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Steelers 1978 Super Bowl Team Ranked One of Best Ever



Steelers Joe Greene Franco Harris

In a recent article, Dallas Robinson of Pro Football Network tabbed the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 1978 Super Bowl-wining squad as the sixth-greatest team in NFL history. The Steelers finished 14-2 in the regular season, 17-2 overall when counting the three playoff wins.

The Steelers had a -217 point differential in 1978, which is the second-best in franchise history. The Steelers’ 1975 Super Bowl-winning team had a -239 point differential.

“The Steelers ran circles around the rest of the NFL in the mid-to-late 1970s, winning four Super Bowls in six years while creating one of the league’s genuine dynasties,” Robinson wrote. “Choosing between various iterations of this Pittsburgh roster is challenging, but the 1978 Steelers club is our selection to represent this imperial era of Black and Gold football.

“Pittsburgh’s “Steel Curtain” defensive line — comprised of “Mean” Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes, and Dwight White — remains one of the NFL’s best all-time units. Meanwhile, Steelers CB Mel Blount’s physical play was so effective that the league was forced to change its downfield contact rules.”

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The Mel Blount Rule opened things up for the Pittsburgh’s offense, too, as quarterback Terry Bradshaw was named League MVP and Super Bowl MVP. Bradshaw set then-Super Bowl records with 318 yards and four touchdown passes in the Steelers’ 35-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII. It was Bradshaw’s first 300-yard performance.

“Quarterback Terry Bradshaw won MVP after posting the best season of his career, and Pittsburgh finished 14-2 in the regular season. After posting 23+ point playoff victories over the Denver Broncos and Houston Oilers, the Steelers held on for a 35-31 win against the Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII,” Robinson wrote.

Ahead of the Steelers’ 1978 Super Bowl team on Robinson’s list were the 1991 Washington Redskins, 1984 San Francisco 49ers, 1985 Chicago Bears, 2007 New England Patriots and 1972 Miami Dolphins, the only undefeated and untied team in NFL history. Four of the five teams ahead of the Steelers were Super Bowl champions. The 2007 Patriots, who were 18-0, lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

No. 6 seems about right for the 1978 Steelers, but I would have bumped them up to the top 5. As mentioned, the 1975 and 1978 Steelers were similar stat-wise. The biggest difference was Bradshaw’s development as a passer in 1978, however.

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