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 net of 22 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.
"Lambert didn't see me coming until the last instant. He tried to square up but couldn't, and I drilled him -- just floored him. The play went for a score, and he got up cussing and yelling with the wildest eyes I've ever seen!" More...
I was a failed Steeler draft choice as a tight end coming out of Nebraska in
1978 (7th round, selected 187th overall), but during my brief stint with the team, I experienced a couple of memorable Jack Lambert moments first hand that I thought your readers would enjoy.
Lambert was as intimidating in camp as he was in games... maybe even more so. Nobody
messed with Jack. NOBODY. His respect was solid within the team. He was his own man and was not
into political correctness in the slightest because I believe his heart was
pure and he was comfortable within himself. At our first team lunch with the
vets in camp, we had to stand up and introduce ourselves -- rookies and star veterans alike -- and tell what school we played for. When it came his turn, Jack stood up on
his chair and shouted like a Marine drill sergeant, "I'm Jack Lambert,
I'm from Grambling and if you don't like it, you can kiss my
skinny white a$$!" He sat back down without even a trace of a smile and the
place just went nuts, howling and laughing. Grambling is, of course, a predominantly "black"
state university in Louisiana...
Here's a cool TribLive article by Kevin Gorman about Mac & Wife message board member Merrill Shaffer (aka, "Chip2058") and his recently completed quest to get a helmet autographed by coach Chuck Noll and every Steeler who was a member of the franchise's first four Super Bowl championship teams. The final piece in the puzzle was former LB Loren Toews, who Shaffer finally tracked down in Northern California. Cool story, definitely worth a read. :)
Watch 70's Steelers Games on MP4 Go ahead, get stuck in the '70s! We've been converting our extensive library of classic Steelers games (as they were originally broadcast by the networks) from VHS to digital. Now you can relive these fantastic gridiron battles right here! Games that are ready to watch will have a green light next to them on the list. If you don't see a green light, the game isn't there yet (but wil be coming soon). More...Fan Message Board Let your voice be heard on our fan message board! Connect with other fans, share your thoughts on the Steelers or weigh in on about just about any other topic you find of interest. More...Steelers Team History Extensive historical team and player info including legacy player tributes to Bradshaw, Lambert & Swann. More...
If you missed the preseason game vs. Atlanta yesterday, you're probably better off. Especially the first half. Matt Ryan lit our defense up. I realize many starters weren't playing, but that was terrible defense by any standard, particularly at the safety position.
Technically speaking, just about everything here is new right now due to the site remodel (even though this site has been here for 20 years). As we add new classic games and other features, we'll note it here so you can easily find what's new on the site.
No-Frills Game List Updated 8/23/17:
If you'd rather view a simple, no-frills list of my collection of Steelers games, click here.
Given enough time, nearly any discussion of the Steelers will eventually turn to the greatest "what if" in the annals of Pittsburgh sports: What if the Steelers had drafted Dan Marino? Oddly enough, this subject came up during a conversation about the 1990 Steelers' 35-0 victory over the Browns. One thing led to another, and... well, Marino, of course. :)
"In my hypothetical, the Steelers draft Dan Marino in the 1983 NFL Draft and the Steelers go to the Super Bowl at least four, maybe five times between 1983 through 1999." ~ Matthew Simon
Seems legit. Personally, I think Marino would've been good for one, maybe two more Lombardi's in Pittsburgh. What are your thoughts?
Lake's Take: Post-draft Depth Situation By "The Lakelander" > QB ... Big Ben is legendary, a future first ballot HOFer, and still very dangerous in accuracy and his deep ball ... We likely improved our backup QB situation and we did so with a Slash Stewart prototype ... I'm really cool with this ...
> OL ... We are deep on O-Line with a very veteran starting group, and with Finney, Hubbard, Hawkins and Mike Matthews (son of HOFer Bruce Matthews) ... No worries here heading into camp ...
> TE ... Well it all depends on Ladarius the way I see it. He was clearly a TD threat for Big Ben when he actually played last year ... Steelers have James, Green, Grimble and some young undrafted types ... It's safe to say we aren't a TE heavy team and it's also safe to say we will rely on our WR's in 2017 ...
Comments by dbsfgyd1
"He was the first Steeler I met. It was the spring of 1964. The local YMCA had a 'Night With the Steelers' son and dads program. I became a fan during the 1963 season as the Steelers finally put together a championship caliber team, but fell short in a semi playoff game against the NY Giants. I was thinking I'd be meeting guys the likes of John Henry Johnson, Gary Bauman, Big Daddy Lipscomb. The thing was, the only Steeler that showed up was this skinny guy with a movie projector in one arm, and a film can in the other. It was the NFL highlight film of the 1963 season. Funny looking back on it, as thoroughly disappointed I was not so see any 'real' football players that night, little did I know, and how unimpressed I was to meet the second most important man in the history of the Steelers; a keen business man, the one who molded the most successful team in the history of professional sports, the key driver of turning this team and others into billion dollar enterprises, selected to represent all of all of us Americans as an ambassador, Mr. Dan Rooney. RIP. A life truly well lived."
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