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 1976 Regular Season 


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).




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 27 vs Patriots 30
Sorry, this game is currently not available. If you have access to it, please let us know!




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 16 at Browns 18
Sorry, this game is currently not available. If you have access to it, please let us know!




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 27 at Giants 0
Sorry, this game is currently not available. If you have access to it, please let us know!




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, all in the 2nd half) repeatedly gashes 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 Banaszak 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 42 vs Buccaneers 0
Sorry, this game is currently not available. If you have access to it, please let us know!




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 Post Season 

NBC TV Broadcast with
Jim Simpson & John Brodie


NBC TV Broadcast with
Baltimore Radio dubbed in
(Thompson, Bagli, Donovan)

1976 AFC Playoffs Steelers 40 at Colts 14 - Simpson & Brodie

1976 AFC Playoffs Steelers 40 at Colts 14 - Thompson, Bagli, Donovan

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 pinnacle.

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 League MVP 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 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. 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!

Note: There are two versions of this game. The first is the NBC broadcast featuring original TV announcers Jim Simpson and John Brodie and the full opening sequence. The second is TV broadcast with the significantly more entertaining WCBM radio broadcast of Baltimore announcers Chuck Thompson, Vince Bagli and the one-of-a-kind Art Donovan dubbed in. Some huddles are edited near the end of each half, so I lost some great between-plays commentary in the conversion. But I've wanted to do this for years and I finally got around to it. The radio broadcast also includes commentary after a plane crashes into the upper deck of Municipal Stadium following the game. A huge thanks to epaddon for generously providing the radio broadcast!




1976 AFC Championship Steelers 7 at Raiders 24
What a frustrating game. Pittsburgh's pair of 1,000-yard rushers, Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier (as well as place kicker Roy Gerela) sit this one out with injuries, preventing a Super Bowl 3-peat for the Steelers.

Forced to run a strange, 1-back offense, Bradshaw -- who had perhaps his finest game as a pro the previous week in Baltimore -- gets off to a miserable start, missing his first 8 passes, including multiple drops and an interception that bounces off Fuqua's hands and into the waiting arms of Willie Hall, who returns it to the 1 yard-line to set up an easy 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 (Reggie Harrison and a wounded Frenchie Fuqua are not reasonable substitutes for Franco and Rocky), the healthy Raiders steal a relatively easy victory from the injury-ravaged Steelers.

The Steel Curtain plays great football at times, especially early, but spends WAAAY too much time on the field, ultimately giving up uncharacteristically large chunks of yardage on the ground.



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+ = First Team All-Pro
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