1974 AFC Championship Steelers 24 at Raiders 13
December 29, 1974
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1974 AFC Championship Steelers 24 at Raiders 13

The Steel Curtain bankrupts the hated Raiders in perhaps the most pivotal game in team history, limiting Oakland's #1-ranked offense to a paltry 29 yards rushing in 21 attempts (a puny 1.4 yd avg) and forcing Ken Stabler into 3 crippling INTs, despite a career game by Cliff Branch (9 catches, 186 yds).

The Steelers physically dominate the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball from the outset, but in spite of driving inside the Raider 10 multiple times, Pittsburgh has only 3 points to show for it after 3 quarters due to poor kicking, poor officiating (a beautiful one-handed TD catch by John Stallworth is incorrectly ruled out of bounds) and mental errors.

Undaunted, the Steelers continue to gouge the Raiders repeatedly with perfectly executed trap plays. Franco Harris finally punches it into the end zone on the first play of the 4th quarter, tying the game at 10 apiece as the Steelers begin a 21-point scoring explosion in the final period. Pittsburgh continues to pile it on courtesy of a brilliant Jack Ham INT (his 2nd of the day) which he returns to the Raider 9-yard line, setting up Terry Bradshaw's go-ahead 6-yard TD dart to Lynn Swann.

Franco Harris (29 carries, 111 yds, 2 TD) and Rocky Bleier (18 carries, 98 yds) benefit all afternoon from superb play by the Steeler O-line, punishing the Raiders for 224 yards on the ground. Again capitalizing on a Stabler INT (this time by J.T. Thomas), the Steelers finally seal their trip to the Super Bowl on Franco's 21-yd TD scamper in the final minute of the game.

Missing a few minutes of footage just before the half; includes lots of old commercials.


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