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Terry Bradshaw media photo“Part of being a championship team is being tough in the fourth period,” declared Chuck Noll at his weekly press conference.  “That’s when games are decided. It was one of the better games Terry has played,” reflecting on the weekend’s win over Houston.

After Houston scored with 2:08 left in the fourth quarter, Terry Bradshaw led his team 78 yards in just six plays in an outstanding display that brought comparisons to Bobby Layne.

Noll is familiar with Layne’s exploits. The coach was a rookie with Cleveland in 1953 when Lou Groza kicked a field goal with 4:10 left in the championship game to put Cleveland 16-10 in front. Layne conjured up a touchdown drive of 80 yards in two minutes to give the Lions victory.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette observed that if Bradshaw keeps doing those kinds of things the way he did Sunday, the Steelers were going to be on top for some time. They concluded it was obvious he was getting better all the time.


As the Steelers approached their next game against Kansas, their injury list just kept growing. Rocky Bleier (pulled hamstring), Dave Reavis (sprained ankle), L.C. Greenwood (ankle), Joe Greene (pulled groin muscle) and Frank Lewis (ribs) were all suffering.

The positive for Dwight White meant he would probably be given an opportunity to show his skills.

Three former Steelers would be playing against their old team. Barry Pearson (wide receiver), Walter White (tight end) and Tom Keating (tackle) were all let go by Noll as he built Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl winning team.

For Pearson, it was the most important game of the year. “I played with them, still have friends on the team,” he said. “You play against your old team, you want to do well.”

The Chiefs, coming off a 34-31 upset win against the Cowboys, also had injury challenges of their own

1975 game 9: The Pittsburgh Steelers (7-1) vs the Kansas City Chiefs (4-4)

With both teams struggling with injuries, they stumbled through the first quarter without any danger of either team scoring. With Greenwood and Greene playing hurt, the Steelers’ defense was fortified by substitutes Dwight White and Steve Furness.

With no effective Steelers’ offense, their defense strived to keep them in the game. When the Chiefs finally succeeded with a 32-yard field goal, it gave a kick-start to a Steelers offense that had not left their half of the field for nearly thirty minutes.

As the half drew to an end, Lynn Swann broke straight down the field, cut towards the center on a post pattern and caught Bradshaw’s pass with ease and showed the Steelers were finally playing football. The 42-yard touchdown reception gave the Steelers a 7-3 lead.

Pittsburgh’s momentum continued at the start of the second half as their first two possessions saw them increase their lead. Kansas attempted an onside kick to start the half and the Steelers began their first series from their 49. Franco Harris then fumbled before Frenchy Fuqua fumbled before John Stallworth fumbled.

The result of that drive was a Reggie Harrison 10-yard touchdown run that increased the Steelers’ lead. A 74-yard drive Steelers drive followed, completed by Bradshaw’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Stallworth.

Bradshaw utilised the check-with-me system on the drive. This meant the play is called when everyone arrives at the line of scrimmage providing Bradshaw the opportunity to weigh up his options when seeing what defense is put in front of him.

The Steelers completed the scoring in the final quarter as Harris ground out the yardage on a nine play 82-yard drive with Mike Collier running in from 21 yards to give the Steelers a 28-3 win.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 28 vs the Kansas City Chiefs 3
Three Rivers Stadium, November 16th 1975; 48,803

Passing: Bradshaw 16-24-204-2TD

Rushing: Harris 17-119, Fuqua 13-63, Harrison 5-29, Collier 3-26, Bradshaw 1-2

Receiving:  Swann 3-57, Fuqua 2-36, L. Brown 2-24, Stallworth 2-21, Harris 6-61, Grossman 1-5

The Steelers original game plan was to possess the football and keep the defense off the field, but Furness quipped, “I didn’t think we’d ever get off the field.”

“We were flat,” confessed Bradshaw. “We just made careless mistakes. We were sloppy.”

“When a quarterback does that, it amazes me,” Steelers’ guard Jim Clack said in admiration for Bradshaw’s “check with me” play calling. “It shows he’s done an outstanding job watching a team on film all week. He could not have just come in there cold and called all the right plays.”

The Chiefs’ coach Paul Wiggin added, “Bradshaw’s growing into his job in a very good way. He’s reading defense better than I’ve ever seen him. He rarely makes a throwing error. We wanted to confuse him, but we obviously didn’t.”

The Steelers seven straight victories set a franchise record and in four of their eight wins on the season, they’ve held the opposition without a touchdown.


Chuck Noll media photo

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Last updated July 19th 2014.

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

Chuck Noll tribute added June 2014.

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