Since their founding in 1933 and up until this day, the Pittsburgh Steelers have managed to generate long-standing rivalries with many other NFL professional teams. Of course, this statement is valid for the period following the AFL and NFL merger in 1970, as the pre-merger years do not seem to have been successful for the Steelers. Their primary rivals can be found within the same division as the Pittsburgh Steelers: the Baltimore Ravens, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Cleveland Browns. Two others, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Oakland Raiders are actually historical rivals and not divisional.
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Pittsburgh Steelers vs Dallas Cowboys
The rivalry between the Cowboys V Steelers Game actually began before the 1970 merger. The first game the Cowboys ever played in the NFL was in 1960 against the Steelers. The tension between the teams was already on the rise as the latter had voted against the introduction of the former in the NFL eight years earlier. The Cowboys lost their first match by a score of 28-35 at the Cotton Bowl. For the rest of the decade, however, the Cowboys managed to ascend to glory while the Steelers became regarded as one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Things changed after the AFL-NFL merger when the Steelers started improving. The teams met each other for the first time in a Super Bowl in 1979. Although in previous games of the decade the Steelers and the Cowboys did not show any advantage over one another, at Super Bowl XIII the Steelers were victorious with a score of 35-31. Between 1980 and 1990, the rivalry cooled down. It resumed in 1990, however, with the Cowboys having the upper hand this time. At Super Bowl XXX, the Dallas Cowboys were the ones to win with a score of 27-17, proving that they would not back down from this rivalry.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Baltimore Ravens Game
One of the most intense rivalries in the NFL is the one between the Steelers and the Ravens Game. Both members of the American Football Conference, they have managed to dominate the AFC North division since 2002. They are also the first ones to hand each other the first loss on the home field. The Steelers won against the Ravens for the first time in 1998 with a score of 20-13 on the latter’s home turf while, three years later, the Ravens got revenge winning at the Heinz Field with a score of 13-10. The rivalry continues to this day, with one of the most important moments being the three consecutive Steeler victories against the Ravens in 2008 when the former managed to win the AFC Championship.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals Game
The Steelers and Bengals became rivals in 1970. Ever since then, they have played against each other at least twice a year. Although the Steelers have mostly dominated this rivalry over the years, the Bengals have made a comeback in recent years. In 2005, the Steelers managed to snatch a victory against the Bengals with a score of 31-17 in the playoffs, which Cincinnati Bengal fans argue to have been due to Carson Palmer’s injury sustained during the game. This left the fans and the players bitter about the incident.
In 2009, however, the Bengals managed to win the AFC North Division Championship against the Steelers who would take their revenge one year later. The Steelers won five consecutive games between 2010 and 2012 against the Bengals who managed to end the streak in December of that year.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Oakland Raiders Game
One of the most bitter rivalries in professional football is the one between the Steelers vs Raiders. It is thought to have started in 1972 when the Steelers won in the playoffs against the Raiders, yet there are some who think that it actually started in 1970 when the Raiders won with a score of 31-14 on their home turf.
The rivalry has seen many interesting moments throughout the years, yet perhaps the most important of them were the 1974 and 1975 Steeler victories against Oakland in the AFC Championships. Because of these victories, the Steelers were able to advance to the Super Bowl in both years and win.
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns Football
Because they are members of the same division and because of the proximity of their home cities, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns have the oldest rivalries in the history of the NFL. Their rivalry actually began long before the 1970 AFL-NFL merger and continues until this day.
While pre-merger, the Browns dominated completely the Steelers, the tables turned after 1970 when the Browns managed to get a small lead in the 1980’s of 12 to 8 wins. The Steelers had 15-5 wins in the 1970’s compared to the Browns, a 10-5 lead in the 1990’s, a 18-3 lead in the 2000’s and a 12-2 lead in the 2010’s, proving that the Steelers have had the upper hand in the post-merger period.