Despite bringing home Pittsburgh's 4th Lombardi in 6 years, the 1979 Steelers remain one of the most strangely underrated teams in NFL history. They faced what at the time was the toughest schedule the league had ever seen. This was by design, by the way, courtesy of Pete Roselle, but that's a discussion for another time.
In addition to their grueling schedule, the Steelers faced a slew of key injuries right out of the gate. Their depth was so great, however, that they never missed a beat. In addition to fielding 10 future Hall of Fame players, Pittsburgh's bench was loaded with quality reserves like Dirt Winston, Robin Cole, Jim Smith and Sidney Thornton who likely would've been full-time starters on less talented squads.
Pittsburgh was statistically awesome as well. The '79 Steelers finished #1 in total offense, #2 in total defense and were the #1 scoring team in the league. Although at times they were a turnover factory (a league-worst 52), they were so good in every other area that they overcame their mistakes to finish with the best record in the NFL.
The '79 team is also responsible for what in my opinion is one of the most dominating 4-game regular season stretches in NFL history. After a shocking 9-turnover defeat at the hands of the previously winless Bengals, the Steelers unleash hell (with apologies to Mike Tomlin), shellacking the 5-2 Broncos, 7-1 Cowboys, 6-3 Redskins and finally the Marv Levy Chiefs, by a combined score of 124-20.
Which brings us to the Denver game on Monday Night Football that kicked off the month-long rampage. It's hard not to feel at least a little sympathy for the Broncos in this one. The Steelers, fresh off the aforementioned Bengals loss, are ill-tempered and out for blood, giving the Broncos their worst beat-down since 1968.
From the outset, Pittsburgh is able to do anything and everything they want offensively, piling up 530 yards and outgaining Denver on the ground by a whopping 236 to 53 margin. Franco Harris (17 att, 121 yds, 2 TD) looks absolutely amazing in this game, gliding, cutting back and running people over while Terry Bradshaw (18 of 24, 267 yds, 2 TDs) is devastating and precise. Lynn Swann, back in action despite nursing a hamstring pull, rips Denver for 76 yds and a TD on his 2 early catches.
Denver manages to score early on a fluke 64-yd catch-and-run by Haven Moses thanks to a broken tackle, but the Broncos soon settle in for an evening of offensive futility. While the Orange Crush fails to lay a hand on Bradshaw, Craig Morton is sacked 4 times and pressured into numerous off-target throws (including INTs by Lambert and Shell) as the Steelers win easily and convincingly in front of Howard Cosell, Dandy Don Meredith and Frank Gifford.
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Swann Takes BRUTAL Hit, Doesn't Miss a Beat
Former Raider cheap-shot artist George Atkinson is full of $#!t about many things, most of all when it comes to Lynn Swann's toughness. This clip is from the '78 Flea Flicker game in which Swann takes one of the most brutal shots you will ever see. Had this happened in the modern era, it would've resulted in flags, fines and a likely suspension. But Swann simply bounces up, adjusts his facemask and trots back to the huddle. Not only does Swann not miss a single play, he continues to go fearlessly across the middle for the rest of the afternoon, making 5 of his game-leading 6 catches AFTER the hit, all of them in traffic.
Watch as L.C. Greenwood knocks Staubach out cold in the 4th quarter with an absolutely VICIOUS hit! Jolly Roger is scrambling around, trying to make something happen, and L.C. just UNLOADS on Staubach with a brutal helmet-to-helmet collision. It's not a cheap shot; Roger is under tremendous pressure, trying to scramble out of the grasp of Banaszak and Dunn and spins head first into the oncoming Greenwood, who just blows him up, sending the ball flying one way and Roger's consciousness the other. Staubach is out cold for several minutes on the field and spends the rest of the game on the sidelines, pondering retirement (or maybe just trying to remember his name).
There has never been a draft in the history of the NFL, by any team in any year, that was better than the Steelers' draft of 1974.
Lynn Swann (1), Jack Lambert (2), John Stallworth (4) and Mike Webster (5) (plus undrafted free agent Donnie Shell), were each taken by the Steelers in the '74 draft... and each now resides forever in Canton. A staggering 17 rookies made the team in 1974, and amazingly, the team went on to win the Super Bowl. With the veterans sitting out training camp due to the NFL Players' strike, Chuck Noll was able to pay special attention to his prize crop of rookies. And the rest, as they say, is history.
