1979 Steelers vs Oilers (Sep 9, 1979)      






 






1979 Season

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1979 Steelers 38 vs Oilers 7

A game that had been touted as a rematch of the '78 AFC Championship winds up looking more like a replay -- sans the freezing rain -- as the Steelers take absolute control right from the bright and sunny start.

In spite of a makeshift offensive line due to injuries and a somewhat subpar game offensively, the Steelers steamroll the mistake-plagued Oilers with surprisingly little resistance. On one drive, Houston coughs the ball up on 3 consecutive plays (but retains possession). On another drive, Bradshaw shrewdly baits the Oilers into 4 offsides penalties using a hard count. Even with procedure penalties overturning deep throws to both Stallworth and Swann, the Steelers move efficiently downfield for an early score.

While the Steeler offense admittedly doesn't play their best game (other than Swann, who snags 5 balls for 95 yds), the Steel Curtain plays so well that Bradshaw & company could've stayed in bed and the outcome would've been the same. Houston finishes with a pathetic 22 net passing yards after factoring in 5 sacks and 5 INTs as Dan Pastorini (4 of 16 for 16 yards) is simply crucified by the Steelers, throwing 3 INTs and getting blasted on nearly every play until he's finally wheeled off the field on a stretcher in the 3rd quarter with a painful shoulder injury.

The 14 first-down plays Pastorini calls result in a net of -3 yards and at the time Pastorini leaves the game, the Oilers have run 35 plays for a total of 17 yards... an average of 17.5 inches per play. Backup Gifford Nielson comes off the bench and fares little better, throwing 2 more INTs as Houston turns the ball over 6 times and the great Earl Campbell is a complete non-factor with a career-low 38 yards rushing.


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