McMillen and Wife Steelers Message Board
1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - Printable Version

+- McMillen and Wife Steelers Message Board (http://s675307413.onlinehome.us)
+-- Forum: Classic Steelers Game Broadcasts (http://s675307413.onlinehome.us/forumdisplay.php?fid=3)
+--- Forum: 1978 Steelers Season Game Threads (http://s675307413.onlinehome.us/forumdisplay.php?fid=6)
+--- Thread: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 (/showthread.php?tid=26)



1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - mcmillenandwife - 04-05-2017

1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - high quality, missing some drives
1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - more complete, lower video quality


In one of the great defensive clashes of the '79 season, the Steelers get revenge on the road for their mid-season loss to Houston and clinch the AFC Central division. This game features Hall of Famer Donnie Shell's famous hit on Earl Campbell (who was running effectively to that point with 41 yds on 7 carries), badly bruising Campbell's ribs and sidelining him for the game. As usual between these two teams, this matchup is an extremely physical and results in injuries to multiple players on both sides (including Swann & Pastorini along with Campbell). Both defenses play extremely well, but the Steel Curtain is especially brilliant, forcing 6 Houston turnovers and holding the Oilers to just 164 yds of offense. Both QBs are held under 100 yds passing as Pastorini is terrorized by the Steel Curtain and throws 3 INT's (2 by Lambert, 1 by Wagner), while Bradshaw seems confused by Houston's coverages. Franco Harris (27 carries, 102 yds) is largely contained for much of the afternoon, but he finally breaks a HUGE 31-yd run in the 3rd quarter to the Oiler 4 to set up a crucial FG. Bradshaw finally puts it all together late in the game, engineering Pittsburgh's only sustained drive of the contest (11 plays, 80 yds) keyed by two great catches by Stallworth, the first in triple coverage on 3rd and 9 for a 25-yd gain, the second for the game-winning 5-yd TD. Features Howard Cosell's halftime highlights after the game. "This Week in Pro Football" highlights also available.

Note: There are two different versions of this game. The first is the majority of the NBC broadcast featuring better video quality, but missing several "non-scoring" drives in each half. The second is a more complete broadcast of the game with greaty reduced video quality. The majority of the missing plays are there, but this recording is many generations removed from the master.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - Guest - 05-21-2017

Fun fact- of the 8 Steelers/Oilers games from 1978-1980, this was the only one with a late 3:00/4:00 ish Sunday afternoon start (3 MNF games, 4 games with a noon start)


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - Guest - 09-04-2017

What a great defensive match up. Two physical teams. The offenses had it uphill all day. And that field! They might as well have been playing out on the parking lot! Having said that, I have to give credit to Franco. The cut-back artist really showed his durability and versatility, even though the Oilers were keying on him all day. And that TD from Bradshaw to Stallworth really speaks to the level of play. That was your classic backyard QB play, where the QB tells the receiver to just take two or three steps, turn around and there it is. This was tough, physical football at its best.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - garyt - 04-05-2018

(04-05-2017, 11:12 AM)mcmillenandwife Wrote: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3

In one of the great defensive clashes of the '79 season, the Steelers get revenge on the road for their mid-season loss to Houston and clinch the AFC Central division. This game features Donnie Shell's famous hit on Earl Campbell (who was running effectively to that point with 41 yds on 7 carries), bruising Campbell's ribs and sidelining him for the game. As usual between these two teams, this matchup is an extremely physical and results in injuries to multiple players on both sides (including Swann & Pastorini along with Campbell). Both defenses play extremely well, but the Steel Curtain is especially brilliant, forcing 6 Houston turnovers and holding the Oilers to just 164 yds of offense. Both QBs are held under 100 yds passing as Pastorini is terrorized by the Steel Curtain and throws 3 INT's (2 by Lambert, 1 by Wagner), while Bradshaw seems confused by Houston's coverages. Franco Harris (27 carries, 102 yds) is largely contained for much of the afternoon, but he finally breaks a HUGE 31-yd run in the 3rd quarter to the Oiler 4 to set up a crucial FG. Bradshaw finally puts it all together late in the game, engineering Pittsburgh's only sustained drive of the contest (11 plays, 80 yds) keyed by two great catches by Stallworth, the first in triple coverage on 3rd and 9 for a 25-yd gain, the second for the game-winning 5-yd TD. Features Howard Cosell's halftime highlights after the game. "This Week in Pro Football" highlights also available.  