"Lambert didn't see me coming until the last instant. He tried to square up but couldn't, and I drilled him -- just floored him. The play went for a score, and he got up cussing and yelling with the wildest eyes I've ever seen!" More...
I was a failed Steeler draft choice as a tight end coming out of Nebraska in
1978 (7th round, selected 187th overall), but during my brief stint with the team, I experienced a couple of memorable Jack Lambert moments first hand that I thought your readers would enjoy.
Lambert was as intimidating in camp as he was in games... maybe even more so. Nobody
messed with Jack. NOBODY. His respect was solid within the team. He was his own man and was not
into political correctness in the slightest because I believe his heart was
pure and he was comfortable within himself. At our first team lunch with the
vets in camp, we had to stand up and introduce ourselves -- rookies and star veterans alike -- and tell what school we played for. When it came his turn, Jack stood up on
his chair and shouted like a Marine drill sergeant, "I'm Jack Lambert,
I'm from Grambling and if you don't like it, you can kiss my
skinny white a$$!" He sat back down without even a trace of a smile and the
place just went nuts, howling and laughing. Grambling is, of course, a predominantly "black"
state university in Louisiana...
Watch 70's Steelers Games on MP4 Go ahead, get stuck in the '70s! We've converted our extensive library of over 500 classic Steelers games (as they were originally broadcast by the networks) from VHS to digital. Now you can relive these fantastic gridiron battles right here! Games that are ready to watch will have a green light next to them on the list. If you don't see a green light, the game isn't there yet (but wil be coming soon). More...
Well, that didn't last long. We're working on it. Message Board is Back Online!!! All login issues have been resolved!
>>> You can now post via mobile device! <<<
Fan Message Board Let your voice be heard on our fan message board! Connect with other fans, share your thoughts on the Steelers or weigh in on about just about any other topic you find of interest. More...
Sept. 14, 2020 -- For the first time since 1974, NFL opening weekend came and went and I didn't watch a single game. In fact, I didn't watch a single play. That's because I'm officially done with "current" NFL football.
I haven't read an NFL-related article in months. I punted my DirecTV/NFL Sunday Ticket subscription a couple of months ago. I'm so far gone that until a few days ago, I wasn't 100% sure the season started this weekend.
I've been a passionate Steelers fan since age 7, starting with Super Bowl X. I've attended 38 Steelers games over the last 25 years, all but one in Pittsburgh, despite living up to 5 hours away. I started this website 23 years ago as a tribute to the team I loved. I still watch and enjoy these classic old broadcasts from the days when the NFL was still about football, and I'll continue to add missing classic games as they become available.
But I have no interest in the current NFL. Ridiculous rule changes in recent years combined with over-politicization and social justice lip service (insincere pandering that ultimately helps no one) have made the current product unwatchable. Thankfully, Big Ten football is back.
Nice job, Goodell. You truly suck. That's okay... we don't need "no stinkin' NFL" at our house.
Terry Bradshaw is perhaps best known for his great performances in big games. But Bradshaw was also arguably the best bad weather QB in NFL history. In harsh weather conditions where opposing QB couldn't seem to keep their footing, get a grip on the ball or throw on target, Terry was somehow able to drop dimes 50 yards downfield for touchdowns, throw perfect spirals and perform as if it was 65 and sunny.
Simply put, Bradshaw was a bad@$$. Enjoy this video with clips from several bad weather games from the 1970's (including two AFC Championships) and judge for yourself.
An entertaining look (and listen) from Bill Cowher's second season as head coach. During Pittsburgh's 1993 drubbing of the previously undefeated Saints, ESPN mic'd up Bill Cowher for their semi-regular "Sound Tracks" feature. What ensues is a great window into the psyche of the young coach, giving us a glimpse of the passion, intensity and one-on-one communication style that made Cowher's players love, respect and relate to him so well.
Enjoy the video, and then take a look at Bill Cowher's remarkable 1992 debut season.
