1989 Steelers 0 vs Browns 51
A train wreck. An absolute nightmare. Without question, the worst game in Steelers history. Pittsburgh commits 8 turnovers in Bud Carson's head coaching debut -- 5 fumbles (including 3 by rookie 1st-round pick Tim Worley) and 3 Bubby Brister INTs. Six of these turnovers directly result in Cleveland scores, including 2 fumble returns for TDs and a pick 6. The Steelers manage just 53 yds of total offense: 36 yds rushing and 17 yds (!!!???) net passing. Brister completes just 10 of 22 passes for 84 yds, while losing 67 of those yds on 6 sacks. Adding to the ugliness, the teams are involved in a pair of fights late in the game, leading to 5 ejections, including Rod Woodson, Webster Slaughter and Michael Dean Perry (who kicks a Pittsburgh player after swinging him around by the face mask). If there's a silver lining to this absolute catastrophe, it's that the Steelers ultimately turn things around, beating the Browns 17-7 in the week 6 rematch and ultimately making an unlikely playoff run that sees them beat Glanville's Oilers and fall a last-minute Elway comeback short of reaching the AFC Championship game. A special thanks (???) to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this debacle.
1989 Steelers 23 at Lions 3
Despite being sacked 7 times, Bubby Brister completes a team-record 15 straight passes, finishing 21 of 27 for 267 yds including a 48-yd TD to Louis Lipps. Meanwhile, the Steeler defense records 3 sacks, 2 INTs and 2 fumble recoveries while holding Barry Sanders to just 1 yd on 5 attempts and spoiling Rodney Peete's NFL debut at QB. The Lions are in position to take a 10-0 lead late in the first half after a pass interference call gives them a 1st and goal at the Steeler 1-yd line. But Hardy Nickerson forces a Barry Sanders fumble, Carnell Lake recovers at the 2, and Brister promptly drives the Steelers 98 yds for a TD, hitting 5-of-5 on the drive including 3 passes to Lipps for 79 yds. Lots of channel flipping to other games in this recording, but most of the action is there. A special thanks to Matthew Simon for generously providing us with this game.
1989 Steelers 23 vs Chiefs 17
The Steelers squander a 16-point first half lead, falling behind 17-16 after Dwight Stone fumbles on a reverse and bats the ball toward his own goal line. K.C. pounces on the loose ball and rolls into the end zone for the go ahead score. But a limping Bubby Brister, back from a 2-week injury hiatus, strikes right back, pump-faking and hitting Louis Lipps (7 catches, 130 yds, 2 TD) for a decisive 64-yd bomb to put the Steelers back on top. The Chiefs are poised to retake the lead in the 4th quarter with a 1st and goal at the 2. Christian Okoye is stuffed on 1st down, stuffed on 2nd down, and on 3rd down, Rod Woodson makes an beautiful leaping INT in the end zone to end the threat. The Chiefs drive into Pittsburgh's red zone two more times late in the 4th, but both times, Dwayne Woodruff makes 4th down plays to thwart their comeback. Footage includes halftime show and commercials. A special thanks to Jay Korber for providing this game.
1989 Steelers 7 at Broncos 34
Elway shakes off a pair of early INTs and scores a pair of second half TDs (1 running, 1 passing) to turn a close game into a laugher. Despite being dominated statistically, the Steelers trail only 13-7 at the half, thanks to a drive-ending end zone INT by Rod Woodson and a Bryan Hinkle INT at the Denver 22, setting up a 15-yd Brister TD pass. But Elway opens things up with a 44-yd TD bomb to Vance Johnson late in the third quarter and Denver breaks the game open midway through the 4th quarter when Steelers punter, Harry Newsome fails to handle a high snap. Newsome is tackled at the 2-yd line, and on the next play, Elway runs it in for the score and the rout is on. A special thanks to Jay Korber for generously providing this game.
1989 Steelers 0 vs Bears 20
The Bears turn 6 Pittsburgh turnovers into 17 points in an ugly one. Brister has a miserable day with 4 sacks, a fumble and 3 bad interceptions, one coming on his very first pass of the game and another stopping a Steeler drive at the Bears 5-yd line as the Steelers suffer their 3rd shoutout of the year. Louis Lipps is one of the few bright spots for Pittsburgh, catching 4 passes for 112 yds. A shout out goes to Matthew Simon for generously providing us with this game.
1989 Steelers 34 at Dolphins 14
Who says Dolphins can swim? Miami scores on their first two possessions for an early 14-0 lead. But a torrential downpour begins, lasting most of the first half and dumping two inches of rain, resulting in ankle-deep water on the sidelines and lakes of standing water on the field, and the Fins drown in mistakes. While the monsoon conditions contribute to 5 Miami turnovers, the Steelers seem remarkably unaffected and don't commit a single turnover. Miami's lead vanishes, and things go from bad to worse when a shoulder injury knocks out Marino late in the 3rd. Three fumble recoveries and an INT thrown by backup QB Scott Secules help the Steelers roll to 34 unanswered points, led by Merril Hoge's 3 rushing TDs. Carnell Lake scoops up a fumbled handoff and pitches it to Dwayne Woodruff, who splashes 21 yds for a score. Brister hits a 33-yd pass to set up an Anderson FG at the end of the first half for a 17-14 lead, and later hits a 53-yd pass set up a 5-yd TD run by Hoge. Pittsburgh’s final 10 points are set up by a fumbled kickoff return and Greg Lloyd’s 31-yd INT return to the Miami 5. A special thanks to Jay Korber for providing this game!