Growing up in West Texas this was a big day. The Cowboys were playing the Patriots in the late afternoon game and since the game was in Dallas NBC had the broadcast. SO there was much discussion on which game we would get in our Midland/Odessa TX market. We got the Cowboys game and that game also got Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen on the call. But we got frequent updates throughout the game about what was going on in Houston.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - NFL2000 - 06-03-2018

Donnie Shell should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He retired as the all time leader in interceptions by a strong safety and has been inducted into the College Football of Hall of Fame. Donnie kinda held things together after so players from the 1970s Steelers Dynasty retired.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - mcmillenandwife - 06-06-2018

(06-03-2018, 08:36 PM)NFL2000 Wrote: Donnie Shell should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He retired as the all time leader in interceptions by a strong safety and has been inducted into the College Football of Hall of Fame. Donnie kinda held things together after so players from the 1970s Steelers Dynasty retired.

Totally agree. Like L.C. Greenwood (R.I.P.), Donnie gets overlooked -- in fact, penalized -- because he played with so many other great players. He was a fantastic football player, one of the premier safeties in the league for nearly his entire career. And to your point, some of his best work came after the dynasty years were over. He shined even brighter once all that surrounding talent was gone. A ball hawk and a vicious hitter, great instincts, outstanding against the run or pass. 

The problem is, I think we've reached a point where the HoF voters won't put more players from those '70s teams in The Hall. That's part of what kept Swann and Stallworth out for so long (as well as one of them having to get in "first" since they were so widely viewed as a tandem). 9 players from one team is pretty staggering. Yet I agree, Donnie is worthy. So is L.C. There should be 11 Steelers players from that era in The Hall.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - Vaughn_Doofus - 08-07-2018

Great defensive play. That's several games in a row holding their opponents to single digits.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - mcmillenandwife - 08-08-2018

(08-07-2018, 03:28 PM)Vaughn_Doofus Wrote: Great defensive play.  That's several games in a row holding their opponents to single digits.

Agreed. Love the defensive effort in this game. 6 turnovers and only 164 yds of offense for Houston! Flippin' outstanding. 

These were my two favorite teams at the time (I later grew to hate Houston during the Jerry Glanville era). Tough, physical, hard fought. Football the way it should be played.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - mcmillenandwife - 12-26-2018

New upgraded version added. Some action is missing in new version, so I also kept the old version on the site.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - Steelhead70's - 02-07-2020

Thanks to who(m?) ever came through with the higher quality second version. To me, this is the most epic surviving Steeler game from the '70's. I'm not offended by low scoring affairs, I prefer a good hard hitting defensive game. High scoring, touchdown trading games end up with so many "great" plays, they start becoming the "norm", but good slobber-knocking hits never get old. Just my opinion.

Franco had big gains and big losses in this one, all in all his skills were on display. A 230 lb. cut back artist, rare, a truly great and entertaining runner. Stallworth's only two receptions turned the tide, imo.
A lot of great regular season games in '78, but my two favorite are the two Oiler games.

Tim, I agree, when it went from Bum's team to Glanville's, I lost all love for the Oilers. Losing to 'em sucked worse than ever.


RE: 1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3 - mcmillenandwife - 02-07-2020

(02-07-2020, 04:31 AM)Steelhead70 Wrote: To me, this is the most epic surviving Steeler game from the '70's. I'm not offended by low scoring affairs, I prefer a good hard hitting defensive game. High scoring, touchdown trading games end up with so many "great" plays, they start becoming the "norm", but good slobber-knocking hits never get old. 

Couldn't agree more! It's funny, some of us just had this same conversation over in the 1987-1988 thread (in reference to the 1990 Niners/Giants game that ended 7-3). I love defense, and I'll take a physical, low-scoring, well-played defensive battle over a shoot-out any day.

By that standard, the '79 Steelers at Houston game is a masterpiece

If you're ever bored and looking for an example of truly great defensive football, one of my favorite slugfests ever is the '94 game vs. Philadelphia (14-3 in snow flurries). There is painfully some bad offense by the Steelers at times, unfortunately, but the Blitzburgh defense is absolutely suffocating. It's one of those games where watching when the defense is on the field is WAY more fun and satisfying than when the offense has the ball, and I enjoy watching that game to this day.

Back to your comments on this game (the Steelers at Oilers from '78). The way you described -- EPIC -- is exactly right. It IS epic. It was a "body bag" game, and there are some truly defining moments in Steeler history in this one, with the most obvious being Donnie Shell's hit on Earl Campbell. Very thankful for the upgrade.