1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3
mcmillenandwife
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#1
04-05-2017, 11:12 AM

1978 Steelers 13 at Oilers 3

The Steelers get revenge on the road for their mid-season loss to Houston and clinch the AFC Central division. Game features Donnie Shell's famous hit on Earl Campbell (who was running effectively up to that point), 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). Both defenses play extremely well, but the Steel Curtain was especially brilliant, forcing 6 Houston turnovers and holding the Oilers to just 164 yds of offense. Pastorini throws 3 INT's (2 by Lambert, 1 by Wagner) and is brutalized by the Steel Curtain while Bradshaw seems confused by Houston's coverages as both QBs are held under 100 yds passing. While Franco (27 carries, 102 yds) is largely contained for much of the afternoon, 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 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. 
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#2
05-21-2017, 03:12 PM

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)
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#3
09-04-2017, 07:59 PM

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.
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garyt
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#4
04-05-2018, 12:46 PM

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

The Steelers get revenge on the road for their mid-season loss to Houston and clinch the AFC Central division. Game features Donnie Shell's famous hit on Earl Campbell (who was running effectively up to that point), 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). Both defenses play extremely well, but the Steel Curtain was especially brilliant, forcing 6 Houston turnovers and holding the Oilers to just 164 yds of offense. Pastorini throws 3 INT's (2 by Lambert, 1 by Wagner) and is brutalized by the Steel Curtain while Bradshaw seems confused by Houston's coverages as both QBs are held under 100 yds passing. While Franco (27 carries, 102 yds) is largely contained for much of the afternoon, 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 keyed by two great catches by Stallworth, the second for a fatal 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.
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NFL2000
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#5
06-03-2018, 08:36 PM

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.
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mcmillenandwife
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#6
06-06-2018, 10:27 PM

(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 the 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.
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Vaughn_Doofus
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#7
08-07-2018, 03:28 PM

Great defensive play. That's several games in a row holding their opponents to single digits.
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mcmillenandwife
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#8
08-08-2018, 12:02 AM

(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.
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