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Their year-old owner Art Rooney founded the Steelers as a NFL expansion team , but suffered through losing seasons for most of its year history and had never made it to an NFL championship game or a Super Bowl. Greenwood in his first season as head coach. Fullback Franco Harris was drafted in Gilliam had started for the first four games of the season, but Noll eventually made Bradshaw the starter. The Steelers main offensive weapon, however, was running the ball.
Greenwood were named to the Pro Bowl.
Super Bowl VIII Box Score: Miami 24, Minnesota 7
In the defensive backfield, Blount, Wagner, and Glen Edwards made a strong impact against opposing passing plays. He was also their leading rusher with rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Wide receivers Jim Lash and John Gilliam were major deep threats, having 32 receptions for yards a Fullback Dave Osborn contributed with rushing yards, and 29 receptions for yards.
Playoffs[ edit ] For more details on this topic, see NFL playoffs, For the first time in four years, the Miami Dolphins were not able to advance to the Super Bowl. This transition effectively ended any opportunity of a long-term Dolphin dynasty. The key play in the game occurred when the Dolphins were in control and were leading the Raiders 19—14 midway through the fourth quarter. Cliff Branch hauled in a yard touchdown pass from Raiders quarterback Ken Stabler when third-year Dolphin defensive back Henry Stuckey , the man assigned to cover Branch on the play, fell down, and the resultant wide open Branch caught the bomb and sprinted to the end zone.
Dolphin fans were furious because fan favorite Lloyd Mumphord was replaced with Stuckey. Afterwards, Stuckey was released in the offseason.
Many believed that had Mumphord been in the game, there would have been no "Sea of Hands" play. Meanwhile, Minnesota allowed only a combined 24 points in their playoff wins against the St.
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As the NFC was the designated "home team" for the game, by NFL rules at the time the Vikings were required to wear their purple jerseys. This proved to be quite pivotal, because of the inclement conditions low temperature and the field was slick from overnight rain.
The Grambling State University Band performed during both the pregame festivities and the national anthem. During the national anthem, they were backed by a Mardi Gras choir. Ellington had died the previous May. At the end of the show, Mary Tyler Moore announced the following over the credits: If on the other hand, they lose, remember, you heard it here first.
Game summary[ edit ] As many predicted, the game was low scoring; both teams failed to score a touchdown or a field goal until the third quarter and ended up with the second lowest total of combined points in Super Bowl history.
The Vikings were limited to 20 passing yards, zero rushing yards, and one first down. The Steelers did slightly better with 18 passing yards, 61 rushing yards, and four first downs. Pittsburgh even managed to get close enough for their kicker Roy Gerela to attempt two field goals, but Gerela missed his first attempt, and a bad snap prevented the second one from getting off the ground. The Steelers then converted a third down with the longest gain so far in the game, a yard pass from Terry Bradshaw to John Stallworth.
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Pittsburgh was forced to punt, but Bobby Walden booted a yarder, and rookie Sam McCullum did not allow the ball to reach the end zone, then failed to make a return and was downed at the Viking 7-yard line. The first score of the game occurred two plays later, when fullback Dave Osborn fumbled a pitch from Tarkenton at the 10, and the ball rolled backward and across the goal line. Tarkenton quickly dove on the ball in the end zone to prevent a Steeler touchdown, but he was downed by Dwight White for a safety, giving Pittsburgh a 2—0 lead.
It was the first safety scored in Super Bowl history. The ball popped out of his hands and right into the arms of Mel Blount for an interception. The half ended with the Steelers leading 2—0, the lowest halftime score in Super Bowl history and lowest possible, barring a scoreless tie. Franco Harris then moved the ball to the 6-yard line with a yard run. After being tackled for a three-yard loss, Harris carried the ball for nine yards and a touchdown, giving the Steelers a 9—0 lead.
After an exchange of punts, Minnesota got the ball back on their own yard line. Greenwood , and bounced back right into the arms of Tarkenton, who then threw a yard completion to Gilliam. On the next play, a deep pass attempt from Tarkenton to Gilliam drew a yard pass interference penalty on Pittsburgh defensive back Mike Wagner that moved the ball up to the 5-yard line.
Once again, the Steelers stopped them from scoring when Greene forced and recovered a fumble from Foreman. Pittsburgh failed to get a first down on their next possession and was forced to punt from deep in their own territory. Minnesota linebacker Matt Blair burst through the line to block the punt, and Terry Brown recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Cox missed the extra point, but the Vikings had cut their deficit to 9—6 and were just a field goal away from a tie.
However, on the ensuing drive, the Steelers put the game out of reach with a yard, play scoring drive that took 6: The first was a key yard pass completion from Bradshaw to tight end Larry Brown. Brown fumbled the ball as he was being tackled, and two officials back judge Ray Douglas and field judge Dick Dolack initially ruled the ball recovered for the Vikings by Jeff Siemon , but head linesman Ed Marion overruled their call, stating that Brown was downed at the contact before the ball came out of his hands.
Faced with 2nd and 15 after a penalty, Pittsburgh then fooled the Vikings defense with a misdirection play. Harris ran left past Bradshaw after the snap, drawing in the defense with him, while Bleier took a handoff and ran right through a gaping hole in the line for a yard gain to the Vikings yard line.
The Steelers gained just one yard with their next two plays, setting up third and goal from the four. The Steelers then executed 7 consecutive running plays, taking the game clock all the way down to 38 seconds remaining before turning the ball over on downs. Harris finished the game with 34 carries for a Super Bowl record yards and a touchdown. Bleier had 65 rushing yards, and two receptions for 11 yards. Tarkenton completed 11 of 26 passes for just yards with 3 interceptions, for a passer rating of only Bud Grant vented frustration by saying, "There were three bad teams out there - us, Pittsburgh and the officials.
Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Minnesota Vikings 6 1.