1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 42nd in the National Football League. They impoved to a 10-3-1 record and culminated in a Super Bowl championship. The team became the first in the Steelers' 42-year history to win a league title following the franchise's greatest playoff run to that point.

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head coachChuck Noll
General managerDaniel M. Rooney
OwnerArt Rooney
Home fieldThree Rivers Stadium
Results
Record10–3–1
Division place1st AFC Central
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (Bills) 32–14
Won AFC Championship (at Raiders) 24–13
Won Super Bowl IX (vs. Vikings) 16–6
Pro Bowlers
AP All-Pros
Team MVPGlen Edwards
Team ROYJack Lambert

Season

After 2 playoff appearances, the Steelers appeared to be in great shape after finishing the preseason as the only undefeated team in the NFL. After two straight games, the Steelers scored over 50 points and were 1-0-1. However, the Steelers couldn't beat the Raiders at home. Steelers starting quarterback at the time, Joe Gilliam's play continually deteriorated. By Week 7, the Steelers were 4-1-1 and Gilliam was benched for Terry Bradshaw during a win against the Falcons. Bradshaw won the next two games, but after a loss in Cincinnati, Noll benched Bradshaw again. This time he was benched in favor of Terry Hanratty (who was selected in the 1969 Draft). Hanratty however, played horribly in Cleveland. The offense was in a struggle, but the Steelers had won those tough games behind the still maturing Steel Curtain defense. When Bradshaw was brought back into the lineup, the Steelers beat the Browns and the Saints (a game that Bradshaw ran more than he passed). After a loss to Houston, the Steelers would play the most important game of the season in New England. With a win against the Patriots, the Steelers would clinch the AFC Central and appear in their third straight playoff appearance. But they didn't have to worry. The Steelers dominated them and then beat the Bengals and awaited the playoffs.

Playoffs

In the Divisional Round Playoff Game, the Steelers would play the Bills. Sports Illustrated's Dan Jenkins felt that Pittsburgh was "the only team to reach the playoffs without a quarterback".[1] However, the Steelers would dominate Buffalo and hold O.J. Simpson to 49 yards rushing (it was O.J.'s only playoff game appearance).

In the 1974 AFC Championship Game, the Steelers would play an old foe, the Raiders. Each year, the rivalry was escalating: in 1972, the Steelers won in Pittsburgh; in 1973, the Raiders returned the favor in Oakland. However, the Steelers were ready for anything the Raiders could throw at them. Using the new "Stunt 4-3 defense" the Steelers held the Raiders to 29 yards rushing as the Steelers themselves ran for over 200 yards in Oakland. After a Franco Harris touchdown run, the Steelers clinched their first Super Bowl appearance in club history (and their first league championship appearance).

Super Bowl IX

In Super Bowl IX, the Steelers and the Vikings had a hard time in the rough conditions at old Tulane Stadium. After many exchanges of punts, the Steelers finally scored a safety on a bobbled handoff by Fran Tarkenton. The score at the half was 2–0. The Steel Curtain continually dominated the Vikings. While coach Bud Grant tried to run at the strength of the Steel Curtain, they were shut down. The only points Minnesota managed to squeeze off was a blocked punt (the extra point was blocked). After the MVP performance by Franco Harris, the Steelers came away with a 16-6 victory over the Vikings. It was the first league title in Steelers history.

Personnel

Staff

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers staff
Front office
  • President – Arthur J. Rooney
  • Vice President – John R. McGinley
  • Vice President – Daniel M. Rooney
  • Vice President – Arthur J. Rooney, Jr.
  • Public Relations Director – Ed Kiely
  • Traveling Secretary – James A. Boston
  • Controller – Robert P. Quinn
  • Accountant – Dennis P. Thimons
  • Publicity Director – Joe Gordon
  • Ticket Manager – Joseph H. Carr
  • Director of Player Personnel – Dick Haley
  • Assistant Director of Player Personnel – Bill Nunn
  • Director of Professional Scouting – V. Timothy Rooney

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength – Louis Riecke
  • Flexibility – Paul Uram
  • Team Physician, Orthopedic – Dr. John Best
  • Team Physician, M.D. – Dr. David S. Huber
  • Team Dentist – Dr. Robert Gray
  • Trainer – Ralph Berlin
  • Equipment Manager – Anthony Parisi
  • Field Manager – Jack Hart

[2]

Roster

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers final roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists


Practice squad [3] [4] [5]


Rookies in italics
48 Active, 1 Inactive, Practice squad

Offseason

NFL Draft

During the offseason, the Steelers held their training camp in St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

During the 1974 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers would draft WR Lynn Swann in Round 1, LB Jack Lambert in Round 2, WR John Stallworth in Round 4, and C Mike Webster in Round 5. All four would later be inducted into the Pro-Football Hall of Fame. By 2014, the 1974 Steelers are the only team in history to select four such players in one single draft alone.