1989 Steelers 16 vs Oilers 23
In a driving snowstorm, the indoor Oilers somehow overcome an early 10-0 deficit, 3 fumbles and a minus 25-degree wind-chill factor to take over first place in the AFC Central. The Steelers play well enough to win, but settling for a pair of FGs after twice driving inside the Houston 5 comes back to haunt them. Tim Worley gains 103 yds on 18 carries, but the Steelers eek out only 43 net passing yards behind Bubby Brister. Meanwhile, Warren Moon throws 2 TDs in the final 2 minutes of the first half and Lorenzo White runs for 115 yds, scoring the game-winning TD on a 1-yd run with 21 seconds left. A special thanks to Jay Korber for generously providing this game.
1989 Steelers 13 at Jets 0
Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake and Greg Lloyd shine -- expecially Lloyd, who has 8 tackles, an INT, knocks out Jets QB Pat Ryan on a controversial hit, then sacks his replacement, Ken O'Brien -- as the Steeler defense shuts out the Jets, allowing Tim Worley's 35-yd sweep right for a TD on their opening drive to stand as the winning score. The Steelers extend their AFC-best takeaway total, forcing 3 in Pittsburgh territory, and Rod Woodson blocks a Pat Leahy FG try in the 4th quarter to preserve the shutout. Brister also sustains a concussion midway through the 4th when his head slams the turf after a nasty hit by a blitzing LB, but the Steelers hold on to improve their record to 7-7 and stay alive in the wild card race. Footage includes commercials, halftime show and "5th Quarter" postgame highlights and interviews. A special thanks to Jay Korber for generously providing this game.
1989 Steelers 31 at Bucs 22
This season finale is a particularly fascinating game in Steelers history for a number of reasons. After losing their first two games of the season by a combined score of 92-10 to division rivals Cleveland and Cincinnati, the fact that Pittsburgh is even mathematically alive for a playoff spot is a minor miracle. In addition to the Steelers needing a win in Tampa, they also need the Raiders to lose to the Giants, the Colts to lose to the Saints and the Bengals to lose to the Vikings to earn a playoff berth. Amazingly, all those things actually happen! While Bubby Brister completes only 7 passes and throws 2 Ints, player of the game Rod Woodson makes up for it with an All-World performance, returning the opening kickoff 72 yards to set up Pittsburgh's first score, tackling RB's in the backfield, breaking up TD's and intercepting passes. Merrill Hoge (18 att, 90 yds) puts up his best numbers of the regular season and Louis Lipps is spectacular (4 rec., 137 yds, 2 TD) as the Steelers clinch a playoff spot in perhaps the finest season of coaching in Chuck Noll's Hall of Fame career.
1989 AFC Wildcard Steelers 26 at Oilers 23 OT
So here they are... perhaps the unlikeliest playoff team in NFL history. Pounded in week 1 by Cleveland, 51-0. Pounded in week 2 by Cinci, 42-10. Pounded by Houston twice during the regular season, including a 27-0 drubbing in this very same "House of Pain." Yet here they are... two teams and two head coaches, each the antithesis of the other, who utterly despise one another. By the time the game finally ends on Gary Anderson's monster 50-yard field goal in overtime (set up by an explosive forced fumble and recovery by Hall of Famer Rod Woodson), Chuck Noll is moving on in the playoffs with an unlikely trip to Denver in the midst of perhaps the finest coaching job of his Hall of Fame career. Meanwhile, Jerry Glanville heads back to Houston in disgrace, where a pink slip awaits.
1989 AFC Playoffs Steelers 23 at Broncos 24
The Cinderella Steelers, fresh off their overtime upset of Houston in the Wildcard game, don't figure to offer much resistance to the Broncos, who had humiliated Pittsburgh by 27 points earlier in the season. But that's why they play the games. :) Merrill Hoge plays the game of his life, piling up 100 yards in the first half alone (the only player to rush for over 100 yards all season vs. Denver) as the Steelers' worst-ranked offense racks up over 400 yards and dominates time of possession by nearly ten minutes. The surprising Steelers still hold a 23-17 lead with under 3 minutes to play. But John Elway is John Elway, and he proves it with a signature 80-yard TD drive to give Denver a 24-23 lead with 2:20 remaining. Bubby gets one more shot, but moments after Mark Stock drops a perfect pass from Brister that would've been a 19-yard gain and a Steeler first down near the 40, Bubby fumbles the snap amidst confusion in the Pittsburgh backfield, Denver recovers and Cinderella's carriage turns back into a pumpkin.