The Pittsburgh Steelers have had many great teams over the years. There will always be a debate on which one is the greatest. But really, which one is truly the greatest?
Until the end of time, there will always the debate of which Steelers team was the greatest.
The Steel Curtain and Blitzburgh are just two names that capture some of the essence of past Steelers teams. ESPN released a list of the greatest teams for every NFL franchise. I’m sure many Steelers fans were waiting in angst. I mean, come on, we have a pretty successful history.
It was probably presumed that it would be one of the 70’s teams. Those years brought 4 Lombardis to the Steel City. They were pretty much unstoppable with Chuck Noll at the helm. There are nine NFL Hall of Famers from the 70’s teams:
“Mean” Joe Greene, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Mike Webster, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann and Terry Bradshaw.
Now, which team is the greatest in Steelers franchise history?
ESPN has chosen the 1975 Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m not sure that you’re going to get much debate out of anyone on this. Every Steelers team in the 70’s were pretty extraordinary.
Let’s go ahead and take a look at what the Steelers did in 1975:
- Finished the season with a 12-2 regular season record.
- 1st place in the AFC Central.
- They had 11 pro bowl players:
- CB Mel Blount
- QB Terry Bradshaw
- S Glen Edwards
- DT Joe Greene
- DE L. C. Greenwood
- LB Jack Ham
- RB Franco Harris
- LB Jack Lambert
- LB Andy Russell
- WR Lynn Swann
- S Mike Wanger
- They also 7 All-Pros:
- Mel Blount (1st team)
- L. C. Greenwood (1st team)
- Jack Ham (1st team)
- Franco Harris (2nd team)
- Joe Greene (2nd team)
- Jack Lambert (2nd team)
- Lynn Swann (2nd team)
- In the Divisional round of the playoffs, the Steelers hosted the Baltimore Colts, and won by a score of 28-10.
- In the AFC Championship, the hated Raiders came to town. Here’s what Wikipedia had to say on this game:
"Like last year, the Steelers would play the AFC Championship against them, however, this time in the comfort of Three Rivers and the ice. All week the weather was awful in Pittsburgh, after the field tarp split during the night, the sidelines became iced over and narrowed the field for the deep outside passing game of Oakland. The teams scored a total of 3 points in the first three quarters. Both teams combined for 13 turnovers. The most heated rivalry was stuck in a deep-freeze. It had been escalating for four years, and now it was escalating on every play. During the 3rd, #88 Lynn Swann was taken out of the game by a clothesline tackle from Raiders S #43 George Atkinson. He had been knocked out and later, was in the hospital. In the 4th quarter, the Steelers scored on a 25-yard run to the outside by #32 Franco Harris. It was a play in which John Stallworth made a key block on two Raider defenders. Later, a 20-yard pass caught by Stallworth put them up, 16-7. The game ended on a #12 Ken Stabler pass to #21 Cliff Branch, who was tackled down by CB #47 Mel Blount. The Steelers were headed to the Super Bowl again."
I highly recommend that you watch NFL’s America’s Game on the ’75 Steelers. It’s absolutely amazing. If you have Comcast, every episode should be on your on-demand.
Here’s another description from Wiki on Super Bowl X, the Cowboys vs the Steelers:
"For the first time ever, the Super Bowl matched two teams that had already won Lombardi Trophies. Most the pre-game hype was centered around the health of Lynn Swann, who was given the worst concussion he had ever had. A statement made by Cowboys safety Cliff Harris had angered Swann. Swann was not the only Steeler who was challenged. The Cowboys scored quickly on a 29-yard pass to #88 Drew Pearson. The defense had allowed the first 1st quarter touchdown on the Steelers all year. However, a determined Lynn Swann made a leaping sideline catch over Cowboys CB #46 Mark Washington. Later, he made the catch that is often repeated by NFL Films as one of the greatest catches in NFL History. Bradshaw threw it deep to Swann who was covered very well by Washington again. However, when the ball was batted it, it began to fall. As the ball and Swann was falling, he was able to stick his hands up and grab it with Washington underneath him. At the end of the first half, the Cowboys were leading 10-7. The Steelers defense was very challenged by the complicated Cowboy offense. However, the Cowboys had never seen a defense quite like the Steelers. Roger Staubach was sacked 7 times for a loss of 42 yards. When the third quarter resumed, Cowboys’ safety #43 Cliff Harris began to taunt Steelers kicker #10, Roy Gerela. LB #58 Jack Lambert, seeing this, ran over and threw Harris to the ground. It was a crucial moment in the game, as a huge momentum shift. S #23 Mike Wagner’s interception helped the Steelers to their first lead. As usual, they saved their best for last. However, a long touchdown catch by Lynn Swann had come to a cost, as Bradshaw was shaken up and forced to leave the game. A Dallas touchdown cut their lead to 4. When #5 Terry Hanratty took over, Chuck Noll made an unusual decision. On 4th and 9, the Steelers ran the ball up the middle, giving the ball back to the Cowboys near mid-field. However, it was the faith he had in his defense that caused this decision. With three seconds left, the Cowboys had one last chance, and threw a pass into the endzone. However, it was tipped by Mike Wagner and intercepted by S #27 Glen Edwards. The Steelers were Super Bowl champions again. They had beaten the Cowboys, 21-17. The MVP of course, was #88 Lynn Swann. At the end of the game, Chuck Noll began to preparing his team in the locker room of the Miami Orange Bowl for the next year."
Man, I really wish I was alive during all of this. I bet it was absolute treat to see the Steelers start off in the dirt, and end up as champions. I love watching old games of the 70’s Steelers, it’s one of my all-time favorite things to do. I think ESPN made the right choice.
Here we go, Steelers! Here we go!