1974 Pittsburgh Steelers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 21 Lynn Swann   WR USC given #88
2 46 Jack Lambert   LB Kent State 1974 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, given #58
4 82 John Stallworth   WR Alabama A&M given #82
4 100 Jimmy Allen  DB UCLA given #45
5 125 Mike Webster   C Wisconsin Alternated with Ray Mansfield for the rest of Ray's career, given #52
6 149 Jim Wolf  DE Prairie View A&M given #62
6 150 Rick Druschel  Guard North Carolina State given #46
7 165 Allen Sitterle  T North Carolina State
7 179 Scott Garske  TE Eastern Washington
8 204 Mark Gefert  LB Purdue
9 223 Tommy Reamon  RB Missouri played for the WFL in 1974
9 229 Charlie Davis  DT TCU given #77
10 243 Jim Kregel  G Ohio State
10 254 Dave Atkinson  DB BYU
11 283 Dick Morton  RB Arkansas
12 308 Hugh Lickiss  LB Simpson
13 333 Frank Kolch  QB Eastern Michigan
14 333 Bruce Henley  DB Rice
15 387 Larry Hunt  DT Iowa State
16 412 Octavus Morgan  LB Illinois
17 437 Larry Moore  DE Angelo State
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

Preseason

In the 1974 Preseason, the Steelers became 6-0 and were the only undefeated team in the NFL. However, most of the talk was centered around the NFL's first successful black quarterback, Joe Gilliam. Chuck Noll did start Gilliam in the preseason and after it ended, Chuck Noll would start him for the 1974 season. Gilliam's stellar performance in the '74 preseason did however spark the quarterback controversy in Pittsburgh.

1974 schedules

Preseason schedule

Week Date Game Site Opponent Result Record
1 Sat. August 3 Tulane Stadium @ New Orleans Saints W 26–7 1–0
2 Mon, August 12 Three Rivers Stadium Chicago Bears W 50–21 2–0
3 Sat. August 17 Veterans Stadium @ Philadelphia Eagles W 33–30 (OT) 3–0
4 Sat. August 24 Three Rivers Stadium New York Giants W 17–7 4–0
5 Fri. August 30 RFK Stadium @ Washington Redskins W 21–19 5–0
6 Thu. September 5 Texas Stadium @ Dallas Cowboys W 41–15 6–0

Regular season schedule

Week Date Game Site Opponent Result Record TV
1 Sun. September 15 Three Rivers Stadium Baltimore Colts W 30–0 1–0 NBC
2 Sun. September 22 Mile High Stadium @ Denver Broncos T 35–35 (OT) 1–0–1 NBC
3 Sun. September 29 Three Rivers Stadium Oakland Raiders L 0–17 1–1–1 NBC
4 Sun. October 6 Astrodome @ Houston Oilers W 13–7 2–1–1 NBC
5 Sun. October 13 Arrowhead Stadium @ Kansas City Chiefs W 34–24 3–1–1 KDKA
6 Sun. October 20 Three Rivers Stadium Cleveland Browns W 20–16 4–1–1 NBC
7 Mon. October 28 Three Rivers Stadium Atlanta Falcons W 24–17 5–1–1 ABC
8 Sun. November 3 Three Rivers Stadium Philadelphia Eagles W 27–0 6–1–1 CBS
9 Sun. November 10 Riverfront Stadium @ Cincinnati Bengals L 10–17 6–2–1 NBC
10 Sun. November 17 Cleveland Municipal Stadium @ Cleveland Browns W 26–16 7–2–1 NBC
11 Mon. November 25 Tulane Stadium @ New Orleans Saints W 28–7 8–2–1 ABC
12 Sun. December 1 Three Rivers Stadium Houston Oilers L 10–13 8–3–1 NBC
13 Sun. December 8 Schaefer Stadium @ New England Patriots W 21–17 9–3–1 NBC
14 Sat. December 14 Three Rivers Stadium Cincinnati Bengals W 27–3 10–3–1 NBC

