1970 Steelers 21 vs Giants 6 Preseason
A preseason matchup fill with firsts: The first Steelers game played at Three Rivers Stadium, Terry Bradshaw's first game in Pittsburgh, Bradshaw's first TD pass as a pro (a picture-perfect 37-yard bomb to Ron Shanklin), Terry's first TV interview with Howard Cosell and the first-ever game by the Monday Night Football crew on ABC. Rookie Bradshaw plays remarkably well (15 of 23, 244 yds, 1 TD, 1 Int) as the Steelers jump out to a 14-0 lead courtesy of a Preston Pearson TD run and the aforementioned Bradshaw bomb. Missing a few plays at the start of the 2nd half, but features some nice pregame and halftime commentary as well as all of the old commercials.
1972 Steelers 23 vs Vikings 10
A Frenchy Fuqua fumble at the Steeler 20 sets the Vikings up with great field position, but Minnesota can't move the ball and settles for a FG. The Vikings drive to the Steeler 7 on the next series, but on 4th and a foot, the fledgling Steel Curtain stops RB Bill Brown cold for no gain. A Minnesota fumble deep in their own territory sets up a perfectly blocked sweep right for a 12-yard Franco Harris score and a 7-3 Pittsburgh lead. Then start the special teams foibles for Minnesota. Not once but twice, the Vikings line up to kick virtually automatic FGs (12 and 14 yards) and holder Paul Krause fumbles the snap. The two teams are locked in a 10-10 tie with about eight minutes remaining in the game when Franco (17 carries, 128 yds, 1 TD) takes a middle draw, cuts back to the right to avoid the rush and gallops around right end for 61 yards before being knocked out of hounds at the 1-yard line. A play later, Bradshaw dives over the goal line and a QB sneak for the winning TD.
1972 Immaculate Reception NBC Broadcast (Play Only - not entire game)
NBC's original television broadcast of the famous "Immaculate Reception" play only, not the full game. Very nice video quality. Looking forward to the day the complete game finally emerges from the shadows. Until then, enjoy this great-quality footage.
1972 AFC Championship Steelers 17 vs Dolphins 21 AP Footage
Not the full game, unfortunately, but contains 4-1/2 minutes of short clips of key plays and scoring from footage of the game shot from the "other side" of the field that was distributed by the Associated Press along with another 1-1/2 minutes of actual broadcast footage of key plays in black and white. Short, but an interesting view. Poor special teams play and a pair of horrific Terry Bradshaw picks cost the Steelers a game might have otherwise won.
1973 Steelers 26 at Dolphins 30 MNF
Rookie QB Joe Gilliam is initiated in his first-ever start at the hands of the dynastic Dolphins... with miserable results. "Jefferson Street Joe" goes 0-7 with 3 Ints (including 1 for a TD) and Miami leads 20-0 before the crowd even settles into their seats. In comes the injured Terry Bradshaw, who immediately throws an Int of his own, also returned for a TD. At 27-0 against the Fins, game over, right? Wrong. The Steelers use a fake punt to set up a TD on their opening drive of the 2nd half, narrowing the score to 30-10. Franco later scores on a 21-yard burst, and beads of sweat appear on Don Shula's forehead as the Dolphin lead shrinks to 30-17. Late in the 4th, Larry Csonka coughs up his 2nd fumble of the night, and Bradshaw immediately throws a TD pass, making it 30-24 with 4:38 remaining. The Fins fail to run out the clock, and take a safety (30-26), free-kicking the ball to the Steelers with 1:04 remaining. Unfortunately, Bradshaw can't get the team into the end zone, but all and all, a gallant effort by Pittsburgh's dynasty-in-waiting. Note: Miami DB Dick Anderson has 4 Ints in this game.
1974 AFC Championship Steelers 24 at Raiders 13
In perhaps the most pivotal game in team history, the Steel Curtain bankrupts the hated Raiders, limiting the NFL'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 INTs in spite of a career game by Cliff Branch. 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 trap plays and 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 following a brilliant Jack Ham INT (his 2nd of the day) which he returns to the Raider 9-yard line to set up 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 from superb play by the Steeler O-line, punishing the Raiders for 224 yards on the ground and finally sealing a trip to the Super Bowl on Franco's 21-yd TD scamper in the final minute of the game. Missing a few minutes just before the half; includes lots of old commercials.
