1983 Steelers 27 vs Saints 14 Preseason
In a game that would've been cancelled or delayed due to lightning if played today, Cliff Stoudt throws a pair of TDs (including a 69-yd bomb to RB-turned-WR Greg Hawthorne) in the midst of a thunderstorm and leads Pittsburgh to a 17-0 first quarter advantage. Mark Malone adds a score of his own on a 1-yd QB dive as the Steelers easily beat the Saints in the Hall of Fame Game. Features action with Gabe Rivera. A huge shout out to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this game!
1983 Regular Season
1983 Steelers 10 vs Broncos 14
John Elway gets off to an inglorious start to his NFL career, connecting on only 1 of 8 passes for 14 yds while suffering 4 sacks, a fumble and a interception plus an intentional grounding call before being knocked out of the game before halftime with a bruised elbow. But the Steelers, playing without the services of injured Terry Bradshaw, prove to be their own worst enemy, turning the ball over 7 times; 4 fumbles (2 by Franco) and 3 INTs by Cliff Stoudt. Steve DeBerg comes off the bench and -- despite completing only 4 of 8 passes for 35 yds and being sacked 3 times in a game where Denver was held to an unthinkably puny 1 net yard passing -- somehow wins the game on a late 2-yd TD pass. A special thanks to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this matchup!
1983 Steelers 25 at Packers 21
A complete contrast in styles. The Steelers run 59 times for 285 yds and their 4 offensive scores come on drives of 11, 8, 12 and 13 plays, while Packer drives come through the air and last only 2, 3, and 10 plays. The Steelers control the ball for over 41 minutes compared to just under 19 minutes for Green Bay. But despite Green Bay's inability to stop the run, the Packers hold a 14-13 halftime lead thanks to nearly identical bombs of 71 and 73 yds to James Lofton over Mel Blount of all people. Gary Anderson suffers one of the worst games of his career, having an extra point and two field goals blocked, all by the same player (Gary Lewis). A gutsy call by Noll to go for it 4th-and-goal from the 1 pays off as Frank Pollard bulls into the end zone to put Pittsburgh up 23-14 early in the 4th and the Steelers are able to hold off Green Bay rally, sacking Dickey for a safety late in the game. A special thanks to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this game!
1983 Steelers 40 at Oilers 28
A rare game with action from rookie Gabe "Señor Sack Sack" Rivera (#69), who draws constant double teams and records a sack. Franco Harris gains over 100 yards and moves into 2nd place on the all-time rushing yardage list. Contrary to the implication of the high final score, the Steeler defense is marvelous while the Steeler offense moves in fits and starts. Archie Manning spends most of the game looking out his ear hole and has an abysmal game for the Oilers, throwing 3 Ints in the 1st half alone. Stoudt doesn't fair much better, however, and Houston's turnovers yield only 4 Anderson FGs. The 2nd half is all Steelers, however, as Pittsburgh rolls to a 33-7 lead before Houston narrows the gap late in the game.
1983 Steelers 23 vs Patriots 28
Franco, Franco, Franco... and some more Franco. :) Unfortunately, even with all that Franco, there's still enough Cliff Stoudt to cost the Steelers a game they should've won. Franco (who surpasses O.J. Simpson as the #2 rusher of all time) puts on a rushing clinic with 102 yds on 25 carries and also leads the team in receptions (6 for 83 yds). The Steelers outgain New England 228-57 in the first half and own a 22:21-7:39 advantage in time of possession, yet trail the Patriots 14-13. In the end, 3 interceptions by Stoudt (who is also sacked 5 times) and too many missed tackles by the Steeler secondary (which allows multiple short passes to turn into long gains, including a game-winning 76-yard TD pass late in the contest) are too much to overcome. A big-time thank you to Matthew Simon for generously providing us with this game!