Postseason schedule

Week Date Game Site Opponent Result Record TV
Divisional Sun. December 22 Three Rivers Stadium Buffalo Bills W 32–14 11-3-1 NBC
Conference Sun. December 29 Oakland Coliseum Oakland Raiders W 24–13 12-3-1 NBC
Super Bowl IX Sun. January 12 Old Tulane Stadium Minnesota Vikings W 16–6 13-3-1 NBC

Game summaries

Standings

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Pittsburgh Steelers 10 3 1 .750 4–2 7–3–1 305 189 W2
Houston Oilers 7 7 0 .500 4–2 7–4 236 282 W1
Cincinnati Bengals 7 7 0 .500 3–3 5–6 283 259 L3
Cleveland Browns 4 10 0 .286 1–5 3–8 251 344 L2

Stats

Passing

Rushing

Receiving

Kicking

Punting

Kick Return

Punt Return

Defense & Fumbles

Scoring Summary

Team

Quarter-by-quarter

Quarter-by-quarter
1 2 3 4 OT T
Steelers 69 102 78 56 0 305
Opponents 41 74 44 30 0 189

Awards, honors and records

References

  1. ^ "FOR OPENERS, SUPER BOWL VIII½". SI.com.
  2. ^ 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  3. ^ 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  4. ^ 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide.
  5. ^ "1974 Pittsburgh Steelers". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-12-17.
Car and Track

Car and Track was America's first nationally syndicated auto racing and car test television show. Produced by Car and Track Productions, it was hosted and produced by Bud Lindemann, a famous race commentator of the time. After the TV series ended, Bud and his son David Lindemmann continued to film many types of racing. In the early days of NASCAR, they compiled one of the most important film libraries of the early days of NASCAR. Car and Track was based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This allowed them to have close relationships with Detroit automotive manufacturers and suppliers.

It is believed to have run from 1967 to 1975, with 80 or more episodes originally airing on CBS. In later years, the cable television station Speedvision (which in 2002 became the Speed Channel), aired re-runs from approximately 1996 to 2002. In 2005, network executives revamped the old program, turning it into a primetime NASCAR history highlight show retitled Back in the Day, and hosted by NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. It now had a modern, more mass appeal look, though only highlighting select NASCAR racing footage the show carried. The ending of the show does pay homage to the original ending, showing the original host Bud Lindemann's goodbye quote. The quotes varied among episodes but usually stated, "..and drive safely, won't you? All the pros do."

Aside from the show's large attention to NASCAR racing, it also included various other American racing including NHRA drag racing, USAC stock car and Champ Car racing (Champ Car at that time implied USAC) and Sprint car racing on paved and dirt ovals. Also featured were IHRA Funny Car and Top Fuel drag racing events. One or more new-car road tests per episode were also featured. The racing library was not limited to automobiles, they even filmed snowmobile racing.

The series used stock music cues, most of them also used by NFL Films, for its varied features, such as in coverage of the 1974 Daytona 500, which used the Jack Trombey track "Military Attache," a cue that opened NFL Films' 1974 Pittsburgh Steelers season review film. The show's 1968 opening theme (using footage from Rockingham and Daytona shot in 1965 and footage of one of Andy Granatelli's turbine Indycars at Milwaukee in 1968) was a variation of Trombey's track "Rhythmical Interruption No. 2." A track used frequently was the Peter Reno track "Recoil." In the later years, the original music came from numerous southern sources with everything from country to styles that are reminiscent of Jimmy Buffett.

List of AFC champions

The American Football Conference (AFC) is one of two conferences within the National Football League, the National Football Conference (NFC) being the other. The AFC has its roots in the American Football League (AFL), which began to play in 1960. In 1970, the AFL merged with the NFL. As part of the merger, the former AFL teams, plus three former NFL teams (the Baltimore Colts, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers), were placed into the AFC. The remaining former NFL teams were placed in the NFC.