Super Bowl IX Pregame
Approximately 45 minutes of pregame material from Super Bowl IX. Features "The Super Bowl, What Does It Mean?" program with pregame footage from New Orleans, interviews of Art Rooney, Sr., Joe Namath, Don Meredith, etc., followed by the National Anthem and more.
Super Bowl IX Steelers 16 vs Vikings 6
The Steel Curtain absolutely CRUSHES Minnesota, finally winning a championship for "The Chief" while limiting Fran Tarkenton's supposedly high-powered offense to a paltry 119 total yards -- 17 rushing yards on 22 carries (an embarrassing average of 0.8 yds per carry) and 102 yards passing with 3 INTs -- a Super Bowl record which still stands today. MVP Franco Harris (34 carries, 158 yards, 1 TD) is virtually unstoppable, Bradshaw is smart and efficient and the Pittsburgh offensive line simply manhandles Minnesota's famous Purple People Eaters. Defensively, the Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain is nothing short of phenomenal, especially the front four in what is easily the most dominating performance by a defensive line in Super Bowl history. Mean Joe Greene is overwhemming, Fats Holmes is immovable and L.C. Greenwood is in Tarkenton's face all afternoon, smacking down 3 passes and forcing numerous poor throws. But perhaps most noteworthy is the performance of Dwight White, which is nothing short of heroic. White -- who spent the week in the hospital with pneumonia and lost 18 pounds -- totally dominates, scoring the game's first points on a safety and batting multiple passes, one of which is intercepted by Joe Greene. Minnesota's offense crosses into Pittsburgh territory 4 times, The first, the result of a Bleier fumble, ends in a missed FG. Their 2nd trip ends in a Mel Blount INT after Glen Edwards nearly decapitates WR John Gilliam, popping the ball 20 feet into the air and right into Blount's waiting arms. The 3rd ends when Joe Green intercepts a Tarkenton pass batted by Dwight White near midfield. And the 4th and most promising (following a 42-yd pass interference penalty that puts the ball at the Pittburgh 5) ends when Mean Joe recovers a Chuck Foreman fumble (forced by Ernie Holmes). Had the Vikings not scored a TD on a blocked punt, this one would've been a shut out. Includes the halftime, commercials and 30 minutes of postgame material including the trophy presentation, fan interviews and roundtable player interviews with Bradshaw, Franco, Rocky and several members of the defense.
1975 Steelers 3 at Rams 10 SNF
Second half only. With the #1 seed in the AFC wrapped up and little at stake for the 12-1 Steelers in this rare Saturday Night matchup, getting out of the game healthy is Pittsburgh's primary objective. As a result, Noll rests Terry Bradshaw and plays reserve Joe Gilliam at QB (although Gilliam is knocked out of the game twice, briefly forcing Bradshaw back into action). The 11-2 Rams, on the other hand, are a team with plenty to play for. Needing a win to secure homefield advantage over the Vikings, the Rams defense comes at the Steelers hard. Predictably, this defensive battle is deadlocked in a 3-3 tie after 3 quarters. While Gilliam struggles, throwing 2 INTs including a back-breaker at the Rams 5 after driving to the L.A. 13, Franco Harris is outstanding, rushing for 126 yds on 21 carries vs. a normally staunch Rams rush defense. But it's a Franco fumble near midfield early in the 4th quarter that finally jumpstarts the Rams, who had -10 yds passing through 3 quarters. Suddenly, backup QB Ron Jaworski comes to life and leads a drive to the Steeler 5 where he keeps the ball on a well-executed QB draw to score the game's only TD. A huge thank you goes out to Jay Korber for generously providing us with this game!
1975 AFC Championship Steelers 16 vs Raiders 10
To say there is bad blood in the fourth consecutive playoff meeting between the Steelers and Raiders would be an understatement. This is pure hatred at the height of a rivalry more bitter than the minus-10 windchill at kickoff. For their part, the Raiders are full of cheap shots (one of which lands Lynn Swann in an ambulance with a severe concussion) and conspiracy theories about icy field conditions. But ultimately, it's the Steel Curtain, not the icy turf, that breaks the heart of Al Davis. Aside from the 12 turnovers committed in this game (7 by Pittsburgh, 5 by Oakland), one of the most amazing stats is that the Raiders move the ball into Steeler territory 9 times through 3 quarters -- 5 times inside the 30 -- and have ZERO points to show for it. Jack Lambert recovers a post-season record 3 fumbles and Mike Wagner intercepts 2 Stabler passes in a slugfest which leaves the Steelers clinging to a 3-0 lead after three quarters. But Pittsburgh's offense finds paydirt twice in the final period, first on a beautiful improvisational run by Frano Harris for a 25-yd score (keyed by an outstanding crackback block by John Stallworth) to extend their lead to 10-0, and finally icing the game (pun intended) on a 20-yd Bradshaw to Stallworth TD strike to put Pittsburgh up 16-7 late in the contest. In the final moments of the game, Oakland keeps fighting, narrowing the score to 16-10 with a field goal and recovering the ensuing onside kick with just 7 seconds remaining. But time runs out on a 37-yd pass to Cliff Branch at the Steeler 15, and the Steelers advance to their second consecutive Super Bowl.
