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1982 Steelers 37 vs Browns 21

Franco looks amazingly quick & agile, putting on an incredible show as he earns his 42nd career 100-yard game (120 yards on 23 carries), passing O.J. Simpson for 3rd all-time. "The Jinx" is clearly working its voodoo in this one as back-up QB Paul McDonald throws an absolutely picture-perfect 40-yard TD bomb to a WIDE open receiver... who promptly drops it. While early mistakes cost the Steelers points, Bradshaw, Swann and the Steel Curtain also shine as Pittsburgh pummels Cleveland, piling up over 500 yards of offense -- out-rushing Cleveland 261-52 -- and taking a 27-7 on a Bradshaw-to-Smith bomb on the first play of the 4th quarter. But despite getting their butts kicked, Cleveland makes it interesting late in the game. Under the constant pressure of a fierce Steeler pass rush, McDonald & the Cleveland offense somehow sputter their way to two 4th quarter TDs, closing to 27-21 with 5 long minutes remaining. But facing 3rd and 11 from their own 19, Bradshaw hits Swannie (5 rec., 104 yds) for 57 yards up the middle (plus a 15-yard personal foul on the play) and Gary Anderson nails the icing FG. Following McDonald's 4th INT of the day, the Steelers easily grind out yet another TD and the "Three Rivers Jinx" continues for Cleveland. Game has a minute or two of sound & tracking problems early in 1st quarter, but is otherwise fine.


Great game. The Steelers seemed to take the rest of the day off in the 4th Qtr, only to have the Browns come back and make a game of it. But Blount, Johnson, Franco, Terry, Lynn, et al, went back to work and finished the Browns off. Still think this was the best of the 80s teams. The troubling 3rd down drop by Cunningham, and his illegal motion play that killed a potential three points, are two more reasons why I would take Randy Grossman over Cunningham any day. Cunningham's mistakes didn't hurt us here, but they foreshadowed the mistakes that would hurt us against San Diego (to be fair, Bradshaw's ill-advised, cross-field pass late in the 4th mirrors the same pass that ended up in an interception late in the 4th Qtr against SD). Still, overall, a great game, and nice to see Franco get yet another 100-yard, game-chewing performance. Swann, with only 13 receptions coming into the game, seems also re-energized, and makes 5 catches, and a great reverse play that Pittsburgh maybe should have used more later on.