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THE STEELERS 1975 SEASON BEGINS HERE>>>

1975 game 1: The Pittsburgh Steelers at the San Diego Chargers

The Steelers intention was to stick with the run and they did on their first seven snaps. Franco Harris picked up 25 yards on five carries and Terry Bradshaw scrambled for eleven yards on a third down to set up Roy Gerela’s 29-yard field goal.

After the Chargers had gone three and out, the Steelers benefitted from the successful runs. The Steelers’ initial running game had set up the pass and on their next series, Bradshaw found Harris with a 19-yard completion followed by a play action call that launched a 40-yard touchdown strike to Frank Lewis.

In the second quarter, the always dominant Pittsburgh defense, increased the pressure on San Diego. J.T Thomas returned an interception 33 yards to the Chargers’ 26. Six plays later, Frenchy Fuqua took a flare pass from Bradshaw, but fumbled when hit at the goal line.

Gerry Mullins media photoGerry Mullins (picture right) recovered the loose ball in the end zone to enable the Steelers to increase their lead to 17-0 although most of the Steelers thought Fuqua had crossed the goal line before he let the ball go. Bradshaw didn’t realise the officials had ruled a fumble and thought it was his second touchdown.

Pittsburgh’s lead was stretched further before half-time with a Gerela 38-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, two Rocky Bleier fumbles prevented any Steelers’ progress before a Bradshaw pass was deflected in the end zone and the Steelers settled for a Gerela field goal from 25 yards and a 23-0 lead.

In the final period, Bradshaw completed five straight passes, finishing with a John Stallworth 38-yard touchdown catch

With seven minutes remaining, kicker Bobby Walden even managed to pitch a pass to Donnie Shell from punt formation to keep the final scoring drive alive. The play wasn’t a designed play, it just happened.

Coach Noll explained that the two outside men on the Chargers’ rush unit had moved down the line looking for a soft spot. That caused Walden to do the obvious thing. “They move inside, we throw,” offered Noll.

The final score came from a Mike Collier 7-yard touchdown run that increased the Steelers lead to 37-0.

The Steelers amassed 443 yards of total offense compared to the Chargers’ 145 yards.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 37 at the San Diego Chargers 0
San Diego Stadium, September 21st 1975; 38,987

Passing:
Bradshaw 21 for 28 for 227 yards, 2 TDs

Rushing: 
Harris 17 for 78; Lewis 1 for 12; Bradshaw 1 for 11; Collier 1 for 7; Bleier 14 for 43; Fuqua 2 for 9; Harrison 9 for 45;

Receiving:
Lewis 4 for 69 yards; L. Brown 1 for 13; Shell 1 for 19; Stallworth 3 for 56; Harris 2 for 24; Swann 3 for 28; Bleier 1 for 8; Fuqua 5 for 20; Harrison 1 for 4; Grossman 1 for 5

“I’ll eat my words,” smiled coach Noll referring to his preseason warning to his players that there lurked a danger for a championship team thinking it could turn it on like a guy turning on the water or pushing a button.

When somebody suggested that teams weren’t supposed to be able to turn it on like that, Noll replied, “Some teams can’t. Maybe that makes them an exception.”

Noll raved about the performance of Donnie Shell on the kicking teams. “He played exceptionally well on the special teams. He refused to be blocked.”

Terry Bradshaw observed of the team, “They showed me something. They came out smoking.”

The San Diego coach Tommy Prothro praised his opponents, “I don’t know what to say. They were impressive.”


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Last updated April 19th 2014.

SteelerNationUK on tour 2013 added February 2014.

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