Super Bowl X Steelers 21 vs Cowboys 17
Lynn Swann soars in the greatest big-game performance by any receiver ever in one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played! Dallas turns a botched Steelers punt into a quick 7 points and in spite of Pittsburgh's statistical dominance, the Cowboys actually lead 10-7 after 3 quarters. But the 4th quarter is all Pittsburgh as the Steel Curtain and a rabid Jack Lambert shine in one of the most exciting Super Bowls of all time. Swann is clearly the star, hauling in 4 miraculous catches for 161 yards and the game-winning TD. But Lambert is a close 2nd for MVP in this one. I'm telling you, he just EXPLODES on people in a complete frenzy, screaming & yelling, flailing his arms, getting in people's faces. His body-slam of Cliff Harris gets a lot of press, but what Lambert did while the clock was running is much more impressive. There are a couple of solo tackles Lambert makes that sound like gunshots. This was in Jan. of '75, folks... there were no fancy-schmancy, high-tech mics to enhance the sound of the hits back then. He's just HAMMERING people. The tide turns in Pittsburgh's favor for good when Reggie Harrison blocks a punt for a safety early in the final period. A Gerela FG a shortly thereafter gives Pittsburgh a 12-10 lead and a brilliant Mike Wagner INT deep in Dallas territory sets up another Gerela FG a few plays later. The nail in the coffin is Lynn Swann's final catch of the afternoon, a picture-perfect 64-yard deep post from Bradshaw (voted "the Greatest Pass of All Time" by NFL Films) to give Pittsburgh an insurmountable 21-10 lead. Give Dallas credit... they fight until the bitter end, but Glen Edwards picks off Staubach's final desperation pass in the end zone as time expires. One of my absolute favorite games! Footage includes all of the old commercials, some pregame material with player introductions and the National Anthem, the complete halftime show as well as lots of postgame material including the Lombardi Trophy presentation, game highlights and numerous locker room interviews with players and coaches from both sides.
1976 Steelers 28 at Raiders 31
Ah, yes... this is the game that prompts Raider DB George Atkinson's slander lawsuit against Chuck Noll and is as huge of a matchup as you could have for a season-opener. The game lives up to its hype and is one of my personal favorites (in spite of the final score) featuring tons of absolutely brutal hits at the very peak the most vicious rivalry in NFL history. Of course, there are plenty of cheap shots by the Raiders, including Atkinson's infamous blow to Lynn Swann's head (which prompted Chuck Noll to dub Atkinson part of the "criminal element" in the league, setting off the lawsuit). But Mel Blount inflicts some "criminal" damage of his own to Raider WR Cliff Branch, picking him up and pile-driving him head-first into the ground. Blount is outstanding, as are Jack Ham and John Stallworth. Unfortunately, the Steelers (who enjoy a 28-14 in the 4th quarter) seem to forget about Dave Casper (7 catches, 124 yds, 2 TDs) and somehow snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the final moments of the game. Missing a few minutes of action early in the 3rd quarter as well as the last couple of minutes of the game. The nice part about this is, the tape ends with the Steelers still clinging to the lead, so it almost seems like we won (which we should've).
