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The Steelers 1977 season begins here>>>

THE DIVISION TITLE AT STAKE

With two games of the 1977 season left, the Steelers would guarantee playoff football with a win over their next opponents, the Cincinnati Bengals. “I want to take my tired, old body out to the coast without having to worry about a ‘must game,’” Joe Greene suggested, a reference to the Steelers final game in San Diego.

“The Bengals simply don’t think they can beat the Steelers in a big game, or some of them don’t,” Greene added. “You can hear it in their conversation.”

The Bengals had lost six straight against their division rivals and Greene couldn’t see that changing with the Steelers offense peaking at the right time. “I like our offense,” he enthused. “I couldn’t say that a few weeks ago when they had all the turnovers. But I’ll tell you this, they are going to put points on the board against anybody. Anybody.”

At his weekly press conference, Chuck Noll stated, “Our season is on the line right now,” before explaining, “Our backs are to the wall in a sense.” Noll’s concern was a defeat in Cincinnati by more than six points combined with a win for the Bengals the following week would snatch the division title from the Steelers’ grasp under the NFL’s tie-break procedure.

The Steelers could still see post season football if they lost to the Bengals by less than six and then beat the Chargers. Reporters questioned whether that would affect the way his team would play. “The only interest we have is in winning the game,” Noll assured them.

Bengals defensive end Gary Burley stressed the importance of the matchup to his team, “We know what’s at stake. If we knock off Pittsburgh it’s a sure shot to the playoffs.”

Fellow end Coy Bacon noted, “The whole thing has changed. The Bengals have a different attitude. Last year when I came here the Pittsburgh game was a panic thing. Everybody sat around hoping and crying and praying. Being afraid of Pittsburgh was a traditional thing. But you’re not talking to the same team this year. We have guys who are hungry and care, guys who want to win like it’s their last meal.”

Bacon acknowledged the Bengals’ main task would be to stop Franco Harris while Terry Bradshaw explained the Steelers had been passing more in recent games because their opponents were playing their safeties in run support and leaving the pass open.

Lynn Swann made the Steelers intentions clear. “All I know is that the team with the best record is the champion. We want to have the best record. That’s all I’m thinking about.

The game at Riverfront Stadium was expected to be played in sub-zero temperatures with the ground crew discovering the day before the game a sheet of ice covering the artificial turf after a snow storms had caused seepage in the tarpaulin covering the field.

AP image
Ground crew and players clear the snow/ice in Riverfront Stadium


THE BUILDING OF THREE RIVERS STADIUM

PPG
PPG photo October 2 1969

TERRY BRADSHAW

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This site last updated March 18th 2017.

Ben's early games with the Steelers.

The Steelers 1976 season in full.
The Steelers 1975 season in full.
The Steelers 1974 season in full.

The first NFL champions the 1902 Pittsburgh Stars added June 2016

The Pittsburgh Americans added August 2015.

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