1978 Steelers 15 vs Browns 9 Overtime
September 24, 1978
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1978 Steelers 15 vs Browns 9 OT

UPGRADE! The famous "flea-flicker" overtime game! Pittsburgh wins this hard-hitting defensive battle on a play dubbed "High School Right" (officially named "fake 84 reverse-gadget pass").

On the play, Bradshaw hands off to Bleier, who hands off to Swann, who pitches the ball back to Bradshaw, who throws a bomb to a wide-open Bennie Cunningham for the game-winning TD. While this play is a highlight reel favorite and one of the most famous plays in Steeler history, there are plenty of other memorable moments in this classic.

Jack Lambert is ferocious, capping an afternoon of excellence by making the biggest defensive play of the game when he DESTROYS Mike Pruitt for a loss in the final seconds of regulation, knocking Cleveland out of FG range. L.C. Greenwood, Donnie Shell and Dwight White also shine on a day in which Pittsburgh's defense, emulating Lambert's "kill 'em all" attitude, is flagged for 4 personal fouls.

Offensively, Swann is the man, snagging 6 catches in a game where the rest of the offense does little. At 39:45, Swannie receives one of the most vicious shots (click here to watch it) you will ever see in this game. Had this happened in the modern era, it would've resulted in flags, fines and a suspension.

While breaking toward the sideline, Swann reaches out to snare a pass when suddenly --- BAM!!! Ron Bolton leaves his feet and CREAMS Swann with a shoulder to the head at full speed. Swann's entire body snaps backward, his feet fly up in the air and he hits the ground with a sickening thud. NBC announcer Dick Enberg gasps in horror and the crowd let's out a collective "Ooohhh!" but Swannie simply adjusts his face mask, bounces up & returns the the huddle, a testiment to his toughness.

Chuck Noll is full of surprises in this game. Roy Gerela recovers his own perfectly executed (and totally surprising) onside kick in the 4th quarter, and even though the drive ends without points, the Steelers soon get the ball back and Gerela connects on a 36-yd FG to tie the game.

Even the final play of regulation is crazy when Tony Dungy intercepts Sipe's Hail Mary in the end zone and nearly weaves his way coast-to-coast with no time on the clock. In overtime, the infamous "Three Rivers Jinx" finally rears its head to preserve the win for Pittsburgh.

On the overtime kickoff, Larry Anderson stumbles, falls on one knee (but is not touched by a Brown), gets back up and fumbles the ball. The Browns recover and the Cleveland offense trots on the field, but the officials incorrectly rule Anderson is down by contact and the Steelers retain possession. Bradshaw hits Cunningham on "High School Right" a few plays later and the rest is history.


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