1976 Steelers 31 vs Browns 14
Lambert is ferocious, Ham is flawless and Franco (118 yds & 1 TD on 25 carries) is unstoppable late in the game. Bradshaw, possibly bothered by the absence of the injured Swann, struggles mightily early in the game and Cleveland leads 14-0 at the half, so it's up to the defense to pull it out. Enter Jack Lambert and Jack Ham. The game turns when Ham blocks a Cockroft punt early in the 3rd, giving Pittsburgh the ball in the red zone and setting up a Bradshaw-to-Stallworth TD pass. As for Lambert, it's easy to see why he was the 1976 NFL defensive player of the year. Aside from forcing 2 fumbles, Jack seems to be in on every tackle and his legs are pumping furiously before every snap. But Lambert's most remarkable play comes when Hall of Fame receiver Paul Warfield catches a pass over the middle and is streaking for a huge Cleveland gain. Incredibly, Lambert not only runs the speedy Warfield down from behind, but also rips the ball away and Ham recovers for Pittsburgh. Unbelievable stuff. Edited huddles, but very nice video quality.
1976 Steelers 6 at Vikings 17 MNF
Features Jack Lambert's famous "Buzzard's Breath, Wyoming" intro (lol). Pittsburgh draws first blood after Lambert picks off Bob Lee (subbing for an injured Fran Tarkenton) and returns it to the Viking 15. Bradshaw hits Cunningham 5 plays later for a 1-yd TD pass, but Gerela's PAT is blocked. After Bradshaw is intercepted in the 2nd quarter (1 of 4 costly Bradshaw INTs), Chuck Foreman scores on a 8-yd TD run for a 7-6 lead. Both teams miss FG attempts and trade turnovers before the game moves to the final period. With the ball on their own 27 and inches to go, the Steelers briefly consider going for it but ultimately decide to punt. Unfortunately, Mike Webster snaps the ball over Bobby Walden’s head and the Vikings recover at the Steelers 7. Two Foreman runs later, Minnesota leads 14-6. Minnesota adds a 43 yd FG to complete the scoring before another Bradshaw interception seals Pittsburgh's fate as the Steelers get off to a shocking 1-3 start.
1976 Steelers 23 vs Bengals 6
Facing an early end to their season, the 1-4 Steelers thrash the division-leading 4-1 Bengals convincingly in a must-win game to start their historic run toward the playoffs. With Bradshaw sidelined due to the infamous "Turkey Joe Jones" piledriver in Cleveland the week before, rookie QB Mike Kruczek is under center and the Steelers are forced to rely on dominating defense and a relentless running game. It's a recipe for success. Kruczek completes only 5 of 12 for 58 yds and 1 INT, but Franco Harris sets an NFL single-game record with 41 carries (143 yds) and scores 2 TDs. Meanwhile, the defense forces 3 turnovers (including an INT and a forced fumble/recovery by Lambert), sacks Ken Anderson 5 times and holds Cinci's high-scoring offense to a pair of FGs. Footage includes some pregame and the coin toss but is missing most of the 1st quarter. Action starts late in the first quarter with the Bengals leading 3-0. The Steeler Curtain absolutely SMOTHERS Cinci for the entire 2nd half and has Ken Anderson running for his life. Features the famous late hit by Cinci LB Bo Harris on Kruczek where Lambert races down the bench to give Harris a shot back. Thanks to tm101956 for this long-lost classic!
1976 Steelers 23 vs Chargers 0
Game footage starts at the begining of the 4th quarter with the Chargers trailing 3-0. Jack Lambert immediately makes his presence felt, repeatedly smothering Charger RBs for losses. Franco is out with leg cramps, but Bradshaw is back from injury after missing 2 games. The Steelers break the game open on a crazy sandlot play in which Bradshaw gives the ball to Frank Lewis on a reverse run/pass option. Lewis is looking to throw, but no one is open. Cornered, Lewis reverses field and throws a backward pass to Bradshaw, who tucks it under his arm but suddenly spots Randy Grossman and fires the ball downfield. Grossman makes a shoestring catch at the 9-yd line and two plays later, Bradshaw dives into the end zone on a QB sneak to give the Steelers a 10-0 lead. The trick play seems to deflate the Chargers and Reggie Harrison (13 carries, 108 yds) repeatedly exploits San Diego for huge gains up the middle as the Steelers cruise to a back-breaking TD on a Bradshaw-to-Pough 11-yd crossing pattern. Footage then cuts to John Banaczak pouncing on a botched pitch-out and rumbling 30 yards for an apparent TD. Unfortunately, the refs rule it a "backwards pass" which apparently makes it a dead ball where Banaczak recovered, taking the TD off the board. No matter, as Reggie Harrison continues to rip off huge runs up the middle against San Diego, and Frenchy Fuqua caps the drive with short TD to salt it away. Thanks to tm101956 for this gem!
