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There's history on the line when the 5-8 Steelers travel to visit the 5-8 Panthers on Sunday. A loss would clinch the Steelers' first losing season under Mike Tomlin, who took over in 2007.

Tomlin's streak is one of the most celebrated runs in the NFL. His 15 straight seasons without a losing record is the longest streak by a head coach to begin a career in league history. He broke Marty Schottenheimer's 14-season run (1984-97 with Browns and Chiefs) last season.

Tomlin downplayed the accomplishment when asked about it last year.

"Our agenda, this year, is to get into a single-elimination tournament and then pit our skills against others in that single-elimination tournament in an effort to win the world championship. That's our mentality every year."

There's been some close calls as Pittsburgh has finished 8-8 three times under Tomlin, and notably won its last three games after a 5-8 start in 2013.

The last time Pittsburgh finished with a losing record was in 2003. Meaning with another loss, the Steelers last two losing seasons would be their last two seasons played without Ben Roethlisberger, who was drafted in 2004. They were led by head coach Bill Cowher and quarterback Tommy Maddox in 2003, the last year they failed to finish .500 or better.

As a franchise, the 18 straight seasons without a losing record is the third longest run by any team in NFL history behind the 1965-85 Cowboys (21 straight) and 2001-19 Patriots (19 straight).

The Steelers are also looking to keep another impressive streak alive this season. They are currently tied with the Browns for the worst record in the AFC North. They haven't finished in last place in their division since 1988, the longest active streak in the league, ahead of the Patriots (2000). In 1988, the Steelers were in the AFC Central division with the Bengals, Browns and Houston Oilers. 

If Tomlin and the Steelers are going to keep these streaks alive, they'll need to get hot over their final four games against the Panthers, Raiders, Ravens and Browns.

The more pressing matter at hand for Pittsburgh, though, might be staying in the playoff hunt. The Steelers can be officially eliminated from postseason contention on Sunday. The simplest way that happens is by losing to the Panthers along with either a win by the Patriots or wins by both the Jets and Chargers.