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“They are unlike any other team,” Andy Russell offered about the Steelers’ next opponents and rivals for the division title. Expanding on the challenge posed by the Bengals, Russell added, “Paul Brown’s calling those plays and he doesn’t like to repeat things. That causes problems.”

“He’ll hurt you real bad with a play early in the game and you’ll be looking for it the rest of the game and he’ll never come back to it. But he’ll come back with a sister play that looks the same and beat you with that too.”

Coach Noll played seven years for Brown so knows that one of Brown’s trademarks is that he likes to change his game plan. “Paul always preached that he doesn’t want people to categorise him,” Noll said, but added, “You can categorise yourself that way too.”

Reflecting on the Steelers’ 30-24 win in Cincinnati, Bengals' linebacker Ron Pritchard said, “It was very discouraging. We had a 6-0 record and it had the makings of a good game. But it only lasted for a half. The biggest thing was that we could see our offense wasn’t generating anything. I didn’t think our offense could be shut down that way.”

If the Steelers repeat that victory, they will take the division title, but if the Bengals win, they will clinch a wild card berth and the division title will need another week to be decided.

1975 game 13: The Pittsburgh Steelers (11-1) vs the Cincinnati Bengals (10-2)

On a bright Saturday afternoon, with the AFC Central division title at stake, the Steelers put on an exhibition show against the pretenders to their throne.

Franco Harris media photoPittsburgh’s game plan was to go after Cincinnati’s rookie corner Marvin Cobb. On their first series, a Franco Harris run of 17 yards was complemented by Terry Bradshaw’s passes of 14, 12 and 3 yards to Lynn Swann, the latter providing a touchdown to put the Steelers ahead.

Less than six minutes later, a superb defensive play by Pittsburgh increased their lead. With Andy Russell tackling Bengals’ back Boobie Clark, Dwight White knocked the ball loose at the Cincinnati’s 42. Jack Lambert scooped up the loose ball, ran 21 yards before lateralling to J.T. Thomas who ran 21 yards more for the touchdown.

In the second quarter, after Cincinnati had missed a field goal, they put together an 11-play scoring drive of 77 yards that finished with Stan Fritts’ lunge from one yard.

Just before the interval, the Bengals pressed too hard and Ken Anderson’s pass, intended for tight end Bob Trumpy, was intercepted by Mike Wagner and returned 20 yards. This set up a 10-yard touchdown run from Harris to increase the Steelers’ lead.

Late in the third period, Cincinnati’s kicker shanked a punt and Pittsburgh took over on the 50. Seven plays later, Bradshaw took the ball in with his 9-yard touchdown run and the Steelers dominance was reflected in the 28-7 score line.

In the final quarter, Franco Harris contributed over half of the 65 yards of a Steelers’ series before taking the ball over from the two for the touchdown.

The Bengals completed the scoring with Anderson’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Curtis.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 35 vs the Cincinnati Bengals 14
Three Rivers Stadium, December 13th 1975; 48,889

Passing: Bradshaw 13-23-149-1TD

Rushing: Harris 20-118, Collier 2-16, Harrison 1-8, Bradshaw 3-18, Bleier 9-25, Fuqua 3-5

Receiving: Swann 5-69, L. Brown 1-20, Stallworth 3-57, Collier 1-7, Fuqua 1-2, Bleier 2-(-6)

Franco Harris recorded his fifth 100-yard plus game of the year and the 18th of his career. He also broke John Henry Johnson’s club record with his 28th rushing touchdown.

Harris commented on the lack of celebration in the locker room after the team had secured the division title. “Nobody in this room wants to stop here,” he offered. “It’s going to keep on growing. We’ll come in here Monday and everyone will get together and feel loose. But we’ll still be conscious of what we have to do. Nobody wants to end it here.”

Paul Brown enthused about the Steelers, “They’re a great team, you can’t give them anything. Without question, they are a superior football team.”

J.T. Thomas remarked about the Bengals, “They’re an awfully good football team and it’s hard to imagine us beating them twice. I just hope we don’t catch them in the playoffs because beating any team three times in a season is awfully hard.”

“We were just doing a good job,” coach Noll contributed. “Offensively… defensively. Especially defensively. Bud Carson’s done a good job with the secondary and that’s been a big part of it.”

Mel Blount media photo
Mel Blount was voted the team’s MVP for the season by his teammates.


Chuck Noll media photo

My tribute to coach Noll>>>










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Last updated August 15th 2014.

Byron White's 1938 season with the Pirates added July 2014.

Chuck Noll tribute added June 2014.

The Thirties Pirates updated April 2014.
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