1976 Steelers 45 at Chiefs 0
The Steelers win their 4th straight, chalk up their 3rd straight shutout and add to their string of 13 straight quarters without a point and 17 straight quarters without a TD. The Steel Curtain holds KC's #2-ranked offense to a paltry 34 yds rushing and forces 6 turnovers - 4 INTs and 2 fumbles. Game footage begins at the 2nd half kickoff with the Steelers leading 10-0. KC mounts a promising drive to the Steeler 8 to open the 2nd half, threatening to make it a 10-7 game, but Mike Wagner ends the drive with an interception in the end zone and the floodgates open on the Chiefs. Bradshaw immediately hits rookie WR Ernie Pough for a 50-yd bomb, and Franco bursts up the middle for a 25-yd TD on the next play to give Pittsburgh a 17-0 lead. From there, the Steel Curtain utterly crucifies Mike Livingston, who is running for his life on every play. A KC punt from their own end zone gives the Steelers the ball at the KC 40. On first down, Bradshaw hits Pough deep again for 35 yds to the KC 5 and 2 plays later, Franco runs it in for a 24-0 lead. Livingston throws another INT, this time to JT Thomas, setting up a 19-yd Bradshaw-to-Lewis TD pass. The 4th quarter opens with another Livingston INT (his 4th of the day), this time by league-leading Glen Edwards, and Pittsburgh adds another TD for a 38-0 lead. Franco (23 carries, 117 yds, 2 TDs) and Rocky (15 carries, 102 yds) both gain over 100 yds on the ground, and with Bradshaw and Franco resting for much of the 4th quarter, backup (to the backup, to the backup) Jack Deloplaine gains 64 yds on 6 carries and scores 2 TDs. Thanks to tm101956 for this game!
1976 Steelers 14 vs Dolphins 3
4th quarter only. Action starts early in the 4th quarter with Bob Griese and company in the shadow of their own goal post, trailing 7-3. Griese hits a pair of nicely thrown passes to quickly move the Dolphins to the Steelers 42. But Miami gets no closer as the Steeler Curtain quickly clamps down, punctuated by a vicious hit by JT Thomas that sounds like a gun going off, followed by a 3rd down sack by Dwight White and Ernie Holmes. Miami punts and Kruczek works the clock, alternating handoffs between Franco and Bleier (who each go over 100 yds rushing) before hitting Frank Lewis on crossing route on 3rd and long. Lewis makes the catch, emerges from traffic and races down the left sideline for a 64-yd gain before being pushed out of bounds (barely) at the 2. Two plays later, Reggie Harrison dives over the pile and into the end zone to give Pittsburgh an insurmountable 14-3 lead with lead with less than 2 minutes remaining. Video ends after Harrison's decisive TD. Thanks to tm101956 for this game!
1976 Steelers 32 vs Oilers 16
Part of first half only. Impenetrable defense, embarrasing offense. Video includes pregame with Curt Gowdy and John Brody along with coin toss. With Bradshaw and Pastorini out, ineptitude at QB ensues. The Steelers look sharp on their first drive, marching 58 yds in 8 plays for a TD. Kruczek converts with nice pass on 3rd & 7, then Franco breaks it outside for 18. Bleier punches up the gut for 7, Franco carries twice to pick up a first down and Bleier finally knifes through the middle for a 10-yd TD. Things get ugly offensively from there. After the Steel Curtain forces a 3 & out, a Kruczek INT kills a promising drive. Again, the Steel Curtain forces a 3 & out. More Franco and Rocky as the Steelers reach the red zone but settle for a FG. After the ensuing kickoff, and an alert Jack Ham immediately makes a leaping INT and returns it to the Houston 6. But a sack pushes the Steelers back and Noll shows little confidence in Kruczek's arm, calling a running play on 3rd-and-21 only to see Roy Gerela miss a 36-yd FG. The Steel Curtain forces yet another 3 & out and this time, Loren Toews blocks the punt for a safety and a 12-0 lead. But Jim Clack fumbles the free kick and the Oilers recover. Houston immediately fumbles on a pitch out and Lambert recovers for Pittsburgh at the Houston 38. But the offense goes backwards again and the drive ends with a punt. This is where the footage ends in the 2nd quarter. Thanks to tm101956 for this game!
