2013: An (almost) Amazing Season

By Jacob Jensen

As many of us know, being a Pittsburgh Steelers fan involves many emotional roller coasters throughout a given season. The 2013 season is no exception. This season was one of my favorite seasons, even though it ended in heartbreak. I will remember the 2013 season as the year everything (almost) fell right into place.

2013 started off with four straight loses beginning with a 16-9 defeat to the Tennessee Titans, and a 20-10 besting by the Cincinnati Bengals. That was followed by a 40-23 loss to the Chicago Bears, and a 34-27 vanquishing against the Minnesota Vikings (a game that took place in London).

The Steelers would get their first win of the season following a Week 5 bye. They beat the New York Jets 19-6 at MetLife Stadium. They would continue their success the next week with a 19-16 nail bitter over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Steelers would then hit a speed bump the next two weeks, losing 21-18 to the Oakland Raiders and losing 55-31 to the New England Patriots. They would bounce back the next week with a 23-10 victory against the Buffalo Bills.

The next week, the Steelers would take on the Detroit Lions. After going up 14-0 in the 1st quarter, the Steelers allowed 27 points in the 2nd. With the score being 27-20 at half, and their record standing at 3-6, it seemed like the Steelers’ season was on the line. The Steelers would go on to score 17 unanswered 2nd half points and would improve their record to 4-6.

The next game, the Steelers traveled to Cleveland to take on their division rival Cleveland Browns. The Steelers took the first lead with a 47-yard field goal, but the Browns would strike back with their own field goal. Then the Steelers would go on to score 24 more points and win the game 27-11.

The next week, the Steelers would lose a heart breaker to the Ravens on Thanksgiving day, 22-20. Week 14 was another heartbreak for the Steelers. It was a game against the Miami Dolphins that the Steelers desperately needed to win. With the clock running out and the Steelers down 34-28, the Steelers tried one last lateral play. Wide receiver Antonio Brown ended up getting free and running into the end zone for what seemed like the game winning touchdown. But it was reviewed and reversed because Brown stepped out of bounds before crossing the goal line. The Steelers would fall to 5-8 and needed an enormous amount of help, along with a three game win streak, to make the playoffs.

Peter Diana / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
12/15/2013 PITTSBURGH: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks to pass against the Bengals at Heinz Field PIttsburgh PA

The next week, the Steelers played the Bengals on Sunday Night Football. The Ravens, (San Diego) Chargers and Dolphins had all lost, meaning the Steelers were still alive to make the playoffs. The Steelers would jump out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and hold that lead the rest of the night to win 30-20.

Dec 15, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers center Cody Wallace (72) lines up against the Cincinnati Bengals defense during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The next week, the Steelers played the Green Bay Packers in the 4:25 ET time slot. Before the game, the three teams that the Steelers needed to lose had lost, which meant they were still alive. Late in the 4th quarter, the Steelers were up 38-31. The Packers had driven all the way down to the 1-yard line with 3 seconds on the clock. The Packers quarterback Matt Flynn dropped back to pass and over threw his target, meaning the Steelers who started 0-4 were still alive going into week 17.

Along with a win, the Steelers needed the Ravens, Dolphins and Chargers to lose for them to make the playoffs. The Steelers would end up winning their game against the Browns, 20-7. The Dolphins and Ravens would also lose their games, which were also in the 1 o’clock ET time slot. The season all came down to the 4:25 Kansas City Chiefs-Chargers game. The score was tied with seconds left as the Chiefs kicker Ryan Succop came out for the game winning kick. He would miss it. The game wasn’t over, but that’s when reality started to set in for Steelers fans. The Chargers would end up getting the ball in overtime and would make the field goal to win. The dream was over, the Steelers would not make the playoffs.

This season will be one that I will always remember, because the team never gave up. It ended in heartbreak but the ride was still an amazing one. Sometimes, I still wonder if this team could have made a run that year, but sometimes, all you can do is wonder. This season would be a stepping stone to four straight postseason berths.

What’s your most memorable season from the Steelers in recent history? Comment below!


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