1972 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1972 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the team's 40th in the National Football League.

The team posted a record of 11–3 in 1972, and won their first-ever AFC Central Division title. It was the team's third-ever postseason appearance, its first postseason appearance in ten seasons (the Playoff Bowl for third place in the league), and only its second playoff game since 1947. This season is famous for the Immaculate Reception, where the Steelers beat the Oakland Raiders in the playoffs 13-7 on a last second touchdown by Franco Harris.

The rebuilding of the franchise that began in 1969 with the hiring of Chuck Noll finally came to fruition in his fourth year. After winning only one game in his first year in 1969 the team that showed steady improvement broke through in 1972 and made the playoffs for the first time since 1947. The division title was the first in team history, as was the appearance in the AFC Championship game which they lost to the undefeated Miami Dolphins 21-17. It was the first of 8 straight playoff appearances for the Steelers that led to 4 Super Bowl Championships.

1972 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head coachChuck Noll
OwnerArt Rooney
Home fieldThree Rivers Stadium
Results
Record11–3
Division place1st AFC Central
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (Raiders) 13–7
Lost AFC Championship (Dolphins) 21–17
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
Team MVPFranco Harris

Offseason

NFL Draft

1972 Pittsburgh Steelers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 13 Franco Harris *   RB Penn State
2 38 Gordon Gravelle  OT BYU
3 63 John McMakin  TE Clemson
4 80 Lorenzo Brinkley  DB Missouri
4 88 Ed Bradley  LB Wake Forest
5 113 Steve Furness  DE Rhode Island
6 143 Dennis Meyer  DB Arkansas State
7 159 Joe Colquitt  DE Kansas State
7 168 Robert Kelly  DB Jackson State
8 193 Stahle Vincent  RB Rice
9 217 Don Kelley  DB Clemson
10 243 Bob Brown  DT Tampa
11 273 Joe Gilliam  QB Tennessee State
12 298 Ron Curl  OT Michigan State
13 323 Ernie Messmer  OT Villanova
14 348 Tommy Durrance  RB Florida
15 368 John Hulecki  OG UMass
15 373 Charles Harrington  OG Witchita State
16 403 Nate Hawkins  WR UNLV
17 428 Ron Linehan  LB Idaho
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

Roster

1972 Pittsburgh Steelers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists



Practice squad

Head coach
Assistant coaches


Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Depth chart

Defense
1972 Pittsburgh Steelers roster
FS
49 Ralph Anderson
27 Glen Edwards
WLB MLB SLB
53 Henry Davis
36 Chuck Winfrey 38 Ed Bradley
61 Brian Stenger
SS
23 Mike Wagner
37 Chuck Beatty
CB
48 John Rowser
29 John Dockery
DE DT DT DE
78 Dwight White 60 Ben McGee 75 Joe Greene 68 L. C. Greenwood
67 Craig Hanneman 63 Ernie Holmes 64 Steve Furness
CB
47 Mel Blount
44 Lee Calland
Offense
1972 Pittsburgh Steelers roster
WR
43 Frank Lewis
31 Al Young
LT LG C RG RT
55 Jon Kolb 57 Sam Davis 56 Ray Mansfield 66 Bruce Van Dyke 72 Gerry Mullins
71 Gordon Gravelle 50 Jim Clack 77 Mel Holmes 74 John Brown IR
TE
89 John McMakin
87 Larry Brown
85 Bob Adams IR
WR
25 Ron Shanklin
88 Dave L. Smith
QB
12 Terry Bradshaw
5 Terry Hanratty
17 Joe Gilliam
RB
33 John Fuqua
20 Rocky Bleier
35 Steve Davis
FB
32 Franco Harris
26 Preston Pearson
46 Warren Bankston
Special Teams
PK 10 Roy Gerela
P 39 Bobby Walden
KR 26 Preston Pearson
PR 27 Glen Edwards
LS 55 Jon Kolb
H 39 Bobby Walden

Preseason

Game summaries

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result
1 September 17, 1972 Oakland Raiders W 34–28
2 September 24, 1972 at Cincinnati Bengals L 15–10
3 October 1, 1972 at St. Louis Cardinals W 25–19
4 October 8, 1972 at Dallas Cowboys L 17–13
5 October 15, 1972 Houston Oilers W 24–7
6 October 22, 1972 New England Patriots W 33–3
7 October 29, 1972 at Buffalo Bills W 38–21
8 November 5, 1972 Cincinnati Bengals W 40–17
9 November 12, 1972 Kansas City Chiefs W 16–7
10 November 19, 1972 at Cleveland Browns L 26–24
11 November 26, 1972 Minnesota Vikings W 23–10
12 December 3, 1972 Cleveland Browns W 30–0
13 December 10, 1972 at Houston Oilers W 9–3
14 December 17, 1972 at San Diego Chargers W 24–2

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Oakland Raiders

1 234Total
Raiders 0 7021 28
Steelers 14 3107 34
  • References: [1]

The Steelers were able to start off against the Raiders at home scoring 17 unanswered points (2TDs/PATs and a FG) and eventually ended up defeating the team by 6 for a 34–28 victory and a 1–0 start.