Game Summaries

Week 1: vs. Baltimore Colts

Baltimore Colts (0-0) at Pittsburgh Steelers (0-0)
1 2 34Total
Colts 0 0 000
Steelers 3 13 7730

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Sunday, September 15
  • Game weather: 72°F (Partly Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 48,890
  • Referee: Gordon McCarter
Game information

In Week 1, the Steelers started #17 Joe Gilliam as he completed 17 of his 31 passes for 257 yards, 2 TD's, and an interception. Gilliam became the first African-American Quarterback in league history to play in a game as the designated opening day starter. The defense held Baltimore to 166 total yards and forced 4 turnovers in the shutout win. (1-0)

Week 2: at Denver Broncos

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0) at Denver Broncos (0-1)
1 2 34OTTotal
Steelers 7 7 147035
Broncos 21 0 77035

at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

  • Date: Sunday, September 22
  • Game attendance: 50,858
  • Referee: Tommy Bell
Game information

In Week 2, the Steelers were carried to a 35-35 OT tie with #32 Franco Harris running game and #17 Joe Gilliam's 348 passing yards. It was the first regular season overtime game in NFL history. Denver coach John Ralston said of Gilliam that "it was possibly the finest performance I have ever seen by a quarterback." (1-0-1)

Week 3: vs. Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders (1-1) at Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0-1)
1 2 34Total
Raiders 7 10 0017
Steelers 0 0 000

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Sunday, September 29
  • Game weather: 66°F (Light Rain)
  • Game attendance: 48,304
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
Game information

In Week 3, after 2 brilliant games by #17 Joe Gilliam, the Raiders came to Pittsburgh for a rematch of the 1973 Divisional Round Playoff game in which Oakland won. However, a fluttering Gilliam completed 10 of his 31 passes and it laid the first defeat on Pittsburgh. To make things worse, #32 Franco Harris was injured and would miss the next 2 games. Damp and dark weather hung over the stadium and Terry Bradshaw's relief of Gilliam with a little under 2 minutes left in the game drew cheers from remaining fans. (1-1-1)

Week 4: at Houston Oilers

Pittsburgh Steelers (1-1-1) at Houston Oilers (1-2-1)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 0 3 3713
Oilers 0 7 007

at Houston Astrodome, Houston, Texas

  • Date: Sunday, October 6
  • Game attendance: 30,049
  • Referee: Bob Frederic
Game information

In Week 4, the Steelers recovered from the loss at home by beating Houston. #17 Joe Gilliam didn't recover completely, he threw for only 202 yards and 2 interceptions. However, on the game's lone touchdown drive, Gilliam completed 4 consecutive passes. Without #32 Franco Harris, the offense would continuously fall apart. (2-1-1)

Week 5: at Kansas City Chiefs

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-1-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 7 17 10034
Chiefs 3 7 7724

at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

  • Date: Sunday, October 13
  • Game attendance: 65,517
  • Referee: Bernie Ulman
Game information

In Week 5, the Steelers came away from Kansas City with a 10-point deficit win 34-24 behind #27 Glen Edward's 49 yard interception return. The Chiefs used a combined three quarterbacks to throw 7 interceptions. However still, #17 Joe Gilliam's play was still deteriorating. After the horrible performance in next week's game he was benched. (3-1-1)

Week 6: vs. Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1-1)
1 2 34Total
Browns 0 13 0316
Steelers 7 7 3320

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Sunday, October 20
  • Game weather: 42°F (Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 48,100
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
Game information

In Week 6, the Steelers offense continued to flutter with #17 Joe Gilliam's 5 out of 18 and 78 yards performance (despite the return of #32 Franco Harris). In the 3 games after the loss to Oakland, the defense forced 15 turnovers and that is how the Steelers managed to win all 3 games. The front four of #78 Dwight White, #63 Ernie Holmes, #75 Joe Greene, and #68 L. C. Greenwood had become dominant. Together, they became known as the Steel Curtain. After 6 games, the Steelers were 4-1-1, however, the offense was going to need some help if they were to become a contender. In Week 7, the Steelers found that help. (4-1-1)

Week 7: vs. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons (2-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1-1)
1 2 34Total
Falcons 0 14 0317
Steelers 14 0 3724

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Monday, October 28
  • Game weather: 55°F (Clear)
  • Game attendance: 48,094
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
Game information

In Week 7, #12 Terry Bradshaw replaced the failing #17 Joe Gilliam. By 1974, the 5-year veteran was known as the unpredictable and inconsistent quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was often overlooked by fans and coaches for making mistakes. It was at this time Bradshaw was going through some emotional problems. He had lost his starting job and fans and players continuously doubted and sometimes mocked him. A failing relationship with his head coach continued to decline. He was often in seclusion at his home as well. Yet, his team did miss him after watching the first 6 games from the sidelines. However, on a Monday night against Atlanta, Bradshaw returned. The backfield that would start 4 of the next 6 super bowls was finally in place. Runningbacks #32 Franco Harris and #20 Rocky Bleier combined for over 200 yards rushing as the Steelers rolled to 24-17 win. (5-1-1)

