Steelers Sunday: Super Bowl IX


With the Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 season being over, why not take a look back to some of their greatest victories?  With the Pro Bowl happening today, let’s look back at the Steelers first Super Bowl victory which happened just over 40 years ago.

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On January 12, 1975 the Pittsburgh Steelers played in their first championship game after suffering a lot of losing seasons during the franchise’s first 42 years.  In 1969 the Steelers hired Chuck Noll and after a few very successful draft classes the Steelers defeated the Raiders to earn the right to play in Super Bowl IX against the Minnesota Vikings.

The 1974 Steelers were led by their defense, who was earning the nickname “The Steel Curtain”.  The defense allowed the fewest yards in the league during the season (3,074).  Mean Joe Greene won the defensive player of the year for the second time in three seasons.  L.C. Greenwood, Jack Ham, and Andy Russell were selected to the Pro Bowl.  Jack Lambert was a rookie and Mel Blount was patrolling the secondary that allowed the fewest passing yards in the league.

Offensively, Terry Bradshaw ended out becoming the starting quarterback after Joe Gilliam started the first four games of the season.  The Steelers relied on their running game as Franco Harris rushed for 1,000 yards and Rocky Bleier, Preston Pearson, and Steve Davis made important contributions to the run game.

As for the Super Bowl against the Vikings, the game remains the lowest scoring first half in Super Bowl history with a score of 2-0 at halftime.  The first score of the game came on a botched pitch from Fran Tarkenton, who recovered the fumble on his own 1-yard line but his momentum drove him into the end zone where he was tagged down for the first safety in Super Bowl history by Dwight White.

The Vikings then drove the field at the end of the first half but on a Tarkenton pass, safety Glen Edwards hit the Vikings receiver at the perfect moment, causing the ball to pop up into the air, where Mel Blount was waiting for the interception.

At the start of the second half the Steelers recovered a fumble on the kickoff at the Vikings 30-yard line.  Three Franco Harris runs later and the Steelers were ahead 9-0.

In the fourth quarter the Vikings finally scored but it was not against the Steelers defense.  The Vikings blocked a Steelers punt deep in their own terriorty and recovered the lose ball for their only touchdown of the game.  The Vikings then missed the extra point, leaving the score at 9-6.

The Steelers offense then put the game out of reach on the ensuing drive.  The Steelers had an 11 play, 66 yard drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock.  The drive ended with a four yard touchdown pass from Bradshaw to Larry Brown to make the score 16-6 with only 3:31 left in the game.

The Super Bowl IX victory was the first championship in Steelers history and the start of the 1970’s Steelers dynasty, which remains one the greatest dynasties in all of sports.

Franco Harris won the MVP with an impressive 158 rushing yards on 34 carries with a touchdown. Bradshaw completed 14 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown, can you imagine a Super Bowl QB having that stat line nowadays?

Here is a highlight video from with Myron Cope talking, so obviously it’s a must watch.

Next: Steelers Running Back Hopes Improve With 2015 Senior Bowl