Week 2: at Cincinnati Bengals

1 234Total
Steelers 0 1000 10
Bengals 3 066 15
  • References: [2]

Week 3: at St. Louis Cardinals

1 234Total
Steelers 3 12010 25
Cardinals 0 667 19
  • References: [3]

Week 4: at Dallas Cowboys

1 234Total
Steelers 6 700 13
Cowboys 3 770 17
  • References: [4]

Week 5: vs. Houston Oilers

1 234Total
Oilers 7 000 7
Steelers 0 1077 24

Week 6: vs. New England Patriots

1 234Total
Patriots 0 030 3
Steelers 10 7133 33
  • References: [6]

Week 7: at Buffalo Bills

1 234Total
Steelers 0 17714 38
Bills 0 0714 21
  • References: [7]

Week 8: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

1 234Total
Bengals 0 0143 17
Steelers 10 1677 40

Week 9: Kansas City Chiefs

1 234Total
Chiefs 0 700 7
• Steelers 0 0313 16

Scoring Drives:

  • Kansas City – Kearney 65 interception return (Stenerud kick) – Chiefs 7–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 25 – Chiefs 7–3
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 10 – Chiefs 7–6
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 49 – Steelers 9–7
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 7 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 16–7

Week 10: Cleveland Browns

1 234Total
Steelers 3 777 24
• Browns 10 1033 26

Scoring Drives:

Week 12: Cleveland Browns

1 234Total
Browns 0 000 0
• Steelers 3 7713 30

Franco Harris breaks Jim Brown's record for consecutive 100 yd games.

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 19 – Steelers 3–0
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 1 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 10–0
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 11 run (Gerela kick) – Steelers 17–0
  • Pittsburgh – McMakin 78 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Steelers 24–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 44 – Steelers 27–0
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 37 – Steelers 30–0

Week 13: Houston Oilers

1 234Total
• Steelers 3 060 9
Oilers 0 300 3
  • Date: December 10
  • Location: Houston Astrodome
  • Game attendance: 36,528
  • Referee: John McDonough

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 24 – Steelers 3–0
  • Houston – FG Butler 34 – Tie 3–3
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 39 – Steelers 6–3
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 13 – Steelers 9–3

Steelers clinch their 1st playoff berth.

Week 14: San Diego Chargers

1 234Total
• Steelers 7 737 24
Chargers 2 000 2

The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched their first AFC Central Division title (the day before the game Frank Sinatra is inducted into Franco's Italian Army).

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh- ((Franco Harris)) 7 yd run ((Roy Gerela)) (kick) Steelers 7-0
  • San Diego – Safety, Costa tackled Bradshaw in end zone – Steelers 7-2
  • Pittsburgh – Fuqua 2 run (Roy Gerela (kick) – Steelers 14–2
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 24 – Steelers 17–2
  • Pittsburgh – Shanklin 17 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) – Steelers 24–2

Standings

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Pittsburgh Steelers 11 3 0 .786 4–2 9–2 343 175 W4
Cleveland Browns 10 4 0 .714 5–1 9–2 268 249 W2
Cincinnati Bengals 8 6 0 .571 3–3 6–5 299 229 W1
Houston Oilers 1 13 0 .071 0–6 1–10 164 380 L11

