1979 Steelers 16 at Patriots 13 Overtime MNF
mcmillenandwife
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#1
04-11-2017, 03:02 PM

1979 Steelers 16 at Patriots 13 Overtime MNF

Grogan looks sharp early in this Monday Night opener as the Pats march down the field to score on a Francis TD on their opening drive. But Pittsburgh's pass rush intensifies and begins to rattle Grogan as the game progresses. Early in the 2nd, a great diving INT by Lambert sets up a 2-yd TD plunge by Thornton. Unfortunately, rookie Matt Bahr misses his first-ever PAT try (as well as his first FG try) and the Pats lead 7-6. Bradshaw uses Franco and Thornton extensively throughout the game and while Franco doesn't pile up huge yardage (26 att, 74 yds), his trademark cutbacks yield a number of key first downs. Young Thornton is perhaps even more effective, gaining 44 yds rushing and 41 yds receiving and scoring both Pittsburgh TDs. Stallworth is outstanding (5 rec, 95 yds), especially late, and although Swann manages only one catch for 19 yds, it's a spectacular leaping, head-over-heals, flipping masterpiece. Patriots TE Russ Francis (5 rec, 53 yds, 1 TD) is outstanding with a number of sensational grabs and is almost the undoing of the Steelers. Despite Grogan's struggles (11 of 33, 123 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT), the Pats carry a 13-6 lead into the 4th. But the final quarter is all Pittsburgh, starting with a picture-perfect Colquitt punt that pins the Pats inside their own 5. Shell nails Grogan on a safety blitz to set up Pittsburgh with great field position near midfield on the ensuing punt. Bradshaw (15 of 26, 221 yds, 1 TD) flips a flanker screen to Stallworth, who bounces off multiple would-be tacklers and turns a 5-yd gain into a 33-yd gain. Unfortunately, Thornton coughs the ball up on the next play and the drive is ended. But as is the case during the entire 2nd half, the Steel Curtain continues to terrorize a shell-shocked Grogan, the Pats move backward and a shanked punt gives the Steelers great field position at the Patriot 34. Brashaw immediately hits Stallworth for 13, then finds a WIDE open Thornton in the end zone 21-yds to tie things up in regulation. After the Pats go 3 & out to start overtime, Bradshaw alternates handoffs to Franco and Thornton for big chunks of yardage against the worn-out Patriot defense and young Matt Bahr trots in to redeem himself with a 41-yd game-winner right down the middle. Recent upgrade features great video quality, pregame with Cosell, Meredith, & Gifford and a halftime tribute to paralyzed Patriot WR Darryl Stingley.
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#2
04-28-2017, 01:59 AM

Reasons this game is so great:
Steelers' dynasty with Bradshaw, Harris, Lambert, etc. - 2%
Patriots lose - 98%
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#3
06-06-2017, 11:54 AM

I thinka case can be made that the late 70s/early 80s Patriots were much bigger underachievers than San Diego in that era.

For all the times Coryell and the Chargers got whipped in the playoffs.... the Patriots couldn't even MAKE the playoffs at the same rate as San Diego (From 1978, 1984, SD made 4 playoff appearances to NE's 2).

An argument can be made New England was more talented than even the Chargers and they squandered their talent in an even more ridiculous degree.

The Patriots' issues in this era wasn't games like this against Pittsburgh- you lose to the Steelers, that's understandable.

But in '79, they had some BAD losses: 45-10 at Denver, MNF at a below average Green Bay team, Buffalo at home in OT, the Jets in week 15.
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mcmillenandwife
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#4
06-06-2017, 10:39 PM

(06-06-2017, 11:54 AM)Guest Wrote: I thinka case can be made that the late 70s/early 80s Patriots were much bigger underachievers than San Diego in that era.

For all the times Coryell and the Chargers got whipped in the playoffs.... the Patriots couldn't even MAKE the playoffs at the same rate as San Diego (From 1978, 1984, SD made 4 playoff appearances to NE's 2).

An argument can be made New England was more talented than even the Chargers and they squandered their talent in an even more ridiculous degree.

The Patriots' issues in this era wasn't games like this against Pittsburgh- you lose to the Steelers, that's understandable.

But in '79, they had some BAD losses: 45-10 at Denver, MNF at a below average Green Bay team, Buffalo at home in OT, the Jets in week 15.


Nice post. Yeah, the Pats of that era were definitely a roller coaster loaded with talent. I kinda give them a pass just because of the bizarre relationship between Chuck Fairbanks and ownership. I didn't quite get it as a kid and I still don't understand all the nonsense that went on there. The bottom line is that it's tough to be successful when there's hatred between ownership and the coaching staff. The stuff with Fairbanks being suspended before the playoff game in '78 and all that stuff... it was just crazy. And then they sued him after the loss when he quit, and supposedly he quit because ownership screwed Darryl Stingley (who was paralyzed by a Jack Tatum cheap shot late hit in preseason). Crazy stuff.
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Bobcat29
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#5
08-13-2017, 12:35 AM

When the Steelers could beat the Pats. It was touching to see the Pats honor Darryl Stingley.
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mcmillenandwife
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#6
12-17-2018, 01:24 AM

Upgrade just added. Fantastic video quality!
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Rollers
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#7
12-30-2018, 08:42 PM

nice quality. The goal posts looked like they were lit up in green!
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Asavo89
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#8
01-14-2019, 06:41 AM

Great game. Thanks for putting it up.
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mcmillenandwife
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#9
01-14-2019, 02:10 PM

(01-14-2019, 06:41 AM)Asavo89 Wrote: Great game. Thanks for putting it up.

You bet! 

It really was a great game, too, despite the low score. I kinda figured this might've been a preview of the AFC Championship at the time, but New England had that terrible late-season swoon in '79 and was eliminated. 

Watching this again, it's interesting (and strange) to hear the booth repeatedly disparage Steve Grogan. They call him "Ichabod" and sneer, "Just look at him" (seemingly mocking his appearance) and repeatedly rip on him as a QB. It seems personal, but I have no idea if if was.
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