Week 8: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles (4-3) at Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1-1)
1 2 34Total
Eagles 0 0 000
Steelers 7 10 10027

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Sunday, November 3
  • Game weather: 71°F (Light Rain)
  • Game attendance: 47,996
  • Referee: Tommy Bell
Game information

In Week 8, the Steelers won behind another shutout by the defense that included a 52-yard interception return by #47 Mel Blount. It was one of two career interceptions returned for touchdowns by the Hall of Famer. #12 Terry Bradshaw was still a colt who had not yet been broken. And Chuck Noll's patience with him continued to disappear. (5-1-1)

Week 9: at Cincinnati Bengals

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-1-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 0 3 0710
Bengals 0 10 7017

at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Date: Sunday, November 10
  • Game attendance: 57,532
  • Referee: Norm Schachter
Game information

In Week 9: the Steelers lost to division rival Cincinnati, 17-10. The offense was hurting again. #12 Terry Bradshaw was benched again, in favor of 5-year veteran #5 Terry Hanratty. (5-2-1)

Week 10: at Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-2-1) at Cleveland Browns (3-6)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 7 6 01326
Browns 3 3 10016

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Date: Sunday, November 17
  • Game attendance: 77,195
  • Referee: Fred Silva
Game information

In this Week 10 matchup, the Steelers defeated the hosting Browns team for the first time in Cleveland since 1964. However, #5 Terry Hanratty completed only 2 of his passes and threw 3 interceptions. He was relieved by Gilliam, The quarterback controversy had become a real problem for Pittsburgh. However, the rest of the team was playing at a championship level after this madcap game. the turning point came on a miscue in the Browns backfield. Cleveland quarterback Brian Sipe collided with Billy Lefear on the handoff and the ball squirted loose. #74 Joe Greene barged in, grabbed the ball and looked to his left where J.T. Thomas was coming up fast. Greene flipped him the ball and Thomas ran it in from 14 yards out. Earlier in the game, Greene intercepted Sipe and rumbled down to the 14, setting up a Roy Gerela field goal. #32 Franco Harris ran for 156 yards and the defense forced 6 turnovers (overcoming 7 of their own) as the Steelers rallied to defeat the Browns and remain in first place in the AFC Central. (7-2-1)

Week 11: at New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-2-1) at New Orleans Saints (4-6)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 7 7 14028
Saints 0 0 707

at Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Date: Monday, November 25
  • Game attendance: 69,010
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
Game information

In Week 11, #12 Terry Bradshaw was welcomed back into the lineup after the performance by #5 Terry Hanratty. However, in this 28-7 win over the Saints, Bradshaw ran for more yards than he passed. In less than two months, Super Bowl IX was going to be played on the same field. (8-2-1)

Week 12: vs. Houston Oilers

Houston Oilers (5-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (8-2-1)
1 2 34Total
Oilers 0 7 3313
Steelers 3 7 0010

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Sunday, December 1
  • Game weather: 38°F (Light Rain)
  • Game attendance: 41,195
  • Referee: Dick Jorgensen
Game information
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 44 3–0
  • Houston – Willis 6 pass from Pastorini (Butler kick) 7–3
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 31 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick)10–7
  • Houston – FG Butler 42 10–10
  • Houston – FG Butler 34 10–13

In Week 12, #75 Joe Greene was allowed to use his new technique called the "Stunt 4-3". He would jump in the gap between the guard and the center, and blow through the gap. Teams were forced to commit so many blockers to Greene, his teammates often went unblocked. However, this still couldn't stop the lowly Oilers from beating them 13-10. (8-3-1)

Week 13: at New England Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers (8-3-1) at New England Patriots (7-5)
1 2 34Total
Steelers 0 12 7221
Patriots 7 3 0717

at Schaefer Stadium, Foxboro, Massachusetts

Game information
  • New England – Herron 17 pass from Plunkett (Smith kick)0–7
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 40 3–7
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 2 run (kick blocked) 9–7
  • Pittsburgh – FG Gerela 27 12–7
  • New England – FG Smith 20 12–10
  • Pittsburgh – Swann 7 pass from Bradshaw (Gerela kick) 19–10
  • Pittsburgh – Safety, Greenwood tackled Plunkett in end zone 21–10
  • New England – Herron 5 run (Smith kick)21–17

