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The Steelers 1978 Season Begins Here>>>

STEELERS HEAD TO CLEVELAND TO FACE THE 4-2 BROWNS

Cleveland’s receiver Greg Pruitt, who had been injured and did not play in the Steelers week 4 triumph over the Browns, was sure this team Browns would not be intimidated by the Steelers in Sunday’s battle. “We’re a young team and I think we’re just now getting to the point where we have people who have played Pittsburgh for two or three years,” observed Pruitt. “So really, we know what it’s all about.”

Pruitt granted, “They try to intimidate. Do those extra things to try and get your mind off the game… verbal slams, a little extra shove. Anything to get you into retaliation rather than concentrating.”
Pruitt was expecting to play most of the game Sunday although he did not play in the Browns 24-17 win over the Saints.


STEELERS vs BROWNS
Youngstown Vindicator preview

It’s crossroad time for the Cleveland Browns in their hope of keeping it a race in the AFC Central. For the Steelers, cruising along as one of only three unbeaten teams in the NFL, it’s the opportunity to build on a two-game lead and move closer to another playoff appearance.

Additional fuel was tossed on the always smoking Browns-Steelers rivalry by an official’s goof three weeks ago in Pittsburgh. A quick whistle nullified a Browns recovery of a Steeler fumble on the overtime kickoff and wiped away the chance for at least a field goal shot by Don Crockroft, the most accurate active kicker. Instead, Pittsburgh went on to win 15-9 on a dazzling flea flicker to Bennie Cunningham 37 yards downfield in the end zone.

Pittsburgh won’t have Cunningham for this one after the fine tight end damaged a knee against Atlanta, but the Browns also lost another important cog, right cornerback Ron Bolton with a broken forearm. Three weeks prior to that, Oliver Davis went down at the same position with a dislocated elbow.

WHEN PITTSBURGH HAS THE BALL

Terry Bradshaw admits he never has had it better with the Steelers running and receiving in high gear. It makes for a quarterback’s paradise and the result is the best start Bradshaw has had in nine seasons. The toughest day came against the Browns and the Steelers won’t forget that.

Pittsburgh’s offensive line has been paving the way for Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier (150 yards combined against Atlanta) and that, in turn, has made Bradshaw’s task of getting passes to Lynn Swann, John Stallworth and Cunningham (until now) considerably easier. The Steelers hammer away or stun a foe with the quick bomb and in the course of a game are likely to do both.

WHEN CLEVELAND HAS THE BALL

Brian Sipe finally regained balance in the offense against New Orleans after being forced to depend heavily on passing in the absence of Greg Pruitt. Calvin Hill has quickly combined with fullback Cleo Miller (146 yards for the pair last weekend) and veteran George Buehler from Oakland has been acquired to give the line some much needed experienced depth.

Pruitt hasn’t played since suffering a badly contused calf September 10, but may see some action in this one. The Browns need him to step up the pressure on defenses with his running/receiving threat. Sipe has his best receiving group ever in Reggie Rucker, Dave Logan and Ozzie Newsome, but only strong running can make the passing really effective.

LAST MINUTE FACTORS

If the Browns can’t assemble an effective pass rush, it could be over early. Cleveland has only 11 sacks in six games, exactly half the number recorded by the Steelers. Cunningham’s loss takes some of the heat off the Browns defense, but Cleveland needs Pruitt to put more heat on the Steelers.

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This site last updated April 24th 2018.

Ben's early Steelers games.

The Steelers 1977 season in full.
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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