1978 Steelers 22 at Colts 10 Preseason
The game gets off to a scary start as Terry Bradshaw suffers a broken nose at the end of an ill-advised 16-yard scramble when, in spite of the fact it's a preseason game, Terry finishes the run by putting his head down and plowing into a pair of defenders. Gerela's kicking is horrendous, a portend of the shaky kicking season ahead. Blount picks off a Bert Jones pass early, so Jones tries his luck with rookie CB Ron Johnson. Johnson plays like a seasoned veteran, however, giving Jones nothing and showing flashes of the brilliant rookie season to come. Includes color commentaryby LB Andy Russell and features a magnificent effort by rookie FA Ron Scott, who runs several defenders over on his way to a TD on a kickoff return.
1978 Steelers 13 vs Falcons 7 Preseason
Pittsburgh's defensive strength is evident early when a blocked punt gives Atlanta a 1st-and-goal from the Steelers 3-yd line. After failing to gain an inch on 2 running plays, the Falcons' 3rd-down pass is picked off by Donnie Shell (the first of 5 Steelers INTs in the game). Atlanta's only points come on a 42-yd fumble recovery by Ernie Jackson. Lynn Swann gives Pittsburgh a 13-7 lead midway through the 4th quarter with a diving end zone catch for a 35-yd TD. Atlanta returns the ensuing kickoff 49 yds to the Pittsburgh 46, but Dirt Winston picks off QB Kim McQuilken, who throws two more INTs in Steeler territory in the waning minutes to Steeler rookies Nat Terry and Larry Anderson. A huge thank you goes out to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this game!
1978 Steelers 28 at Bills 17
Due to Pope John being aired by all networks on opening weekend of the NFL in 1978, NO NFL early games were broadcast in their entirety, so the game is joined as the 3rd quarter begins with the Steelers leading 14-0. The Steelers appear intent on steamrolling the Bills via the ground game as Franco, Rocky, & Sidney Thornton eat up yardage in large chunks, extending their lead to 21-0 early in the 4th. Bradshaw is sharp, hitting 14 of 19 for 217 yds & 2 TDs, Franco racks up 96 yds and a TD, and Bennie Cunningham and John Stallworth both have terrific receiving days. Old man Bill Munson comes off the bench to replace a struggling Joe Ferguson late in the game, leading the Bills to some garbage time points (including a TD pass to former Steeler Frank Lewis). But the outcome is never in question as the Steelers bulldoze their way to another TD to cap off a relatively easy opening day win.
1978 Steelers 21 vs Seahawks 10
The Steelers jump on top 14-0 early (in spite of a case of drop-itis by Pittsburgh receivers) on a pair of Bradshaw TD bullets to Swann & Thornton. The Steel Curtain applies steady pressure (4 sacks, 2 by the unstoppable L.C. Greenwood) and forces several turnovers (including an INT by Lambert and a forced fumble/recovery by Ham). But Seattle's potent young offense, lead by Jim Zorn and Steve Largent, narrows the score to 14-10 early in the 3rd quarter. The Steelers -- who seem sluggish, falling victim to their own mental errors throughout the day and leaving a lot of potential points on the field with empty red zone trips -- ultimately put the game away with an impressive marathon 16-play, 75-yd TD drive capped by a Harris TD on 4th and goal (several minutes of this drive are missing) and the Steel Curtain forces Seattle into turnovers on their final two drives.
1978 Steelers 15 vs Browns 9 OT
The famous "flea-flicker" overtime game! Pittsburgh wins in OT when 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. And while that play is one of the most famous in Steeler history, there are plenty of other memorable moments. Jack Lambert plays one of his finest games, capping an afternoon of excellence by making the biggest defensive play of the game, destroying the ball carrier for a loss in the final seconds of regulation to knock Cleveland out of FG range, sending the game to overtime. L.C. Greenwood & 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 on a day when the rest of the offense does little. Swannie receives one of the most vicious shots I've ever seen in this game. While breaking toward the sideline to catch as pass, Swann reaches out to snare the ball when suddenly --- BAM!!! Ron Bolton leaves his feet and just CREAMS Swann with a shoulder to the head at full speed. Swann's entire body instantly snaps backward, his feet fly up in the air and he hits the ground with a sickening thud. NBC announcer Dick Enberg literally screams in horror and the crowd let's out an "ooohhh," but Swannie simply adjusts his face mask, bounces up & returns the the huddle. Ultimately, the infamous Three Rivers Jinx rears its head to preserve a win for Pittsburgh. On the overtime kickoff, Larry Anderson stumbles, falls on one knee (but was 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 down by contact and the Steelers keep possession. The rest, as the say, is history.