1976 Steelers 7 at Bengals 3
A HUGE "must win" game for the Steelers, this time in blizzard conditions against the division-leading Bengals. A Cincinnati victory would win the division for the Bengals and eliminate the Steelers from the playoffs. But Pittsburgh rallies yet again behind rookie QB Mike Kruczek (subbing for an injured Bradshaw) as Franco and Rocky combine for 184 yds on 42 carries and Lynn Swann hauls in 5 passes for 95 yds. Cinci leads courtesy of an early Chris Bahr FG and multiple Pittsburgh mistakes until late in the 3rd quarter when, following a Pittsburgh punt, Dwight White rips the ball away from Boobie Clark and emerges from the pile with the ball at the Bengal 25. From there, Kruczek hits Swann for 14, Bleier gets outside for 7 and then Franco Harris plows his way into the end zone from the 4 to give Pittsburgh the lead. The Steelers have a chance to seal the game midway through the 4th quarter, but on 4th & goal from the 1, Kruczek loses his footing and is stuffed on a QB sneak. The Bengals have one last shot late, driving deep into Steelers territory during the final minute of the game, but Anderson throws 4 straight incompletions to end the threat. Footage ends with Cinci facing a 3rd & 10 from the Steeler 23. Thanks to tm101956 for this game!
1976 Steelers 21 at Oilers 0
Pittsburgh wins their 9th straight to earn a playoff spot. During this stretch, the defense does not allow a touchdown in 22 consecutive quarters nor in 8 of the last 9 games, shutting out 5 of its last 8 opponents. Footage includes pregame detailing the long road back from a 1-4 start to playoff contender, a short portion of first quarter, then skips to 2nd quarter with the game tied 0-0. The teams trade punts until Mel Blount makes a huge INT late in first half at the Steeler 40 (forced by pressure from Joe Greene) and returns it all the way to the Houston 13. After a pair of penalties, Swann runs a perfect down-and-in pattern, leaps in front of a trio of flatfooted Oiler defenders to make the catch, sidestepping them as he glides into the end zone to complete a 21-yd TD pass. Missing some action after that and the game resumes in the 3rd quarter with Bradshaw gaining 15 yds on a QB sweep to the Oiler 10. On the next play, Franco runs right, is cut off, reverses field and runs left, picks up a great block from Bradshaw and takes it in for the 11-yd score to extend Pittsburgh's lead to 14-0. By the time it's over, the Steelers rush 53 times for 258 yds: Franco carries 23 times for 104 yds and a TD, Rocky carries 22 times for 107 yds (eclipsing the 1000-yd mark) and Bradshaw runs 4 times for 35 yds with a rushing TD. Missing significant chunks of action in the second half. Footage ends after Bradshaw puts the Steelers up 21-0 on a QB sneak. A huge thanks to tm101956 for this game!
1976 AFC Playoffs Steelers 40 at Colts 14
I love this game. Along with it being one of my earliest memories as a young fan, it's also a truly amazing look at the most talent-laden team in NFL history at the absolute peak of its game. There has never been a better defense; don't even bother trying to debate it. And in my opinion, the '76 team, when healthy, was the greatest football team ever assembled in terms of talent -- offense, defense, special teams -- and this game shows them at their pinacle. It's not that they play a perfect game; they don't. But they are so overwhelming that the 11-3 Colts with their #1-rated offensive scoring machine led by First Team All Pro Bert Jones manage just 99 yds net passing and 71 yds rushing while the full-throttle Steelers pile up 526 yards (301 passing and 225 rushing) and lay 40 points on Baltimore. And it could have been worse because the Steelers leave a TD on the field after a Reggie Harrison fumble at the Colts' 2 and are deep in Baltimore territory again as time expires. Bradshaw, finally healthy after missing 6 games with neck and wrist injuries, is utterly flawless, hitting 14 of 18 for 264 yds and 3 TDs including a 76-yd TD bomb to Frank Lewis on the game's 3rd play. The O-line manhandles Baltimore and clears the way for Franco to run wild for 132 yds (122 in the first 30 minutes) with 3 catches for another 24 yds before being injured. Swann is fantastic, snagging 5 passes (several in heavy traffic) for 77 yds and 2 TDs. And that defense... sweet mother of Mary. They are absolutely suffocating. Baltimore has one fluke drive early, capped by a truly beautiful Jones-to-Carr TD pass, but they don't sniff the end zone again until garbage time. You have to keep in mind, this was the #1 offense in football and the Steel Curtain just shakes them like a rag doll. There's a great statistical comparison at the start of the game between the Baltimore offense and Pittsburgh defense: Points (Colts scored 417, Steelers allowed 138), TDs (51 scored by the Colts, 13 allowed by Pittsburgh), yards, etc. The Colts were a very talented team... and the Steelers just swallow them whole. Unfortunately, the Steelers are ravaged by key injuries in this game. Franco, Rocky and Frenchy all go down, leaving Reggie Harrison (primarily a special teamer and short yardage back) as the only healthy running back on a team that had been the NFL's #1 rushing attack. Roy Gerela's kicking duties are assumed by The Ranger, center Ray Mansfield, meaning FG's would no longer be an option. So frustrating, because this incredible team was headed for a 3-peat had they been able to stay healthy. The footage ends with 2 minutes remaining in the game, but no scoring is missed. I'm eternally grateful to tm101956 for making this long-lost classic available!
