Home is where the wins are

It wasn't all Celebrity Terrible Towel Twirls, Super Bowl championship anniversaries and the anticipated response at just the right moment to another rousing rendition of "Renegade."

The Steelers also endured some painful moments at Heinz Field in 2019.

It's where they lost a game to the Ravens in overtime following a fumble by wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

It's where they lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season when he couldn't answer the bell for the second half of the home opener against the Seahawks.

But they still managed to win more than they lost at home.

It's what they do.

It's what they've almost always done at Heinz Field since they opened the facility in 2001.

This season's 5-3 showing at home marked the 19th time in 19 tries the Steelers have avoided a losing record at Heinz.

The closest they came was a 4-4 effort on the way to a 6-10 finish in 2003.

Their consistency at home for almost two decades ranks among the best in their conference.

-The Steelers' 79 regular-season wins at home against AFC teams are the third-most by an AFC team since 2001, trailing only the Patriots (97) and Ravens (82).

-The Steelers' .693 regular-season winning percentage against AFC teams at home (79-35, .693) since 2001 is also third in the conference behind New England (97-17, 858) and Baltimore (82-32, .719).

-The Steelers' 30 regular-season wins against NFC teams at home are tied for the most among AFC teams since 2001 (the Patriots and Ravens also have 30).

-And the Steelers' are first among AFC teams in regular-season winning percentage against NFC teams at home since 2001 (30-7-1, .803), just ahead of New England and Baltimore (both are 30-8, 789).

Going back even further, the Steelers lead the NFL in home wins (278) and home winning percentage (278-109-1, .718) since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

This season's five home triumphs provided a myriad of highlights, even without Roethlisberger.

Among them:

Sept. 30 - Steelers 27, Bengals 3: The defense held Cincinnati to three points, 11 first downs and 130 total net yards on 44 offensive plays through three quarters. The Bengals finished with 175 yards generated on 64 offensive snaps (2.7 yards per). Cincinnati's only points resulted from a possession that began at the Steelers' 15-yard line following a reception and fumble by wide receiver Diontae Johnson.

Oct. 28 - Steelers 27, Dolphins 14: The Steelers stormed back from a 14-0, second-quarter deficit. A 42-yard field goal by Chris Boswell got the Steelers on the scoreboard with 2:45 left in the second quarter and a 45-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mason Rudolph to Johnson drew them to within 14-10 with 17 seconds left before halftime. A 26-yard touchdown pass from Rudolph to Smith-Schuster put the Steelers ahead for good with 3:16 left in the third quarter.

Nov. 3 - Steelers 26, Colts 24: Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick returned an interception 96-yards for a touchdown that tied the game at 10-10 late in the second quarter and Chris Boswell hit a 26-yard field goal with 6:36 left in the fourth quarter that put the Steelers ahead to stay. The game-winning kick was Boswell's fourth field goal in four tries on the afternoon and improved him to 17-for-18 on field goals for the season.

Nov. 10 - Steelers 17, Rams 12: Another touchdown from Fitzpatrick, this one a 43-yard fumble return, was one of four takeaways registered by the Steelers' defense. Fitzpatrick also had an interception, his sixth takeaway in seven games with the Steelers.

Dec. 1 - Steelers 20, Browns 13: The Steelers avenged a 21-7 loss on Nov. 14 in Cleveland. Quarterback Devlin Hodges completed 14 of 21 passes for 212 yards with one interception and one touchdown, a 30-yard connection to wide receiver James Washington that brought the Steelers all the way back from a 10-0 deficit.