1978 Steelers 28 at Jets 17
With the Jets throwing everything they have at the Steeler running game, Terry Bradshaw shifts to the pass and cooly slings 3 TD passes as he picks apart New York's secondary in remarkably easy fashion. Meanwhile, Lynn Swann is absolutely devastating, catching 7 passes for 102 yds & 2 TDs (with another great catch nullified by a motion penalty) against a young and overmatched N.Y. secondary. Surprisingly, the Jets move the ball quite well at times, particularly in the first half, but New York comes away empty a few too many times due to miscues. The Steel Curtain eventually wakes up and gets down to business and Jets QB Matt Robinson (sacked 5 times) spends a good deal of the 2nd half looking out his ear hole. A very entertaining game which includes Franco Harris throwing the one of the butt-ugliest passes you'll ever see. Of course, no Jets game is complete without a blatant cheap shot by the defense and with less than 2 minutes remaining, LB Mike Hennigan dives head first into Bradshaw's planted right leg leaving everyone in Pittsburgh holding their breath as the future Hall of Fame QB lies on the grass writhing in agony. Fortunately, Bradshaw escapes with only a bruised knee as the Steelers move to 5-0 for the first time in team history.
1978 Steelers 31 vs Falcons 7
Atlanta gets an old-school butt-kicking, Steeler style. Even though both teams are ultimately playoff-bound, the Falcons are totally outclassed and never stand a chance against the undefeated Steelers, who seemingly can do no wrong. A broken play magically turns into a 6-yd Bradshaw TD run; a Rocky Bleier fumble magically becomes a 10 yd gain and a first down. Keying all of this good fortune is Franco Harris darting and cutting back against the grain for his first 100-yard game of the season, keeping Atlanta on their heels while opening up the passing game for Bradshaw. Terry takes full advantage, hitting 13 of 18 for 231 yds and 2 TDs (1 passing, 1 rushing) with John Stallworth snagging 6 of those passes for 114 yards and a TD (highlighted by a 71 yard catch & run). But the glory this day really belongs to the men in the trenches as Pittsburgh's offensive and defensive lines simply ravage Atlanta. While Pittsburgh's O-Line opens gaping holes for Franco and gives Bradshaw all day to throw, Steve Bartowski is the victim of one jail break after another by the Pittsburgh D-line. It's quite amazing to behold such a ferocious pass rush being generated by just the front four. And with no LBs blitzing, the Steelers are free to leave 7 defenders downfield in coverage on nearly every play. The result is a rout.
1978 Steelers 34 at Browns 14
There are a number of things that stand out in my mind about this game; the overwhelming, SWARMING speed of the Steeler defense is astounding as they bewilder Sipe with a vast array of all-out blitzes; Swann & Stallworth are dazzling; Bradshaw's mobility in the pocket is amazing. But what really stands out in my mind is the unbridled hatred between these bitter AFC Central rivals, which is epitomized by Jack Lambert's ejection from the game. Lambert dives at QB Brian Sipe helmet-first as Sipe is being tackled out of bounds, but Lambert really doesn't make solid contact as he mostly flies over Sipe. While it may have been a slightly late hit, it certainly wasn't spearing. When the flag flies, Lambert is instantly in the official's face, shouting his case. A Browns player gets a little too close and Lambert erupts, catching the guy with a nice right hook (the dude isn't wearing a helmet). Lambert instantly returns to chewing out the official, who throws another flag, and then Lambert REALLY flies into a rage and is ejected. When Noll appears to begin reprimanding Lambert on the sidelines, an infuriated Lambert gives Noll (who wisely shuts up) an earfull, too. Noll pleads Lambert's case to the officials to no avail and Lambert unloads on the refs again. For the record, Lambert probably deserved to be ejected... and I love the guy for it. No one has EVER played the game with more fire and intensity than Jack Lambert. NO ONE.
