On a day when the Packers became the NFL's winningest franchise, the Steelers also carved out their own unique niche in pro football history. By virtue of over the Falcons, Pittsburgh became the first team since the AFL-NFL merger to win 500 regular season games.
Since 1970, the Steelers have posted a regular season record of 500-317-4. The only other team that has won at least 475 games since the merger are the Cowboys, who picked up their 480th win after defeating the Colts on Sunday night (h/t Steelers communication manager Michael Bertsch).
Along with having the most regular season wins, the Steelers are tied with the Patriots for the most playoffs wins over that span. Both franchises have won 36 playoff games. Pittsburgh and New England are also tied with six Super Bowl wins.
Unrivaled continuity is among the main reasons for the Steelers' sustained success. In their 90th year of existence, the Steelers continued to be owned and operated by the Rooney family. Currently running the show is team president Art Rooney II, the son of late former team president and Hall of Fame member Dan Rooney and the grandson of fellow Hall of Famer and team founder Art Rooney.
Along with stable ownership, the Steelers have stable coaching. Pittsburgh has had just three head coaches since hiring Chuck Noll in 1969. Noll put together a Hall of Fame career in Pittsburgh that included four Super Bowl wins in 23 seasons. His successor, Bill Cowher, is also in the Hall of Fame after winning the franchise's fifth Super Bowl in 2005. Mike Tomlin, who is in the midst of his 16th season in Pittsburgh, led the Steelers to the franchise's most recent Super Bowl win at the end of the 2008 season. Tomlin further made history last season by becoming the NFL's first coach to start his career with 15 consecutive non-losing seasons.
Impeccable drafting is yet another reason for the Steelers' success over the last 50-plus years. Pittsburgh has drafted 13 Hall of Fame players since 1969. They also signed future Hall of Fame safety Donnie Shell as an undrafted free agent in 1974. That was the same year that saw the Steelers draft a record four future Hall of Fame players.
The Steelers 500th win moved the current team to 5-7 following a 2-6 start to the season. Pittsburgh continues to receive encouraging play from rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett, who threw a touchdown pass in Sunday's win over the Falcons while increasing his streak of not throwing an interception to four games.