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The Steelers 1977 season begins here>>>

1977 REGULAR SEASON COMES TO AN END

The final weekend of football in the regular season saw Cincinnati travel to Houston where a win would see them crowned division champions. With an earlier kickoff time than the Steelers on the west coast, Pittsburgh would know their fate when they took to the field as they held a superior division record than the Bengals.

After Cincinnati lost 16-21 to Houston to put the Steelers into the playoffs, the Bengals’ frustration was exposed. “People are always talking Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and it’s getting tougher and tougher,” declared Cincinnati’s offensive tackle Vern Holland. “We had them on the ropes this year. Our schedule wasn’t too bad. I don’t know where it slipped off to. You only get so many chances.”

1977 Game 14: The Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5) at the San Diego Chargers (7-6)

The Chargers went 62 yards on their first possession finishing with a 2-yard touchdown run from Clarence Williams. A muffed snap on the point after attempt prevented a successful kick as San Diego took a 6-0 lead.

The Chargers went further ahead on a 38-yard field goal in the second period while their defense was dominating the Steelers restricting them to just 23 yards on the ground. The Steelers one scoring opportunity ended with Terry Bradshaw’s fumble on San Diego’s 19 with 42 seconds left in the half.

Midway through the third quarter, the Steelers began to find some form, Bradshaw connecting with John Stallworth for a 46-yard completion to the Chargers one that enabled Sidney Thornton to carry it over for the score. Bradshaw suffered a pinched nerve on the play and was replaced by Neil Graff.

An interception by J.T. Thomas at the end of the third quarter was the opening for the Steelers to take their first lead of the game when Roy Gerela kicked a field goal from 27 yards.

The Chargers missed an opportunity for a win in the final quarter when Dan Fouts floated a perfect pass to Charley Joiner who juggled the catch before Donnie Shell who stole an interception.

The Steelers edged a victory and progressed to the playoffs, while Cincinnati spent Christmas at home.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 10 at the San Diego Chargers 9
San Diego Stadium December 18th 1977; 50,727

Pittsburgh Press photo Bennie Cunningham
Chargers attempt to tackle Bennie Cunningham

Passing: Bradshaw 8-17-1INT-0TD-139, Graff 4-8-0-0-53
Fouts 11-22-3INT-0TD-157

Rushing: Maxson 16-51, Thornton 9-31-1TD, Harris 11-15, Swann 1-(-8), Bradshaw 1-0, Graff 2-0

Receiving: Stallworth 3-72, Maxson 5-70, Cunningham 3-45, Thornton 1-5

“Call it fate or whatever, but we feel extremely fortunate,” said Terry Bradshaw. “We gave Bum Phillips (Houston’s coach) the game ball.”

“We are now in control of our destiny,” acknowledged Joe Greene. “Until now, our fate was in the hands of others. I think we will be the true Pittsburgh Steelers when we play Denver next week.”

“It was sure of great satisfaction,” added Greene. “I truly believe we’re the team that can best represent this division, especially after the way Cincinnati taunted us after their victory last week.”

“We will accept anything that comes our way,” said John Stallworth. “I felt that Cincinnati experienced an emotional peak for us last week and would have difficulty maintaining it against Houston.”

AFC Central
Houston 21 Cincinnati 16
Seattle 20 Cleveland 19

Pittsburgh 9-5
Cincinnati 8-6
Houston 8-6
Cleveland 6-8

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This site last updated April 28th 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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