The 2012Pittsburgh Steelersseason was the team's 80th season as a member of the National Football League (NFL). It was the 13th season under the leadership of general manager Kevin Colbert and the 6th under head coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers failed to improve on their 12–4 record from 2011 and did not reach the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Steelers finished the season with a record of 8–8, their first non-winning season since 2006. The 2012 Steelers set a new record for the most games decided on the last play, with 6.
The Steelers returned home to take on the Redskins. Scoring began early in the game as the Steelers would score on Roethlisberger's 1-yard pass to Leonard Pope to take a 7-0 lead. Shaun Suisham then kicked a 48-yard field goal to make it 10-0. In the 2nd quarter, the Redskins got on the board as RG3 found Santana Moss for a 2-Yard TD Pass (with a blocked PAT) and the score was left at 10-6. The Steelers didn't hesitate however as they pushed ahead by double-digits as Ben Roethlisberger connected with Heath Miller for a 7-yard pass to make the score 17-6. Suisham increased their lead with a 27-yard field goal as the team lead 20-6 at halftime. Coming into the 3rd quarter, the Redskins scored first with a 48-yard field goal from Kai Forbath to make the score 20-9. However, the Steelers responded with Roethlisberger connecting with Will Johnson for a 1-Yard TD pass to make the score 27-9. In the fourth quarter, the Redskins tried to rally a comeback as Forbath kicked a 45-yard field goal to make the score 27-12. They would then be kept from scoring anymore points for the remainder of the game by the Steelers' defense.
With the win, the Steelers improved to over .500 and outright second place in the AFC North at 4-3 and also 3-0 during home games.
Due to Hurricane Sandy's aftermath, the Steelers flew to New Jersey on game day because the team was unable to find a hotel in New York. After a scoreless first quarter punt fest, the Steelers drew first blood with Ben Roethlisberger's 4-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders for a 7-0 lead. The Giants however responded to tie the game with RB Andre Brown's 1-Yard Run to make it 7-7. After recovering a fumble, the Giants would take the lead as Michael Boley returned it 70 yards for a TD to move ahead 14-7. The Steelers would shorten the lead to 4 with Shaun Suisham's 30-yard field goal to make the score 14-10 at halftime. After the break, the Giants would increase their lead from 7 to 10 points with 2 Lawrence Tynes field goals from 50 and 23 yards out making the score at first 17-10 then 20-10. However, the Steelers responded in the 4th quarter with Roethlisberger finding Mike Wallace for a 51-yard catch and run pass to shorten the Giants' lead to 3 making it 20-17. After pressuring Eli and the Giants' offense, the Steelers then drove down the field and took the lead with Redman's 2-Yard Run to make it 24-20. Getting the ball back after the Giants' last 3 and out, Roethlisberger took a knee to end the game as the team improved to 5-3, snapping the Giants' 4-game winning streak. Also, the Steelers would improve to 2-3 in road games and 3-0 against the NFC East.
After a tough road win over the Giants, the Steelers returned home for a game against the Chiefs. With the win, the Steelers improved to 6-3 and also 4-0 in home games and 1-2 against the AFC West. However, Roethlisberger (9/18, 84 yards, 1TD) would be knocked out of the game in the 3rd quarter with a shoulder injury and is reported to be out for next week's home game against the AFC North-leading Ravens.
By losing their first game to the Cleveland Browns in three years, the Steelers fall to 6-5 on the season, 1-2 against division rivals, 2-4 on the road, and 11-3 at Cleveland Browns Stadium. This is only the third time Pittsburgh has lost a game in Ohio ever since their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, an Ohio native who was sitting out of the game due to injury, was drafted by them in 2004. Also, Mike Tomlin's record against the Browns all-time would drop to 9-2. The Browns would eventually become the only division rival whom the Steelers would lose to on the road during the season, after winning in Cincinnati on Sunday Night Football and before winning in Baltimore the next week; the 2000 season was the last time these three events occurred together.