1978 Steelers 17 vs Oilers 24 MNF
Features Jack Lambert's famous, "It might be a good idea to put dresses on all of 'em," quote in response to a question about QB safety during a halftime interview with Howard Cosell (referring to Lambert's ejection for a hit on Sipe vs. Cleveland the previous week). LOL. If not for an avalanche of mental errors, this one goes in the books as a "W" for Pittsburgh. Pastorini is razor sharp and the Oilers run extremely well, alternating between Earl Campbell (89 yards, 3 TDs) & Rob Carpenter (42 yards). Swann snags a pair of TDs (plus a 3rd that was nullified by a penalty) and is wide open for the tying TD on 4th and goal in the final seconds of the game, but Bradshaw short-hops it by inches. Randy Grossman also has a HUGE game for Pittsburgh (9 catches for 116 yards), but penalties, a missed kick by Gerela, a dropped TD pass by Stallworth and a pair of errant Bradshaw passes late in the game are a little too much to overcome.
1978 Steelers 27 vs Chiefs 24
K.C. picks off Bradshaw's first pass to set up FG, but Terry responds by engineering three consecutive TD drives, each of them time consuming and perfectly balanced. Lynn Swann rips apart K.C.'s secondary with 5 catches for 80 yards in the first half alone and the Steel Curtain does its part by forcing a drive-ending interception (Jack Ham) at the Steeler 3-yd line for a commanding 20-3 halftime lead. Marv Levy's Chiefs fight back in the second half, however, scoring 17 unanswered points against the suddenly sleepwalking Steelers, courtesy of a Bradshaw fumble and INT on back-to-back possessions. Thankfully, Donnie Shell's 17-yard "scoop and score" of a K.C. fumble late in the game seals it for Pittsburgh.
1978 Steelers 20 vs Saints 14
The Saints play their hearts out in a very entertaining game which probably should've been much higher scoring for both teams. Bradshaw (16 of 23, 200 yds, 2 TDs) and Manning (22 of 32 for 344 yds, 1 TD) are both outstanding. The Steelers play very well offensively when they're on the field, but the Saints are able to capitalize on turnovers and drive-extending penalities to keep the Steeler offense on the bench for much of the afternoon. Amazingly, the Steelers have only 3 possessions in the entire 1st half. Despite dominating time of possession, the Saints find points tough to come by. Jack Lambert ends one promising drive with a leaping INT at the Steeler 17. Then with just 12 seconds left in the half and the Saints poised to take a 14-3 lead at the Steeler 5-yd line, great coverage by Mel Blount forces a HUGE sack/fumble of Archie Manning (who has a jailbreak of 6 Steeler defenders coverging on him) and Joe Greene recovers to end the threat and the half. Amusingly after halftime, an open mic captures announcer Don Criqui asking, "We're going to do this off camera?" Pause. "Yeah, good, good. The reason I ask, I have my tie off, my coat off... my pants off." LOL. Wonder what Hank Stram thought of that? :) The 3rd quarter begins with Bradshaw engineering a textbook 12-play 77-yd TD drive highlighted by a pair of great Lynn Swann catches (the first a leaping grab for 21 yds on 4th & 4, the second a tipped ball in tight double coverage for the TD) and Gerela later adds a FG for a 13-7 lead. But early in the 4th, a red-hot Manning brings the Saints storming down the field on an 80-yd drive to retake the lead. With time running short, Bradshaw cooly rallies the troops and caps a brilliant 8-play drive with a 3rd down swing pass to Rocky Bleier for the 24-yd winning TD (surprisingly, the first regular season TD reception of Rocky's career) in the final 2 minutes to preserve a Steelers victory. Features all the old commercials, complete halftime show and a postgame interview with Bradshaw including highlights from around the league.