In Week 13, #75 Joe Greene became frustrated and threatened to quit the Steelers after losing to the Oilers the previous week. However, he returned for the most important game of the season in New England. With the win, the Steelers would win the division. With the victory against the Patriots, the Steelers would clinch a playoff spot for the third straight year. The players were nervous and tense. However, the Steelers made quick work of the Patriots, 21-17. The offense was finally clicking. (9-3-1)

Week 14: vs. Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3-1)
1 2 34Total
Bengals 0 0 303
Steelers 7 10 7327

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Saturday, December 14
  • Game weather: 37°F (Drizzle)
  • Game attendance: 42,878
  • Referee: Bernie Ulman
Game information

In Week 14, the Steelers beat the Bengals in a meaningless game with their offense rolling, and their defense dominating. (10-3-1)

Game Summaries

AFC Divisional: vs. Buffalo Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers 32, Buffalo Bills 14
1 2 34Total
Bills 7 0 7014
Steelers 3 26 0332

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Date: Sunday, December 22
  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: Light snow, 34 degrees
  • Game attendance: 48,321
  • Referee: Norm Schachter
  • TV announcers (NBC): Jim Simpson and John Brodie
Game information

In this Divisional Round playoff game, the Steelers were described as the only team in the playoffs without a quarterback and were expected to lose at home to Buffalo. The last time the Steelers faced the Bills, O.J. Simpson had rushed for 189 yards and the defense was concerned about him. However, by halftime the Steelers had dominated the line of scrimmage and the offense took time away from the Bills as the Steelers went up 29-7. #12 Terry Bradshaw was in the best game of his career. By the end of the game, O.J. was held to 49 yards rushing in his only playoff game of his career. After three weeks of solid performance by everyone, the Steelers were ready to rematch the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Championship Game.

AFC Championship: at Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Oakland Raiders 13
1 2 34Total
Steelers 0 3 02124
Raiders 3 0 7313

at Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California

Game information

In the 1974 AFC Championship Game, all the hype was centered around the Raiders who had ended Miami's reign in stunning a play that went into NFL Lore as the "Sea of Hands". Raiders coach, John Madden however went a little too far in his praising of both teams as he said that when the two best teams in pro-football get together, Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders, great things will happen. Steelers stoic head coach Chuck Noll galvanized the team's spirit by making an unexpected comment. He said that the best team in the NFL was the team in this room. The Steelers would dominate the Raiders in Oakland by using the Stunt 4-3 and stopping the great Oakland offensive line. The Steelers rushed for over 200 yards as the Raiders rushed for a mere 29. Franco Harris ran the final touchdown and sealed the first super bowl appearance in Steelers' history. This game would set the tone for what to come for the rest of the decade.

Super Bowl IX: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6
1 2 34Total
Steelers 0 2 7716
Vikings 0 0 066

at Tulane Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Date: Sunday, January 12
  • Game time: 3:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: Overcast, 51 °F (11 °C), wind 17 mph, relative humidity 72%
  • Game attendance: 80,997
  • Referee: Bernie Ulman
  • TV announcers (NBC): Curt Gowdy, Al DeRogatis, and Don Meredith
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com
Game information

Approaching Super Bowl IX, Chuck Noll told his team to go out with no bed check and get the town out of their system. The team had a good time in New Orleans. Everyone but #78 Dwight White, who was sick and in the hospital. By Wednesday, they were begging for a bed check. However, that time he gave them and the responsibility was a wonderful way to approach the big game. Noll's approach was in direct contrast to that of Vikings' head coach Bud Grant who had been to two previous super bowls. The Vikings didn't have the relaxed atmosphere was very tense compared to the chilled and relaxed Steelers. Despite the trip to the hospital, #78 Dwight White played and scored the first points in the defensive battle on the first safety in super bowl history. The Steelers shut down the Minnesota run game that wanted to attack the strength like they had Oakland and Buffalo. The Vikings ran 20 times for 17 yards and #10 QB Fran Tarkenton completed just 11 of his 27 passes and threw three picks (1 to #75 Joe Greene though he didn't run very far). #32 Franco Harris ran farther than anyone ever had in the super bowl to that point, setting a record with 158 yards rushing. He was the games Most Valuable Player. The Steelers had finally become champions for the first time in their 42-year history when #12 Terry Bradshaw threw a strike to #87 Larry Brown for a TD. The Steelers had finally done it.

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