1983 Steelers 24 at Bengals 14 MNF
Pittsburgh's defense proves to be their best offense, scoring 3 defensive TDs to earn the Steelers their first victory in Cinci since 1978. Safety Rick Woods starts the scoring with a 38-yd TD romp after a 1st-quarter fumble recovery, while Ron Johnson and Harvey Clayton return a pair of INTs for 4th-quarter TDs. Johnson's 34-yd return of a Turk Schonert pass gives Pittsburgh a 17-14 lead with 11 minutes left, and Clayton races 70 yards with another errant Schonert throw with just 1:20 left to seal the win. The Bengals have a chance to tie after Johnson's INT return, but Jim Breech's 47-yd FG attempt hits the upright with 3:40 to play. While the Steelers only muster 168 yds of offense, Pittsburgh's pass rush is unstoppable, sacking Cinci QBs a club-record 9 times (including the final sack of Gabe Rivera's brief career) for 77 yards. Jack Lambert also adds a sack and an INT. Backup Schonert comes in after Ken Anderson suffers a sprained neck early in the game on a facemask tackle by Keith Gary. A huge shout out to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this game!
1983 Steelers 44 vs Browns 17
Watching games like this really make you wonder... could the Steelers have won their 5th Super Bowl in '83 had Bradshaw not had botched elbow surgery in the off-season? The Steeler defense scores 2 TDs and sets up 20 more with turnovers, forcing Brian Sipe into 6 INTs (including a pick 6 by Mike Merriweather) and scoring on a 94-yd fumble return as the Three Rivers Jinx extends to 14 years. Some facts for stat-nerds: In a span of 17 quarters, the defense forces 17 turnovers and scored 6 TDs, 5 in the last 2 games. Against Cinci and Cleveland, the defense returns 12 turnovers for 372 yards, 33 more than the running game produced in 3 weeks. So dominant is the Steeler defense in this game that Pittsburgh has a 17-0 lead just 6 minutes in, during which time the Steelers offense has generated only 8 yards. Sadly, this is the final game of young Gabe Rivera's career. Kudos to Jay Korber for providing us with this game!
1983 Steelers 27 at Seahawks 21
Franco Harris, seemingly drinking from the Fountain of Youth, rushes for 132 yds on 31 carries, including a 9-yd TD as Pittsburgh withstands a 2nd-half comeback bid by Seattle. Harris scores on the Steelers' first possession while Cliff Stoudt and Frank Pollard add TDs on 1-yd runs in the 2nd quarter to build a 24-0 halftime lead. But Dave Krieg, who replaces an ineffective Jim Zorn (1 of 8, 2 yds, 1 INT, 3 sacks), rallies the Seahawks for 3 scores in the final 16 minutes. The Seahawks are threatening again before turning the ball over on downs with a little more than a minute to play. Krieg completes 13 of 20 for 214 yds and 2 TDs. Halftime features a report on the 1983 terrorist suicide bombing of a Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon which killed 241 American peacekeeping troops. A huge thank you to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this game.
1983 Steelers 17 vs Buccaneers 12
The Steelers overcome 7 turnovers (including 3 first half INTs by Stoudt) by jamming 17 points into the final 9 minutes of the game, capped by Frank Pollard's 2-yd game winner with just 31 seconds left to steal a victory from the hapless 0-9 Bucs. Tampa Bay RB James Wilder sets an NFL record with 42 carries (breaking Franco's '76 record of 41 carries in a game) for 126 yds, but the Bucs can only manage 4 FGs, allowing the Pittsburgh comeback. Features 20 minutes of pregame hosted by Rocky Bleier and featuring OT Ted Petersen. A big-time thanks to Jay Korber for providing us with this game!
1983 Steelers 24 at Colts 13
The Steelers control the ball, dominate time of possession and convert turnovers into points en route to their 7th straight win. Mike Merriweather blocks a FG and forces a fumble deep in Steeler territory while Donnie Shell and Rick Woods each snag INTs. With Stallworth out, Calvin Sweeney comes up big (6 catches, 104 yds, 1 TD), but it's Pittsburgh's running game by committee (48 atts for 214 yds) and top-ranked defense that win the day. A big-time thanks to Jay Korber for providing us with this game!
1983 Steelers 14 vs Vikings 17
The Steelers start strong with a TD on their opening drive, but as the game progresses, Cliff Stoudt is sacked 5 times and suffers through a miserable day. Even so, the Steelers have a chance until Bennie Cunningham drops a 4th down pass that would've converted and put the Steelers in FG range in the final minute. A special thanks to Gary Beach for contributing this game video recorded from Sky Sports (UK), broadcast in the UK on the Monday after the game was played. The game footage is shortened to 37 minutes.