Update: Think history can't repeat itself? The original Three Rivers Jinx was 16 games. Cleveland's current losing streak at Hines Field? 17 games. :)
Webster's Dictionary defines the verb "to hex" as "to affect if by an evil spell." In the NFL, hex is defined as "that which happened to the Cleveland Browns whenever they played in Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium." From the facility's opening in 1970 through 1985, the Browns made 16 trips to Pittsburgh... and came home losers 16 times. This great "Distant Replay" clip from 1995 details the Three Rivers Jinx and features interviews with past coaches and players.
Nine of the sixteen original "jinx" games are available to watch on this site. Click below to watch a game:
2004 was a truly SPECIAL season for the Steelers, despite not hoisting a Lombardi at the end. It remains one of my favorite seasons of all time, and other than 1976, the 2004 squad was perhaps the best Steeler team to not win a Super Bowl. It was an incredibly fun year. And central to that fun was the birth of the Ben Roethlisberger era.
Ben elevated the team from the moment he stepped on the field. By his 3rd start, he was taking over games. He very quickly distinguished himself as the best player on offense, and his insertion into the starting lineup almost instantly transformed that team from talented underachiever to heavyweight contender. The young QB wasn't perfect... but he had "Hall of Fame" written all over him right from the start. And the Steelers immediately began winning games with Ben that they would've lost without him.
Throughout his career, it's never been about what Ben has done "statistically." He's never been a particularly coveted fantasy football player, even in the midst of 5000-yard seasons. That's because fantasy football is 100% stats-based, and stats aren't what make Ben great. It's about what he does in BIG moments, clutch plays that "only" Ben Roethlisberger makes, that winning edge that he brought to the team from the moment he stepped on the field. Ben is largely defined by intangibles. But first and foremost, it's about WINNING. And he's been winning since the start.
This video features highlights from every regular season start of Ben Roethlisberger's amazing "Rookie of the Year" season in 2004. It's a long video (16-1/2 minutes), but I've watched it multiple times and it makes me smile every time.
Enjoy the video, and then go take a look at the remarkable 2004 season for a deeper look at one of the great teams in Pittsburgh Steelers history.
Rarely can a Hall of Fame career be summed up in a single play. But needing a win to keep Pittsburgh's playoff hopes alive in blizzard conditions, Jerome Bettis delivers such a play in a collision that symbolizes not only his great 13-year career, but a generation of smashmouth football in Pittsburgh.
The 1976 Steeler Defense
Greatest Defense of All Time
At the start of the 1976 season, four losses in their first five games left the Steelers almost lifeless. When rookie QB Mike Kruczek took over for an injured Terry Bradshaw against he division-leading Cincinnati Bengals, the turning point was at hand.
The Steel Curtain answered the call and what followed was the most amazing defensive streak in modern hstory, the dimensions of which offer statistical delights to even the most casual football historians. After their 1-4 start, the Steelers win 10 straight games. The defense does not allow a touchdown in 22 consecutive quarters nor in 8 of the last 9 regular season games and totally blanks 5 of its last 8 opponents. Five shutouts and only 28 points allowed over 9 games, folks. There has never been anything like it in NFL history.
Donnie Shell Drills Earl Campbell
Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class of 2020
Watch Hall of Famer Donnie Shell's famous hit on Earl Campbell, badly bruising Campbell's ribs and sidelining him for the game as the Steelers go on to win 13-3, clinching the AFC Central crown.
Who are "Mac & Wife"?
Beauty and the Beast, Renee and Tim McMillen :)
The creator/king of this site sitting on his Throne of Lies :)
Beautiful Renee with our grandson
Enjoying life without Goodell's phony, watered-down, virtue-signaling NFL
With our son Eric at Heinz Field 2016 win over the Jets
With our son Craig at Heinz Field 2005 win over 'da Bears
Getting our grandson off to a good start!
The Steelers are 34-4 when I attend the game and the kids are a combined 13-1.
We are not in any way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Steelers or the NFL. Frankly, we're only marginally affiliated with the human race. We are not responsible for lost or stolen articles, personal injury or accidental dismemberment. No gerbils were harmed in the creation of this website... at least, you can't PROVE we harmed any gerbils. Why are you reading this, anyway? What's wrong with you?