1978 Steelers 7 at Rams 10 SNF
A rare (for the era) Sunday night football game. Action begins in second half of this penalty-filled "Mud Bowl" when Swann makes a fantastic leaping grab in the back of the endzone (while being blatantly interferred with) for the first score of the game. L.A. strikes right back, moving quickly downfield for a FG and from there, the two best defenses in the league slug it out. With the Steelers continually pinned deep in their own territory, Cappelletti finally breaks a 26-yard run to set up a short Haden TD pass and a 10-7 Rams win. Features the top two defenses in the league at their best. 2nd half only with some edited huddles.
1978 Steelers 7 vs Bengals 6
Sometimes you have to win ugly, and this one is about as ugly as a win can get. Despite an absolutely miserable 4 INT performance by Terry Bradshaw (who was the NFL's top-rated passer coming into the game), the 10-2 Steelers do just enough to eek out a win over the hapless 1-11 Bengals. Thankfully, the Steel Curtain does their job to perfection, forcing 5 turnovers with Mel Blount intercepting two passes and fumble recoveries by Mean Joe and Jack Ham. A vicious blindside sack/fumble by Mike Wagner to knock Ken Anderson out of the game with less than a minute to play finally ends Cinci's hopes. Definitely not a thriller, but a division win nonetheless.
1978 Steelers 24 at 49ers 7 MNF
Bradshaw & Swann star as the Steelers beat the living crap out of the Niners on Monday Night Football. The Steelers amass 212 rushing yards and Bradshaw dissects San Fran's secondary with ease as Lynn Swann is particularly devastating, grabbing 8 passes for 134 yds & 2 TDs. The Steel Curtain, meanwhile, is having a blast crucifying Niner QB Scott Bull (who???), who takes some terrifying shots. While the Niners are clearly outclassed, the refs (who are obviously from the Bay area) do their best to even things out, penalizing Pittsburgh 13 times for 102 yards while only penalizing San Fran 1 time for 5 yards. While this game is supposedly recorded from the source tape, the original broadcast was very blurry (the guy who taped it had some definite antenna problems), so the quality isn't fantastic.
At halftime, ABC news provides updates on the shocking murder earlier that day of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone by a disgruntled former staffer.
1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3
The Steelers get revenge on the road for their mid-season loss to Houston and clinch the AFC Central division. Game features Donnie Shell's famous hit on Earl Campbell (who was running effectively up to that point), bruising Campbell's ribs and sidelining him for the game. As usual between these two teams, this matchup is an extremely physical and results in injuries to multiple players on both sides (including Swann & Pastorini). Both defenses play extremely well, but the Steel Curtain was especially brilliant, forcing 6 Houston turnovers and holding the Oilers to just 164 yds of offense. Pastorini throws 3 INT's (2 by Lambert, 1 by Wagner) and is brutalized by the Steel Curtain while Bradshaw seems confused by Houston's coverages as both QBs are held under 100 yds passing. While Franco (27 carries, 102 yds) is largely contained for much of the afternoon, he finally breaks a HUGE 31-yd run in the 3rd quarter to the Oiler 4 to set up a crucial FG. Bradshaw finally puts it all together late in the game, engineering Pittsburgh's only sustained drive of the contest keyed by two great catches by Stallworth, the first in triple coverage on 3rd and 9 for a 25-yd gain, the second for the game-winning 5-yd TD. Features Howard Cosell's halftime highlights after the game. "This Week in Pro Football" highlights also available.