1983 Steelers 3 at Lions 45 Thanksgiving
The infamous Thanksgiving Day Massacre. Billy Sims runs for 106 yds and 2 TDs, Eric Hipple throws 2 TD passes, Robbie Martin returns a punt for an 81-yd TD as the Lions hand the Steelers their worst defeat since 1947. Cliff Stoudt is horrific, throwing 4 INTs (including 2 on his first 2 pass attempts), suffering 2 sacks and completing only 9 of 25 passes for 83 yds before being yanked with more than 10 minutes to play. Mark Malone throws a pick of his own that is returned 70 yds to the Steeler 4 to set up another Detroit TD. In spite of his generosity, I refuse to thank Jay Korber for providing us with footage of this debacle. :) LOL.
1983 Steelers 34 at Jets 7
Bradshaw's final game. Despite the absence of Bradshaw due to offseason elbow surgery and a generally miserable season by his backup, Cliff Stoudt, Pittsburgh jumps out to a surprising 9-2 start in 1983 keyed by a strong running game and an opportunistic, ball-hawking defense. But late in the season, the Steelers find themselves in need of a savior after the 3 straight losses put them in jeopardy of missing the playoffs. Enter Terry Bradshaw. For his swan song, a still-injured Bradshaw comes off the bench and delivers a brief but truly exceptional playoff-saving performance in the final game of his Hall of Fame career (also the Jets' final game at Shea Stadium). While playing only the 1st quarter and one series into the 2nd quarter, Bradshaw is sharp, effective and fully in charge of the offense, hitting 5 of 8 passes for 77 yds and 2 TD's -- the first to rookie Gregg Garrity, to whom Terry had never previously thrown a pass (not even in practice) and the second to Calvin Sweeney -- shaking the Steelers out of their late-season slump while ensuring them of a playoff spot with the badly-needed win. Sadly, Terry destroys his ailing arm (which is not yet fully healed from off-season surgery) on his first TD toss, but Bradshaw gallantly continues to play in pain until he throws his 2nd TD. The entire team is energized by the presence of Bradshaw and goes on to simply steamrolls the Jets, ending New York's slim playoff hopes while securing a playoff spot of their own. In addition to being the final on-field action of Bradshaw's career, this is also the final 100-yd game of Franco Harris' career. This video is two versions spliced together to complete the entire game. The first portion (approximately 1-1/2 hours) is the TV broadcast of the game (outstanding video quality) with the radio call from Jack Fleming and Myron Cope dubbed in. This footage ends late in 4th quarter with Steelers leading 27-7 and is spliced with a lesser quality version with Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen calling the game, including some postgame interviews with Terry Bradshaw and Cliff Stoudt.
1983 Steelers 17 at Browns 30
Lambert is ejected for a so-called "flagrant personal foul" after delivering a vicious head shot to Brian Sipe, a fraction of a second after Sipe releases a pass that is intercepted by Donnie Shell, leading to a brawl in front of the Browns' bench. While I agree the hit is late (borderline for the early '80s), the ejection is completely unwarranted. The penalty overturns Shell's INT and the Browns add their final TD a few plays later. The Steelers already have the division wrapped up coming into the game, but this is a bad loss -- Cliff Stoudt is simply awful -- marking Pittsburgh's 4th loss in 5 games (the only win during the span coming courtesy of Terry Bradshaw). One bright spot, Franco Harris sets an NFL record, becoming the first player in NFL history to achieve eight 1,000-yard seasons. A big-time thanks to Brad Geffers for generously contributing this game.
1983 Post Season
1983 AFC Playoffs Steelers 10 at Raiders 38
The underdog Steelers seem to get off to a good start, driving 78 yds in 8 plays to the Raider 1-yd line. But on 4th down mere inches from the goal line, Chuck Noll elects to kick a FG for a 3-0 lead. I'm not saying the Steelers would've won had Noll gone for it and scored a TD... but I do view settling for a FG as the beginning of the end. On Pittsburgh's next drive, Lester Hayes perfectly diagnoses the play, comes off his man to step in front of a Cliff Stoudt pass intended for Calvin Sweeney and races 18 yards into the end zone with his arms and the ball raised triumphantly in the air. The Steelers never recover as the Raiders extend their lead to 31-3 before the out-gunned Steelers finally cross the goal line. A special thanks to Jay Korber for generously contributing this game!