1976 Steelers at Raiders (Sep 12, 1976)      


Game Stats


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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), allowing the Raiders to cram 24 points into the 4th quarter to 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).

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