1978 Steelers 35 vs Colts 13
Terry Bradshaw has a freakishly good game in near-blizzard conditions (11 of 18, 240 yards, 3 TDs), throwing perfect pass after perfect pass in seemingly unplayable weather. Swann (3 catches, 87 yards) and Stallworth (1 catch, 31 yards, 1 TD) appear only briefly in the first half, but their acrobatic grabs and long runs after each catch put the Colts in a 21-0 hole. Meanwhile, the Steel Curtain is terrifying, absolutely suffocating the "Bert Jones-less" Colts who never knew what hit 'em. But in spite of generating almost zero offense, the Colts surprisingly find themselves back in the game after the weather conditions contribute to a bad exchange between Bradshaw and Harris, and Derrel Luce scoops up the loose ball and slips and slides his way to a 44-yard TD on the recovery. Bradshaw quickly reasserts himself with a short TD pass to Grossman, and then ices the game (pun intended) with his 3rd TD of the afternoon, a deep pass to a wide open Jim Smith. As a fan of bad weather games, this is obviously among my favorites. Gotta love the Zamboni clearing snow off of the yard lines between plays.
1978 Steelers 21 at Broncos 17
Bradshaw and Stallworth are superb as the Steelers jump out to 21-0 lead at Mile High Stadium in the final game of the regular seasons and then watch from the bench as the Steeler reserves hold off the Broncos in a tune up for the playoffs. Highlighted by an incredible bomb from a scrambling Bradshaw to John Stallworth, who makes an unbelievable leaping grab for a TD. Bradshaw (who plays only in the first half) sets the record for most TD passes in a season (28) since the NFL/AFL merger. Denver comes back late in the game against the Steelers second team players and the game ends with the Broncos failing to get into the end zone from the Steeler 1 yard line on the final play. I have two versions of this game: This version is decent video quality initially but has severely edited huddles and deteriorates as the game progresses (flickers between color and black & white). The other version is unedited but the video quality is pretty bad.
1978 AFC Playoffs Steelers 33 vs Broncos 10
This playoff rematch in a cold, misty rain between the NFL's top two defenses remains relatively competitive until the 4th quarter when Terry Bradshaw suddenly and explosively BOMBS the Broncos into submission, connecting on a pair of beautiful deep TD strikes to Stallworth and Swann in the span of 44 seconds. With the Bronco's concentrating on stopping Lynn Swann via constant double coverage, John Stallworth is absolutely magnificent, undressing CB Steve Foley with one great catch after another en route to 156 yds on a playoff record 10 receptions. Meanwhile, Swannie works a little magic of his own with an unbelievable leaping TD grab at the goal line in spite of double coverage and having a Denver player draped all over him. Franco Harris is in typical playoff form, scoring 2 TDs and rumbling for 105 yds on 24 carries to set up Pittsburgh's aerial assault. All-Pro defensive players fill both rosters (incredibly, the two defensive squads combined have all 11 Pro Bowler starters). But while Pittsburgh's offensive line controls the line of scrimmage, protects Bradshaw (0 sacks) and is able to move the ball up and down the field almost at will against the Orange Crush, the Steel Curtain absolutely SMOTHERS Denver's offensive efforts, sacking QB combo of Morton and Weese 6 times (2 by Joe Greene, who also blocks a FG) as the Broncos are out-gained 425-218. Features some pregame and commercials, some halftime stuff, and TONS of post-game including interviews with Swann and Stallworth.
1978 AFC Championship Steelers 34 vs Oilers 5
The Steelers absolutely DESTROY the shell-shocked Oilers in TERRIBLE weather at Three Rivers Stadium. Pittsburgh acclimates to the cold, steady rain right from the start, driving for TDs twice in the 1st quarter with Harris and Bleier scoring the points. The score is 14-3 as halftime approaches when suddenly, within the last 48 seconds of the first half, the Steelers explode for 17 points in a stunning display of power. Bradshaw hits Swann in double coverage with a perfect 29-yard rainbow for a TD to run the score to 21-3. The Oilers fumble away the ensuing kickoff and Bradshaw immediately fires a laser to Stallworth for another score. After the kickoff, Houston fumbles again on the first play from scrimmage, giving the Steelers a chance to add a Gerela FG before halftime for an insurmountable 31-3 lead. Bradshaw (11 of 19, 200 yds, 2 TD), Swann (4 rec., 98 yds, 1 TD) & Ham (1 INT, 1 sack, 2 FR) are spectacular, but the incredible play of Pittsburgh's offensive line is the key to the game. While Bradshaw has all day in the pocket, the Steel Curtain absolutely swarms Pastorini, intercepting him 5 times and completely neutralizing the great Earl Campbell. By game's end, the teams combine for 12 fumbles and 14 turnovers in the icy soup as the Steelers slip 'n slide their way to their 3rd Super Bowl. Lots of pregame and postgame footage including previews of title games, a feature on Lance Alworth, a story about Joe Greene and Lynn Swann giving the Oilers briefcases for beating the Bengals, updates on John Madden's retirement from coaching and Bill Walsh's impending hire by the 49ers. At halftime, an excellent piece on the Immaculate Reception plus scores and highlights. After the game, lots of player interviews and more highlights from NBC and WTAE-TV.
