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The Steelers 1978 Season Begins Here>>>

Glenn Sheeley Pittsburgh Press

The average fan is not aware of how many times Terry Bradshaw has audibled plays for touchdown passes, or on how many occasions the Steelers quarterback has played with injuries which would sideline others.

All things considered there are people close to the situation who suggest Bradshaw’s confidence dipped sharply in recent weeks as the Steelers offense floundered. The suggestion is that Bradshaw is, well, losing it in the huddle. There is indecision, something than can destroy an offense. There is a tendency to ditch the game plan unnecessarily.

Even Bradshaw admits, “I don’t think I’ve concentrated well. I think that’s obvious by the results. My mind has to start zeroing in on one thing.”

While Bradshaw is playing with a sore elbow and wincing occasionally from stomach muscles which were pulled earlier in the season and recently aggravated, zeroing in on the proper goal should be no problem in the Steelers nationally televised game tonight with the San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park.

Tony Bennett might have left his heart in this city by the bay, but the Steelers tonight will attempt to leave their offensive doldrums here. If the Steelers have serious playoff thoughts, what they need tonight is nothing less than a blowout against the 1-11 49ers.

If Bradshaw can pick apart San Francisco’s usually porous defense as expertly as general manager Joe Thomas picked apart the entire franchise, the Steelers might be in the proper frame of mind for Sunday’s clash at Houston.

It is surely the most trying time for Bradshaw, who seemed headed for an unbelievable season and then slipped. His four interceptions last week and seven in the last two games have dropped him behind Miami’s Bob Griese for the AFC quarterback lead.

Concentration was the part of Chuck Noll’s “fundamentals” which Bradshaw emphasised this past week. “I’m more conscious of the fact that I’m trying to concentrate, if you know what I’m saying,” acknowledged Bradshaw. “I’ve got my eyes downfield, I’m trying not to press. I’m trying not to make something happen , but to let it happen.”

Bradshaw doesn’t mind sharing the blame, but he stresses that it has been a team effort. He implies that he’s not the only one who hasn’t been concentrating. “In a long season like this, it’s like going to work,” Bradshaw suggests. “And there are some days when you just don’t want to go to work.”

1978 Game 13: The (10-2) Pittsburgh Steelers at the (1-11) San Francisco 49ers

Terry Bradshaw AP photoIn a game that saw the Steelers penalised 13 times and committing 4 turnovers, they still managed to find some offense while the defense played their part in the Steelers win.

The first play from scrimmage saw Scott Bull overthrow his intended receiver and the ball fall to Ron Johnson. Roy Gerela kicked a 42-yard field goal after the San Francisco defense held Terry Bradshaw threw an interception on the Steelers next possession, but manage to put that behind him throwing two touchdown pass in the second quarter.

The first one of 22 yards to Lynn Swann finished a drive of 80 yards and was followed by moving the chains 66 yards and Swann hauling in a 25-yard touchdown catch to give Pittsburgh a 17-0 lead at half time. The Steelers overwhelmed their opponents 249-91 yards in the first two quarters.

A Rocky Bleier fumble in the third period on the Steelers five-yard gave San Francisco their only scoring opportunity which they took advantage of to reduce their deficit, but the Steelers were not finished.

In the fourth quarter, Bleier fumbled again, but the Steelers defense came through with another interception and 51 yards later, John Stallworth went in with a 11-yard touchdown completion to give the Steelers a 24-7 victory.

Franco Harris spent the second half on the bench with a pinched nerve

The Pittsburgh Steelers 24 at the San Francisco 49ers 7
Candlestick Park November 27 1978; 51,657

Passing: Bradshaw 13-21-3TD-1INT-195
Bull 10-18-0TD-5INT-113

Rushing: Harris 12-61, Moser 15-63, Bleier 13-58, Thornton 7-24, Bradshaw 6-6

Receiving: Swann 8-134-2TD, Stallworth 2-26-1TD, Grossman 2-24, Harris 1-11

Terry Bradshaw’s three touchdown passes set a new record for the franchise with 22 on the season while Lynn Swann equalled a career high 11 touchdowns for the season.

“I was satisfied to a point,“ said Terry Bradshaw. “In the first half I was awfully proud of the team, but in the second half we were doing things we wanted to do, but we were messing up, going offsides because I was trying to check off the defense. I think we should have scored at least a couple of more touchdowns.”

“I wanted to see improvement,” added Bradshaw. “I think the running game was better. We were blowing some people off the ball.”

“It wasn’t a preparation for Houston,” acknowledged Coach Noll. “We’re going to begin preparing for Houston on Wednesday.”

AFC Central
Houston 17 Cincinnati 10
Cleveland 30 Los Angeles 19

Pittsburgh Steelers 11-2
Houston Oilers 9-4
Cleveland Browns 7-6
Cincinnati Bengals 1-12



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This site last updated August 18th 2018.

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