Coming off an 8 turnover performance against the Browns, the Steelers looked to avoid a three game losing streak. Pittsburgh 3rd-string quarterback, Charlie Batch led the Steelers a 3-0 lead for the first quarter and then after 13 unanswered points by the Ravens, the Steelers outscored the Ravens 20-7 through the rest of the game, giving them a 23-20 victory over the Ravens. This was the Steelers' first win against the Ravens since the 2010-2011 season.
With the loss the Steelers dropped to 7-6 overall, 4-2 in home games, 1-3 against the AFC West, and 14-1 all-time at home against the San Diego Chargers despite Big Ben returning to the field from injury. They became the only AFC North team to lose to the Chargers, win less than three games against all four AFC West teams, and not win any of those matchups in regulation.
With losses by the Ravens and Bengals on the same day, the AFC North title remains in sight for Pittsburgh, who will travel to Dallas next week to take on the Cowboys, a team they have faced three times out of their eight appearances in the Super Bowl. Both teams share the NFL-record number of Super Bowl appearances for a franchise, tied at eight, and remain the only two teams to face each other more than twice in Super Bowl matchups.
Ben Roethlisberger threw an interception during their second play of overtime, handing the win to Dallas. With the overtime loss, the Steelers enabled the arch-rival Ravens (9-5) to secure their fifth consecutive playoff berth by dropping to 7-7 on the season, thus moving them down to third place in the AFC North with their playoff hopes in jeopardy. Pittsburgh also finished their regular season at 3-5 in road games after dropping to 0-2 at Cowboys Stadium (the other loss there was to the Packers in Super Bowl XLV).
The Steelers hope to rebound at home against the second-place Bengals (8-6) next week in what is a must-win game for both AFC North rivals, as only one of them will be able to join Baltimore in the playoffs, unless the Indianapolis Colts lose their final two games or the Miami Dolphins lose at least one of their final two games. It will be the fourth straight week in which the Steelers will be featured on NFL on CBS's marquee game.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, for the second week in a row, would throw a costly interception with a chance to win the game. With the loss, the Steelers not only fell to 7-8, but have also been eliminated from the playoff race for the first time since 2009 and faced their first non-winning season since 2006. It is also worth noting that the Steelers have missed the playoffs whenever they lost at least one game to Cincinnati during a given season from 2006 to 2012.
Pittsburgh hopes to avoid getting swept by the Browns for the first time since 1988 during their home finale in Week 17, and facing their first losing season since 2003, which was also the last time the Browns have won a game in Pittsburgh. By virtue of the Browns' loss later that afternoon in Denver, the Steelers are assured of third place in the AFC North for the season.
After losing to the Bengals, the Steelers stayed home for a regular season finale against the 5-10 Browns. After a scoreless first quarter, the Steelers would draw first blood moving ahead 3-0 off of a Shaun Suisham 41-yard field goal. However, the Browns managed to tie it up with Phil Dawson's 51-yard field goal at 3-3. The Steelers pulled away not long before halftime with Roethlisberger's 1-yard touchdown pass to Leonard Pope to take a 10-3 lead at halftime. After the break, Browns 3rd string QB Thaddeus Lewis to WR Greg Little to tie the game 10-10. However, the Steelers responded with Roethlisberger's 9-yard touchdown pass to WR Antonio Brown to move ahead 17-10. In the fourth quarter, the Steelers would increase their lead with Roethlisberger's 12-yard touchdown pass to WR Plaxico Burress to make it 24-10. The defense shut down the Browns' offense and therefore the team saved their season and finished 8-8.
During the game, the Steelers' defense forced 4 turnovers (1 interception, 3 lost fumbles) in retaliation for their 8 turnovers during their 20-14 loss at Cleveland when the Browns' defense got 3 interceptions and 5 lost fumbles. This brings the Steelers' yearly total of turnovers against the Browns to 5 in both games (2 interceptions, 3 lost fumbles). Heinz Field's turnout of 51,831 fans was the smallest for a Steelers game since their current stadium's opening in 2001.