Hilton: 'Are you serious?'

Sean Davis glanced up from the seat in his locker, a surprised looked on his face, and thought for a second he didn't hear what I said correctly. 

"We do?" asked Davis.

Yes. You do. 

"For real?" he followed up with.

Yes, for real.

Davis, along with many of his teammates, was completely unaware of a stat that is becoming increasingly more impressive as time passes.

The Steelers record on the road over the last 16 games is 14-1-1.

For real.

"Are you serious?" asked Mike Hilton.

Yes, Mike, I am serious.

"I had no idea," Hilton continued. "That is a good sign, going to different hostile environments and coming out with a lot of big wins. That's big for the team's demeanor and chemistry. We know we are going into a hostile environment on Sunday and we know it's going to be a good one so we have to be prepared."

The record dates back to Nov. 20, 2016, when the Steelers defeated the Browns, 24-9, in Cleveland. The only loss came in 2017 to the Chicago Bears, and the tie was in the season opener this year against the Browns.

"There is no magical pill," said Maurkice Pouncey. "Every week you have to prepare the same. I wish there was some mystical thing that we got in the huddle, make this chant thing. But it's the preparation throughout the week the coaches and players put in are the key."

And it's a mentality. One that the players take with them every time they hit the road, one instilled in them by Coach Mike Tomlin.

"I just think Coach T does a good job of game prepping us for the week," said Davis. "He always tells us location can't be a determining factor. That we just have to take care of ball no matter the location. When we step across the white line, we are there for one thing and one thing only, to get a 'dub.' Apparently we have been doing a pretty good job on the road. That is a nice stat."

The challenge this week is the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. The Jaguars defeated the Steelers twice last season at Heinz Field, once in the regular season and the second time in the playoffs. This time, they are looking for another outcome, and to improve that record.

"You have to stay focused," said Hilton. "You can't let little things kill you. Some things might not go your way, but you have to bounce back and come out on top. Number one you have to communicate and make sure everybody knows the calls and is on the same page. That and make sure everyone stays on the same page and knows their assignment.

"We aren't just going against the team. We are going against the team, the fans, and the whole environment. When you go into a hostile environment you have to be prepared for the worst and expect the best. You have to be locked in."

Davis smiled one last time.

"14-1-1?" he asked.

Yes, that's a fact.

"When we are on the road, we know if we have each other that is all we need," he said. "We are fine with that."

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