Super Bowl XIII Pregame
Approximately 1-1/2 hours of pregame material from Super Bowl XIII featuring Dick Enberg, Bryant Gumble, Mike Adamle, Fran Tarkenton, Donna de Verona, Merlin Olsen, Curt Gowdy and John Brodie. Includes short recaps of the twelve previous Super Bowls, pregame analysis of the offensive and defensive gameplans for both teams, short interviews with Joe Greene, Jon Kolb, Jack Ham, Rocky Bleier, Lynn Swann, Donnie Shell, Rayfield Right, Randy White, Don Shula, Tony Dorsett, Thomas Henderson, Pete Roselle, Charlie Waters and Drew Pearson, a hillarious live interview with Myron Cope about the Terrible Towel, the Andy Griffith "What It Was, Was Football" monologue, a feature on Terry Bradshaw about his "Smokey and the Bandit" cameo with Burt Reynolds and longer interviews of Bradshaw by Joe Namath and Staubach by Fran Tarkenton.
Super Bowl XIII Steelers 35 vs Cowboys 31
Titans clash in the greatest Super Bowl match-up of all time as Bradshaw, Swann & Stallworth air it out against Staubach, Dorsett & "America's Team" in a circus of big plays featuring 14 future Hall of Fame players (9 for Pittsburgh and 5 for Dallas) and two future Hall of Fame head coaches. Game MVP Bradshaw is brilliant from the outset, particularly on 3rd down, where he hits 8 of 9 passes for 165 yards & 2 TDs. By halftime, Terry has already thrown for over 250 yds and scored 3 TDs, breaking every significant Super Bowl passing record after only 30 minutes, ultimately finishing with 318 yards and 4 TDs. It's worth noting that Bradshaw really gets the hot hand after the Henderson/Hegman sack/strip for a Dallas TD. Terry is hurt on the play and administered smelling salts on the sideline. So what does he do during the next few minutes of play? He merely throws a 75-yard TD strike to Stallworth, hooks up with Swann for one big play after another and finally engineers a masterful 2 minute drill capped by a beautiful touch pass to Bleier for the go-ahead TD. Speaking of Swann & Stallworth, their final stats speak for themselves; Swann 7 rec. for 124 yds & a TD (the game-winner), and Stallworth 3 rec. for 115 yds & 2 TDs (in spite of playing only the 1st half due to leg cramps). And while the final game statistics suggest a shootout, Pittsburgh is clearly the dominant team. Dorsett gains 45 yards on Dallas first ill-fated drive yet only has 47 yards by halftime, and much of Dallas' total yardage comes in "garbage time" after Pittsburgh has opened up an 18 point 4th quarter lead. And contrary to the claims of many Dallas fans, the Jackie Smith drop occurs during the 3rd quarter, not in the waning minutes of the game. Before the game, the video features commentary from Dick Enberg, Curt Gowdy, John Brodie and Merlin Olsen plus player introductions and the coin toss from George Halas and the singing of National Anthem. After the game, there's plenty of postgame analysis and interviews with Bradshaw, Franco, Banaszak, Staubach, Landry and closes with Swann & Stallworth popping the cork on a huge bottle of champagne. My personal favorite game and one of the most entertaining Super Bowls of all time.