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The Steelers 1976 season begins here>>>

1976 Game 11: The Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) vs the Houston Oilers (4-6)

In the snow flurries, except for their first drive the Steelers were not as dominant as they had been in previous games. The Steelers began by going 56 yards in eight plays and finishing with Rocky Bleier’s 10-yard touchdown run to take a lead they never relinquished.

Mike Kruczek threw an interception that stopped the Steelers next drive. Roy Gerela then added a 37-yard field goal to give Pittsburgh a 10-0 advantage although he also missed one from 36 yards.

The Oilers backup punter Skip Butler had an awful game averaging 27.7 yards with the punts that he got off, but the Steelers failed to make the most of the excellent field position he gave them. At the beginning of the second quarter, Loren Toews did block a punt that resulted in a safety.

Pittsburgh Press photo
Loren Toews in action blocking the punt.

Oilers John Hadl then burnt the Steelers with a 69-yard pass to Ken Burrough to break Pittsburgh’s streak of 23 quarters without giving up a touchdown as Houston reduced their deficit before the teams exchanged field goals that made it 15-10 to at halftime.

When Butler fumbled a snap in the third quarter, Jack Lambert snapped it up to set a Steelers record of six fumble recoveries on the season and the Steelers began to make progress. It took just three plays for Reggie Harrison, playing for the injured Franco Harris, to score the touchdown with a 1-yard run.

Despite their lead, the Steelers began to suffer discipline problems. Dwight Stone was penalised for roughing the passer and he argued with the official as he thought it was a cheap flag. Later, the official threatened to throw out Toews after he rushed the passer and there were other skirmishes between opposing players as the game became a bad tempered affair with Coach Noll also getting involved verbally with the officials.

Gerela added an 18-yard field goal before the game entered the final period. Harrison added another 1-yard touchdown and Houston completed the scoring with a field goal that gave the Steelers a 32-16 victory.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 32 vs the Houston Oilers 16
Three Rivers Stadium November 21st 1976; 47,947

Passing: Kruczek 8-13-132-0TD-1INT
Hadl 9-20-134-2TD-2INT

Rushing: Bleier 19-66-1TD, Harrison 15-44-2TD, Harris 10-37, Pough 1-6, Swann 1-2, Deloplaine 2-(-12)

Receiving: Brown 3-58, Bleier 3-56, Swann 1-14, Harris 1-4

AFC Central
Cleveland 24 Tampa Bay 7
Cincinnati 27 Kansas 24

Cincinnati 9-2
Pittsburgh 7-4
Cleveland 7-4
Houston 4-7

After the game, Andy Russell spoke about about their postseason hopes, “Sure we’re apprehensive. We know we’ve got to get help. We could find ourselves on the sofa watching the playoffs on TV and thinking we’re the best team. It’s a horrible situation.”

ONE OF THE PHOTOS FROM MY HISTORIC COLLECTIONWhizzer White media photoCaption says Whizzer White against the Giants.
Pirates won that 13-10.
Photo is dated 10/10/38 which suggests the game was against the Brooklyn Dodgers.







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