1978 Steelers 20 vs Saints 14
The Saints play their hearts out in a very entertaining game which probably should've been much higher scoring for both teams. Bradshaw (16 of 23, 200 yds, 2 TDs) and Manning (22 of 32 for 344 yds, 1 TD) are both outstanding. The Steelers play very well offensively when they're on the field, but the Saints are able to capitalize on turnovers and drive-extending penalties to keep the Steeler offense on the bench for much of the afternoon. Amazingly, the Steelers have only 3 possessions in the entire 1st half. Despite dominating time of possession, the Saints find points tough to come by. Jack Lambert ends one promising drive with a leaping INT at the Steeler 17. Then with just 12 seconds left in the half and the Saints poised to take a 14-3 lead at the Steeler 5-yd line, great coverage by Mel Blount forces a HUGE sack/fumble of Archie Manning (who has a jailbreak of 6 Steeler defenders converging on him) and Joe Greene recovers to end the threat and the half. Amusingly after halftime, an open mic captures announcer Don Criqui asking, "We're going to do this off camera?" Pause. "Yeah, good, good. The reason I ask, I have my tie off, my coat off... my pants off." LOL. Wonder what Hank Stram thought of that? :) The 3rd quarter begins with Bradshaw engineering a textbook 12-play 77-yd TD drive highlighted by a pair of great Lynn Swann catches (the first a leaping grab for 21 yds on 4th & 4, the second a tipped ball in tight double coverage for the TD) and Gerela later adds a FG for a 13-7 lead. But early in the 4th, a red-hot Manning brings the Saints storming down the field on an 80-yd drive to retake the lead. With time running short, Bradshaw coolly rallies the troops and caps a brilliant 8-play drive with a 3rd down swing pass to Rocky Bleier for the 24-yd winning TD (surprisingly, the first regular season TD reception of Rocky's career) in the final 2 minutes to preserve a Steelers victory. Features all the old commercials, complete halftime show and a postgame interview with Bradshaw including highlights from around the league.
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