind in spurts—because the NFC cross-division is the East, which is atrocious. The Steelers still have the Cowboys and the Washington Football Team. They twice get the Bengals, play the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road and get the Indianapolis Colts in Pittsburgh—on Dec. 27, perhaps in some frigid weather.
The Steelers have done it with both offense and defense. During Sunday’s 27-24 win over the Titans, the Steelers (6-0) have now scored 25 points or more during each of the team’s first six games for just the first time in franchise history.
The Steelers made Tennessee running back Derrick Henry look almost human on Sunday, holding the Titans’ rushing game to just 41 yards in the first half. Also on Sunday, the Steelers recorded a sack in its 63rd-consecutive game. That’s a streak that’s, well, Steelers-worthy. Oh, it’s a Steelers record as well.
The team faces its biggest challenge of the season this Sunday when it travels to face the Ravens (5-1). After that, here is the schedule for Pittsburgh through November:
At Dallas (2-5)
Vs Cincinnati (1-5-1)
At Jacksonville (1-6)
Vs Baltimore (5-1)
After that, it’s a home game against Washington (2-5) before a crucial Sunday night road game at Buffalo (Dec. 13).
The road to the Super Bowl could run through Pittsburgh if things go right for the Steelers. But who could await on the other end? The teams with the best records in the NFC (all at 5-1) are the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and the Seahawks. Then there are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who are at 5-2.
This season’s Super Bowl will be in Tampa.