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1978 Steelers 20 vs Saints 14

The Saints play their hearts out in a very entertaining game which probably should've been much higher scoring for both teams. Bradshaw (16 of 23, 200 yds, 2 TDs) and Manning (22 of 32 for 344 yds, 1 TD) are both outstanding.

The Steelers play very well offensively when they're on the field, but the Saints are able to capitalize on turnovers and drive-extending penalties to keep the Steeler offense on the bench for much of the afternoon. Amazingly, the Steelers have only 3 possessions during the entire first half.

Despite dominating time of possession, the Saints find points tough to come by. Jack Lambert ends one promising drive with a leaping INT at the Steeler 17. Then with just 12 seconds left in the half and the Saints poised to take a 14-3 lead at the Steeler 5-yd line, great coverage by Mel Blount forces a HUGE sack/fumble of Archie Manning (who has a jailbreak of 6 Steeler defenders coverging on him) and Joe Greene recovers to end the threat and the half.

Amusingly after halftime, an open mic captures announcer Don Criqui asking, "We're going to do this off camera?" Pause. "Yeah, good, good. The reason I ask, I have my tie off, my coat off... my pants off." Scared  Wonder what his partner in the booth Hank Stram thought of that?  Laugh

The 3rd quarter begins with Bradshaw engineering a textbook 12-play 77-yd TD drive highlighted by a pair of great Lynn Swann catches (the first a leaping grab for 21 yds on 4th & 4, the second a tipped ball in tight double coverage for the TD) and Gerela later adds a FG for a 13-7 lead.

But early in the 4th, a red-hot Manning brings the Saints storming down the field on an 80-yd drive to retake the lead. With time running short, Bradshaw cooly rallies the troops and caps a brilliant 8-play drive with a 3rd down swing pass to Rocky Bleier for the 24-yd winning TD (surprisingly, the first regular season TD reception of Rocky's career) in the final 2 minutes to preserve a Steelers victory.

Features all the old commercials, complete halftime show and a postgame interview with Bradshaw including highlights from around the league.


1978 was the first time the New Orleans Saints resembled something other than a pushover.

A 7-9 record that by Saints standards of that era would have merited a parade.

Two famously close last-minute losses to Atlanta, this tussle at Three Rivers, beating the Rams at LA Coliseum for the first time ever.

They didn't quite get the job done on this day, but compared to their MNF loss at Tulane Stadium in '74, it was certainly a better showing.

For the Steelers, a case could be made this was a possible trap game with the LA Rams on Sunday Night up ahead. Credit to them for dodging the trap game which we've seen other teams not do.
(05-27-2017, 09:35 AM)Guest Wrote: [ -> ]1978 was the first time the New Orleans Saints resembled something other than a pushover.

Totally true. And to they seemed to be a team on the upswing. Archie Manning was amazing, so it seemed a sure thing they would continue to improve. Yet, 2 years later... the 1-15 Aint's. And then poor Archie gets summarily booted out of New Orleans in favor of washed-up Snake Stabler, only to land in Houston just as they drop into the abyss.  Embarassed
Don't forget, there are bonus highlights from This Week in Pro Football on the left side of the game description!
Watched this game start to finish again last night. Enjoyed every minute of it. Plus, I discovered Don Criqui saying he wasn't wearing any pants after halftime, which was admittedly new info to me. Laugh Had to add that tidbit to the game summary.
Good game!
(08-05-2018, 05:59 PM)Vaughn_Doofus Wrote: [ -> ]Good game!

It really is! It's become one of my favorites despite being a "non-marquis" match-up.