- The NFL’s last unbeaten team of 2020 is no more after Washington beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh Monday 23-17
- The Steelers Super Bowl odds slid from +550 to +700 following the setback
- At 11-1 the Steelers remain in the top spot in the AFC with four games left in the 2020 regular season
Champagne corks could be heard in Miami Monday evening, as the NFL’s final unbeaten team of the 2020 season has finally fallen. In Week 13 the Pittsburgh Steelers, leaders in the AFC North lost to The Washington Football Team 23-17.
The loss by Pittsburgh means that the 1972 Miami Dolphins remain the NFL’s only all-time undefeated team, but now the bigger question is – where do the Steelers go from here?
Top 5 Super Bowl Contenders
|Team||Odds to Win Super Bowl LV|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+200|
|New Orleans Saints||+550|
|Green Bay Packers||+850|
|Los Angeles Rams||+1100|
Odds taken Dec 7 at Fanduel
An Unexpected Setback
Monday’s loss to Washington by the Steelers could have been considered unexpected, but remember the team didn’t dominate in their last game, as the team had barely beaten the Baltimore Ravens last Wednesday 19-14 at Heinz Field.
The Ravens will be missing just a few key playmakers vs. the Steelers ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/R46kUq4zVN
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 2, 2020
Monday the Steelers built a 14-0 lead in the second quarter after a 50-yard touchdown pass to James Washington, and it appeared that the Steelers were well on their way to 12-0.
Instead a controversial call at the end of the first half allowed Washington to convert a field goal to make it 14-3 at half, and by midway through the fourth quarter the game was tied at 17.
It was then when the Steelers drove down the field to get into field goal range, but with a backup kicker due to injury, the team went for it on a 4th-and-1, and failed to convert, allowing Washington to get the ball and drive down the field to kick a field goal with just over two minutes left to go up for good 20-17.
THEY HAVE DONE IT! UPSET COMPLETE!
The Football team takes down the undefeated Steelers! pic.twitter.com/USNRZ2fHSs
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 8, 2020
An interception later the undefeated streak was over, and Washington was right back in a tie for first in the NFC East with the New York Giants with a mark of 5-7.
Looking to Hold Off the Chiefs
When you look at the latest Super Bowl odds, the Steelers have fallen from +550 to now +700. They are third in the NFL behind the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints, but for the moment remain as the top seed in the AFC.
With only one team in each conference getting a bye in 2020, getting that first-seed is massive in terms of helping a team’s chances of making the Super Bowl.
Pittsburgh will play at Buffalo on Sunday night, followed by a game at Cincinnati on Monday night, December 21st.
After that it’s a home game against the Indianapolis Colts followed by a road game January 3rd against the Cleveland Browns.
Kansas City, the team the Steelers are looking to hold off in the AFC, will play at Miami and at New Orleans (in what could be a potential Super Bowl preview) before hosting the Atlanta Falcons and Los Angeles Chargers to end the regular season.
First AFC team to clinch a spot ✅ pic.twitter.com/A7WZaBEYc2
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) December 7, 2020
With all four games remaining being against AFC squads, they are almost all “must wins” for the Steelers as they look to keep that number one spot in the conference.
Another slip up and it’s likely the Chiefs will slide into that first spot in the AFC. Pittsburgh’s best bet is to hope the Chiefs lose in either Miami against the 8-4 Dolphins, or against the NFC’s top-seed the 10-2 Saints while they wrap up the season with either one or at most two losses.
The Real Deal or a Mirage?
Many so-called NFL experts have been waiting for the bottom to drop on the Steelers, with many considering them the “worst 11-0 team in NFL history.”
You can argue that fact, but at the end of the day Pittsburgh still has a lot of things that you have to like for a team that could reach the Super Bowl.
Entering Monday they were still averaging over 28 points a game on offense, and were ranked third overall in yards allowed a game on defense.
They were ranked first in the league in sacks, along with first in takeaways entering the game against Washington.
Pittsburgh may not look like the world beaters the 2007 New England Patriots were, but they did beat an undefeated Tennessee Titans team on the road, crushed the Cleveland Browns by 31 at home, defeated the Baltimore Ravens twice, beat rookie phenom quarterback Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals by 26, and brought down the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road by 24.
Maybe the Steelers are not piling up the style points that makes them the consensus pick among many sports bettors, but there is value in placing coin on this hard-nosed team that has all the makings of a very tough out in the upcoming NFL postseason.