Postseason

Game summaries

Divisional: vs. Oakland Raiders

1 234Total
Raiders 0 007 7
Steelers 0 0310 13

AFC Championship: vs. Miami Dolphins

1 234Total
• Dolphins 0 777 21
Steelers 7 037 17

References

  1. ^ Football Database – 1972 Pittsburgh Steelers Draft. Retrieved 2014-Feb-10.
Scoring summary
1PITHenry Davis 5-yard blocked punt return (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 7–0
1PITTerry Bradshaw 20-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 14–0
2PITRoy Gerela 48-yard field goalPIT 17–0
2OAKRaymond Chester 26-yard pass from George Blanda (George Blanda kick)PIT 17–7
3PITRoy Gerela 8-yard field goalPIT 20–7
3PITTerry Bradshaw 2-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 27–7
4OAKMike Siani 24-yard pass from Daryle Lamonica (George Blanda kick)PIT 27–14
4PITRon Shanklin 57-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 34–14
4OAKDon Highsmith 1-yard run (George Blanda kick)PIT 34–21
4OAKMike Siani 70-yard pass from Daryle Lamonica (George Blanda kick)PIT 34–28
Scoring summary
1CINHorst Muhlmann 41-yard field goalCIN 3–0
2PITTerry Bradshaw 12-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 7–3
2PITRoy Gerela 17-yard field goalPIT 10–3
3CINHorst Muhlmann 32-yard field goalPIT 10–6
3CINHorst Muhlmann 20-yard field goalPIT 10–9
4CINHorst Muhlmann 32-yard field goalCIN 12–10
4CINHorst Muhlmann 34-yard field goalCIN 15–10
Scoring summary
1PITRoy Gerela 17-yard field goalPIT 3–0
2PITRoy Gerela 20-yard field goalPIT 6–0
2STLJim Bakken 19-yard field goalPIT 6–3
2PITTerry Bradshaw 1-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 13–3
2PITSafety, Donny Anderson tackled by Ralph Anderson in end zonePIT 15–3
2STLJim Bakken 44-yard field goalPIT 15–6
3STLDonny Anderson 8-yard run (kick failed)PIT 15–12
3PITRoy Gerela 15-yard field goalPIT 18–12
4STLNorm Thompson 8-yard blocked punt return (Jim Bakken kick)STL 19–18
4PITFrank Lewis 38-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 25–19
Scoring summary
1PITRoy Gerela 39-yard field goalPIT 3–0
1DALToni Fritsch 40-yard field goalTied 3–3
1PITRoy Gerela 39-yard field goalPIT 6–3
2PITMel Blount 35-yard fumble return (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 13–3
2DALCalvin Hill 1-yard run (Toni Fritsch kick)PIT 13–10
3DALRon Sellers 55-yard pass from Calvin Hill (Toni Fritsch kick)DAL 17–13
Scoring summary
1HOUWard Walsh recovered blocked punt in end zone (Skip Butler kick)HOU 7–0
2PITRoy Gerela 28-yard field goalHOU 7–3
2PITFranco Harris 1-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 10–7
3PITFrank Lewis 11-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 17–7
4PITTerry Bradshaw 8-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 24–7
Scoring summary
1PITRoy Gerela 19-yard field goalPIT 3–0
1PITJack Ham 32-yard interception return (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 10–0
2PITRon Shanklin 30-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 17–0
3PITRoy Gerela 22-yard field goalPIT 20–0
3NECharlie Gogolak 16-yard field goalPIT 20–3
3PITSteve Davis 28-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 27–3
3PITRoy Gerela 35-yard field goalPIT 30–3
4PITRoy Gerela 33-yard field goalPIT 33–3
Scoring summary
2PITFranco Harris 2-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 7–0
2PITTerry Bradshaw 2-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 14–0
2PITRoy Gerela 29-yard field goalPIT 17–0
3BUFO.J. Simpson 94-yard run (John Leypoldt kick)PIT 17–7
3PITFranco Harris 18-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 24–7
4BUFBob Chandler 11-yard pass from Dennis Shaw (John Leypoldt kick)PIT 24–14
4PITFranco Harris 17-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 31–14
4BUFBob Chandler 4-yard pass from Dennis Shaw (John Leypoldt kick)PIT 31–21
4PITJohn Fuqua 4-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 38–21
Scoring summary
1PITJohn Fuqua 7-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 7–0
1PITRoy Gerela 15-yard field goalPIT 10–0
2PITRoy Gerela 22-yard field goalPIT 13–0
2PITFrank Lewis 28-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (kick failed)PIT 19–0
2PITLarry Brown 13-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 26–0
3CINVirgil Carter 1-yard run (Horst Muhlmann kick)PIT 26–7
3PITFrank Lewis 34-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 33–7
3CINChip Myers 2-yard pass from Virgil Carter (Horst Muhlmann kick)PIT 33–14
4PITFranco Harris 2-yard run (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 40–14
4CINHorst Muhlmann 37-yard field goalPIT 40–17
Game information
Scoring summary
Quarter Time Drive Team Scoring information Score
Plays Yards TOP MIN PIT
1 Vikings 24-yard field goal by Fred Cox 3 0
1 Steelers Franco Harris 12-yard touchdown run, Roy Gerela kick good 3 7
3 Steelers 17-yard field goal by Roy Gerela 3 10
4 Vikings Stu Voigt 5-yard touchdown reception from Fran Tarkenton, Fred Cox kick good 10 10
4 Steelers Terry Bradshaw 1-yard touchdown run, Roy Gerela kick no good (blocked) 10 16
4 Steelers Frank Lewis 17-yard touchdown reception from Terry Bradshaw, Roy Gerela kick good 10 23
"TOP" = time of possession. For other American football terms, see Glossary of American football. 10 23
Scoring summary
3PITRoy Gerela 18-yard field goalPIT 3–0
4PITRoy Gerela 29-yard field goalPIT 6–0
4OAKKen Stabler 30-yard run (George Blanda kick)OAK 7–6
4PITFranco Harris 60-yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela kick)PIT 13–7
Franchise
Stadiums
Culture
Lore
Rivalries
Media
Division championships (23)
Conference championships (8)
League championships (6)
Retired numbers
Hall of Fame members
Current league affiliations
Seasons (87)

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.