1976 AFC Championship Steelers 7 at Raiders 24
What a frustrating game. Franco Harris, Rocky Bleier, Frenchy Fuqua and Roy Gerela all sit this one out with injuries, preventing a Super Bowl 3-peat for Pittsburgh. Bradshaw, who had possibly his finest game as a pro the previous week vs. Baltimore, pulls a Jekyll & Hyde and misses his first 8 passes (including several drops and an interception that's returned to the 1 yard line and leads to an Oakland TD). With Terry clearly off his game (and the officials allowing Oakland DBs to interfere at will), no kicking game, and absolutely NO rushing attack (the Steelers literally have only ONE healthy, active RB left on their roster... Reggie Harrison), the healthy Raiders steal an easy victory from the injury-ravaged Steelers. The Steel Curtain plays great football at times, but spends WAAAY too much time on the field, ultimately giving up uncharacteristically large chunks of yardage on the ground. In typical classless Raider fan fashion, the idiot fans rush onto the field before the final play (a pass to Swann) is complete.
1977 Steelers 27 vs 49ers 0 MNF
Footage ends midway through 3rd quarter. Franco and a totally dominant Steeler defense combine to crush San Francisco as Harris alone outgains the entire 49er offense. The Steel Curtain yields only 101 total yds of offense (82 rushing, 19 passing) while Franco, who scores a pair of TDs, rushes for 100 yds and adds 9 more yds receiving. Jim Plunkett is utterly obliterated, completing only 3 of 13 passes for 30 yds, all of which are erased by Steeler sacks for minus 30 yds. Franco, who repeatedly gains big chunks of yardage on outside pitches from Bradshaw, gives Pittsburgh all the points they need in the 2nd quarter when he breaks a pair of arm tackles and powers 14 yds for a score. Roy Gerela adds a pair of the longest kicks I've ever seen him make; a 50-yarder that gives the Steelers a 10-0 halftime lead and a 47-yarder that makes it 13-0 in the 3rd. Footage ends midway through 3rd quarter after the Niners' only scoring opportunity ends in botched snap on a FG attempt. Lots of MNF pregame with Howard Cosell, Don Meridith and Al Michaels, but missing numerous 3-and-out possessions by the Niners.
1977 Steelers 28 at Browns 14
A real grind-it-out game from start to finish featuring HARD running by Franco and Rocky. Swann also shines, snagging 7 catches (including 2 of Bradshaw's 3 TD tosses) and displays remarkable speed on a great 30-yd punt return to set up Pittsburgh's opening score (Swannie's first TD catch of the day). The punt return is also notable because footage of Swann on special teams is fairly rare. A tipped Bradshaw pass results in an INT that puts Cleveland ahead 14-7 in the 2nd quarter. But on the ensuing drive, another tipped Bradshaw pass, this one on a bomb to Frank Lewis, bounces off rookie CB Oliver Davis before Lewis reels it in and trots into the end zone to tie the game on a 65-yd TD. Early in the 3rd, a muffed punt by Cleveland in their own red zone leads to Lynn Swann TD catch and the Steelers never look back. This game is also quite interesting because along with great play from names like Ham & Blount come outstanding performances from lesser known players like Loren Toews, Jim Allen, and Reggie Harrison. Perhaps most striking is how HARD Pittsburgh's reserves (who see considerable action late in the contest) play when they're given the opportunity. Some edited huddles, but very watchable.
