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Remembering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Their 1-10 Stretch From 1999-2000

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2000: 0-3 Start with Promise on the Horizon

On opening day of the 2000 campaign, Pittsburgh’s offense looked hapless against the Baltimore Ravens and their storied defense which carried the team to a Super Bowl title later that year. The Steelers were shut out 16-0, gained only 30 rushing yards, and Graham went 17 for 38 for 199 passing yards.

Losing to a much-improved team like Baltimore was expected, what was not expected however was the “end of game abortion” which took place the following weekend in Cleveland.

Armed with a 20-17 lead at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh’s defense squandered the lead after they allowed two field goals. Luckily for them, they got the ball back with 2:45 to play and were only down 23-20.  To his credit, Graham led his team 61 yards down the field to the Cleveland eight yard line with two minutes still left to play.

Of course, that was the moment when piss-poor clock management and ridiculous decision-making set in for Pittsburgh. The offense dawdled, ran only three plays during that span, and Cleveland won after Graham was sacked by Courtney Brown on third down with 14 seconds left! Instead of throwing the ball away for the chance at a game-tying field goal, Graham took the sack and Pittsburgh lost 23-20 after they ran out of time.

After that horrendous loss to the Browns, the 0-2 Steelers headed home to play the defending AFC Champion Tennessee Titans the following weekend. At that time, Tennessee had absolutely owned Pittsburgh, and the Titans/Oilers had won their last five games against the Steelers.

Even though Tennessee had to start Neil O’Donnell in place of Steve McNair that weekend, it certainly seemed like Pittsburgh would be throttled and fall to 0-3. Negativity aside, Pittsburgh’s young team “nutted up” that day and gave the AFC’s eventual #1 seed in the postseason that year all that they could handle.

Down 13-6 late in the third quarter, the Steelers’ offense came roaring back to tie the game at 13-13, and eventually took a 20-16 lead with 9:25 remaining. Everything appeared to be going Pittsburgh’s way, especially after Jason Gildon knocked O’Donnell out of the game with just over two minutes left. Sadly, Steve McNair came off of the bench, rallied the Titans, and drove 64 yards in four plays to give Tennessee a 23-20 lead with just over one minute left.

Like O’Donnell, Graham was also knocked out of the game on his team’s final offensive drive. Unfortunately for the Steelers Kordell Stewart could only get his team far enough for Kris Brown to attempt a 50 yard field goal with 25 seconds to go. Brown missed the kick, like he did so many times at home during his career in Pittsburgh, and the Steelers dropped to 0-3 on the season.

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  • Carl Eagan

    I really think Colbert is over-rated. My reasoning is that when Donahoe was fire Cowher was given control over player personnel and he drafted his own players and it was Colbert’s job to figure out how to sign them. Who have the team of Colbert and Tomlin drafted maybe Woodley and he does have 3 sacks this year but invisible the rest of the games. Timmon’s ? They trust a rookie over him to make the defensive play calls must be a reason. How about Gilbert and Adams? Nope they aren’t better than a 6th round pick who was an afterthough meant to be a camp body. Wallace? He was ok if Ben hit him in the hands. Lewis one year wonder so far. Of course this years draft class and DeCastro may turn out to be really good time will tell. Point is Colbert has had many more misses than hits.

    • Stanley Turner

      I agree, Colbert’s draft picks have been horrible. Time for a change!!

      • Dom DiTolla

        While Colbert has been missing more than hitting in recent years, the point of this post was to illustrate how instrumental he was in this franchise’s resurgence.

        How much longer he lasts, i have no idea. But kudos needs to go to him for what he has done. Plus, did a terrific job as Detroit’s head scout when they had some solid years in the 1990′s.

        • Stanley Turner

          Dom you are right, just frustrated over my beloved Steelers. I grateful for all he has done for the Steelers. However it is time for a new set of eyes when it comes to drafting personal

          • Dom DiTolla

            Hey man, I completely understand, everybody’s salty at what’s transpired in Pittsburgh lately.

            Drafts in recent years have been pretty lean, but that sometimes happens to teams when they’re picking in the bottom of every round. Plus, younger players sometimes can’t develop as quickly or efficiently if they’re stuck on the bench for three years either.

            I’m sure Colbert is professional enough to leave on his own terms when the time comes. I just hope that they can replace him when the time eventually comes with somebody just as terrific.

    • Nine

      I wouldn’t consider Wallace to be a miss. How about Antonio Brown? Definitely not a miss. Jarvis Jones? Wheaton? LeVeon? I think this last class was stellar. Markice Pouncey? If you think he’s a miss, the entire NFL disagrees with you because he’s a pro bowler every year.

      You keep twisting the facts to make your point. Sad.

  • Ramesh

    thanks for that. Steeler fans for the most part are in it for the long haul, we always talk about our six rings but sometimes we need a reminder that it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses

  • Carl Eagan

    nine if you believe Wallace to be a hit you really didn’t pay much attention the ladt 2 years. As for Pouncey he is very over rated and was graded less than averahe by pro football focus.