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Old 05-07-2008, 11:58 AM   #1
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Default Remembering The Steel Curtain

Just thought some of you might like this..
Teams supreme
CHARLOTTE -- How quaint that the 1970s weren't erased from memory like a Nixon tape. Even bell-bottoms are back and lime-green shirts, too, proving once again the classics never fade.
Even John Travolta is cool again. Who knows? Maybe Abba will do a reunion tour.
The '70s were a decade of bad hair and even worse presidents. Yet the standing of one staple of the era, the Pittsburgh Steelers, remains undiminished. There's no way around it: the 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers were the greatest team in NFL history.
Great teams don't just dominate -- they intimidate. That Steelers team, with the snarl of Jack Lambert and the sneer of Mean Joe Greene, had a nasty tone that added to its aura.
Because those Steelers have been lauded for so long, there's a tendency to search elsewhere for the greatest NFL team, to thumb through media guides to uncover some squads that may have been overlooked. There's a suspicion that perhaps those Steelers weren't the best after all.
There were the 1962 Green Bay Packers, the best of Coach Vince Lomardi's teams. With running backs Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor and quarterback Bart Starr, Green Bay roared to a 13-1 record in the regular season and outscored rivals 415-148. The Packers went to New York to beat a strong Giants club 16-7 for the NFL title.
There were the '72 Dolphins, the NFL's only unbeaten Super Bowl champions. They went 17-0 despite losing quarterback Bob Griese for 10 games with a broken right leg. With 38-year-old Earl Morrall under center, fullback Larry Csonka and halfback Jim Kiick rolled to an NFL-record 2,960 yards rushing.
There were the '75 Steelers, Pittsburgh's second straight Super Bowl champion and a club that finished 13-3-1.
The Chicago Bears went 18-1 in 1985 and their brilliant defense allowed just 10 points in three postseason wins.
The Dallas Cowboys produced a stunning amount of success in the early 1990s, only to see their roster eroded by free agency.
The San Francisco 49ers responded to the Dallas threat with a juggernaut in 1994. That squad averaged 31.6 points per game as quarterback Steve Young had a rating of 112.8 -- double Kerry Collins' this past season -- and receiver Jerry Rice caught a team-record 112 passes.
Unlike some previous Niner teams, this club had a great defense built around linebacker Ken Norton and cornerback Deion Sanders. That 49ers club had a touch of greatness, as defined by balance and dominance, with a bit of panache.
Yet no team defined greatness like the '78 Steelers.
The '62 Packers lacked the speed of modern clubs. The '72 Dolphins won their three playoff games by only 17 points. The quarterback of the '85 Bears, Jim McMahon, had a rating of 82.8, hardly a number he'd scribble on a head band. The '94 Niners lacked a fearsome pass rush and had a modest line.
The '78 Steelers had no holes. That team had three Hall of Fame players on offense (quarterback Terry Bradshaw, running back Franco Harris and center Mike Webster) and four on defense (defensive lineman Greene, linebackers Lambert and Jack Ham, and defensive back Mel Blount).
They could run, they could throw, and they scored a whopping 356 points in the regular season.
Their "Steel Curtain" defense allowed only 195 points in a 17-2 season. Yes, the Steelers lost two games, but by a total of 10 points.
In the playoffs, they whipped the Denver Broncos 33-10 and the Houston Oilers 34-5. Then they beat a superb Dallas team 35-31 in Super Bowl XIII.
Those '78 Steelers remain, sideburns and all, the best team the NFL has produced.
Dane Huffman can be reached at (704) 521-9832 or dhuffman@nando.com

Last edited by fansince'76; 05-07-2008 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Yellow font is kinda blinding on a grey background.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

It's been so long that many have forgotten it, but I still say that the 35-31 win over dallas was the greatest Super Bowl game ever. There have been a few very close games this decade, but that one is still the NFL's best Super Bowl in my opinion.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

Very nice...thanks for the read.
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Old 05-07-2008, 02:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

Great post, but John Stallworth and Lynn Swann are also in the Hall of Fame
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

I wasnt alive back then so it is cool to read things about the old steelers.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

The Earlier Steeler Teams of 74 and 75 were better.......and the stats will support it
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Old 05-08-2008, 03:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

Great post.
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

Quote:
The Earlier Steeler Teams of 74 and 75 were better.......and the stats will support it
I think the '76 team was the best. Although injuries kept them from the Super Bowl, that team was unbelievable. The defense allowed 28 points over the last 9 games (including 5 shutouts). The offense featured TWO 1,000 yard rushers.
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Old 05-08-2008, 09:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

Great article! Lets try to get back to the point where our D is most feared again!
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Old 05-08-2008, 11:35 AM   #10
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Default Re: Remembering The Steel Curtain

1976 Steelers are arguably the best football team ever assembled.
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