1977 Steelers 35 vs Browns 31
An all-out aerial assault amidst huge snowflakes. :) Anyone who doubts that Lynn Swann & John Stallworth belong in the Hall of Fame needs to watch this amazing game. The Browns score 1st on a Cockroft FG, but the Steelers explode for 28 unanswered points before the half. Swann & Stallworth are amazing, putting on a textbook display of how to make every kind of conceivable catch. Swann saves an 18-yarder by sliding on his knees at the sideline, and shortly thereafter hauls in a picture-perfect 39-yd TD bomb. Stallworth then breaks numerous tackles to turn a short pass into a 40-yd gain, followed by Swann's leaping 24-yd grab between two defenders at the 2 to set up a Bleier score. Stallworth then hauls in a beautiful 39-yd rainbow of a bomb for another TD, and Swann follows up with a diving, sliding, shoestring grab for a 25-yd gain to set up another score for a 28-3 halftime lead. The snow starts flying in the second half and a Franco fumble sets up a Browns TD, but Stallworth puts the nail in Cleveland's coffin a few plays later with a 10-yd TD grab. Bradshaw finishes 13 of 21 for 283 yds and 3 TDs with both Swann & Stallworth going over 100 yds, and Franco still manages to ramble for 99 yards and a TD amidst the aerial fireworks. Trailing 35-10, the Browns fight gallantly behind reserve QB Dave Mays (Sipe is knocked out of the game with a season-ending shoulder injury), narrowing the final score to 35-31, but the outcome is never really in question.
1977 Steelers 28 vs Cowboys 13
The 8-1 Cowboys capitalize on a Franco Harris fumble to take an early 6-0 lead, but Franco redeems himself immediately, making a great cutback & then turning on the afterburners for a 61 yard TD burst on the very next play! Harris goes on to dominate the game, grinding out 179 yards on 29 carries as the Steelers run almost exclusively (Bradshaw is playing with a cast on his broken left wrist but still manages to throw a pair of TDs) and physically punish Dallas' Doomsday defense. The Steel Curtain is all over Staubach, especially in the 2nd half, sacking him several times & forcing a pair of interceptions, including a pick returned to the Dallas 2 yard line to seal the game 28-13. Video has complete halftime show (including a piece on Sadat's historic visit to Israel) and all commercials. Final 9 seconds of game missing (no biggee).
1977 Steelers 10 at Bengals 17
Second half only of game played on a frozen field in bitterly cold zero-degree weather (wind chill was 17 below zero). Video begins in the 3rd quarter with Steelers pinned in the shadow of their own goal post clinging to a 10-7 lead. Following a Steeler punt, Anderson hits Billy Brooks for a 57-yard bomb, but the Steelers stiffen and hold Cinci to a FG. On the ensuing kickoff, Jim Smith (filling in for an injured Lynn Swann) coughs up the ball and the Bengals recover. Ken Anderson immediately hits Pat McInally for a shocking 43-yard TD bomb, Cinci's second score in 15 seconds. Pittsburgh fights 'til the end but runs out of time and downs. A special thanks to Paul Evereklian for providing us with this video!
1977 AFC Playoffs Steelers 21 at Broncos 34
This is a game the Steelers probably should've won, but Tom Jackson has fantastic game (2 Int and a fumble recovery as well as some incredible hits) for the "Orange Crush". Also, this game is a perfect illustration of why you should never, EVER continue to hold Joe Greene after he warns you to stop (watch what happens to Denver guard Paul Howard at the 59:10 mark). OUCH!!! A few plays later, Joe gets wronged again in his view and takes a similar shot at Mike Montler (64:18). The Steelers get penalized 15 yards, but on the very next play, Denver coughs up the ball and guess who recovers? Joe Greene! The moral of the story: Do not -- I repeat -- do NOT hold Joe Greene, people! LOL. Game is joined in progress and missing some action in 3rd quarter.
I find the above statistics incredibly interesting. It's worth noting that the Steelers offense was among the top 5 for most points scored as often as the defense was in the top 5 for fewest points allowed during their 8-year playoff run (6 times each). At first glance, the strength of their offensive ranking could lead one to believe that the Steeler offense was grossly underrated during the early years of the Steel Curtain. But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the incredible play of the defense was setting up scoring opportunities for the offense (as evidenced by higher offensive point rankings than yardage rankings in nearly every season during this span). It's also worth nothing that when the defense finally succumbed to age and became "average," the dynasty instantly ended.