Best of the Best: The 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers

Melanie VanNuysContributor IMay 11, 2009

8 Nov 1989:  Head coach Chuck Noll of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on during a game against the Denver Broncos at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Broncos won the game 34-7. Mandatory Credit: Tim de Frisco  /Allsport

With nine future Hall of Famers playing that year, (ten counting the coach), is it any wonder why the 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers are my favorite team of all time?

Let's take a look at what qualifies this team as perhaps the greatest team in the NFL - both past and present. This is no doubt going to stir up quite the debate, especially since there are so many teams who have built legacies: the Packers, the 49ers, the Patriots and of course, the Cowboys.

The "old days" of football, the '70s, were the NFL's "hey day." Players played whether or not they were hurt. Steroids and drugs weren't as prevalent as they are today and the salaries were respectable—not out of this world. Players played for the love of the game.

Everyone knows what happened that year—the Pittsburgh Steelers went 12-4 during the regular season, 3-0 in the playoffs and went on to beat the Los Angeles Rams in the Superbowl.

The Steelers were in height of their dynasty and the Steel Curtain was stopping everything in its path as the defense held opponents to just under 13 points per game.

The offense was nothing to sneeze at, led by the strong arm of Terry Bradshaw and the sure hands of Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. That year, in the playoffs alone, the Steelers dominated their opponents 92-46.

The Black 'n Gold would go own to win two more Superbowls after their victory over the Rams, securing their place in history. But no Steelers team—before or since—had the style, the grace or the talent as the dominating 1979 team.