Record: 14-2, won Super Bowl XIII 35-31 over the Cowboys.
A lot of people will argue that the 1979 version of the Steelers was the best ever. I will politely disagree. I feel that this group is the best to demonstrate the dominance of the Steel Curtain. Sure, the offensive numbers in '79 were better, but in my opinion they were a more dominant team in '78.
These guys were loaded all over the defensive side of the ball. Up front you had guys like Mean Joe Greene and L.C. Greenwood. At linebacker guys like Jack Ham and Jack Lambert scared opposing quarterbacks to death, and if that wasn't bad enough, you had to deal with the skill corners in Mel Blount, Ron Johnson, and saftey Tony Dungy.
Offensively Terry Bradshaw had one of his best years, throwing for nearly 3000 yards and 28 scores. Lynn Swann and John Stallworth were his go to receivers, while Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier pushed the pile on the ground. Up front they were led by Hall of Famer Mike Webster at center.
The Steelers breezed through the regular season going 14-2, dropping only games against Houston and the Rams, both of which were nationally televised. As a whole their average margin of victory was more than 10 points per game.
They held home field advantage when the playoffs started in late 1978. They opened with Denver, the team that had bounced them the year prior. Steeler Nation would get their revenge in a 33-10 whitewashing at Three Rivers Stadium. Up next the Steelers got a shot at Houston for a third time. They had gotten their revenge late in 1978 with a 13-3 win in the Astrodome. This game would not be so close as the Steelers destroyed the Oilers 34-5 in a game where they forced nine turnovers.
Super Bowl XIII would not be as big of a wash. In this game Bradshaw would throw for over 300 yards and four scores as he went on to win MVP honors. However many feel that Bradshaw turnovers were also the Steelers hell, as it kept the Cowboys in it until the end.
But this game will be remembered by Cowboys fans as the game where a dropped pass was much more critical. Late in the third quarter with Dallas down 21-14, Roger Staubach found Jackie Smith wide open in the end zone for what would have been a game tying catch. Instead, Smith dropped the pass, the Cowboys settled for three, and the Cowboys could never recover.
The final was 35-31 as the 'Boys made it close at the end, but the Steelers had won a third title and would earn a fourth the following year.
It is no secret that the Steelers are one of the best franchises in NFL history. This, the 1978 team, is the one I feel was the best. Many may say 1979 was better, and yes it was offensively, but overall, this was the year they dominated from beginning to end.
Tackling the fourth spot, the 1978 version of the Steelers, the Iron City's finest.