Steelers' postseason history: Jan. 12 -- Super Bowl IX

Written by Dan Gigler on .

Since the Steelers have the wrong kind of home field advantage this postseason, we'll take a look back at some of the highlights and disappointments of playoffs past ...

Today: January 12th -- Super Bowl IX


This story from the Post-Gazette archives was first published on January 13, 1975.

Super Steelers Win, 16-6

By David Fink / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NEW ORLEANS -- The Pittsburgh Steelers chug-a-lugged Minnesota's offense faster than you can say "Pour on the Iron," and whipped the Vikings, 16-6, in Super Bowl IX yesterday.

pgfrontIt was the Steelers first world championship in 42 years.

Franco Harris, a Sherman tank in a Steeler suit, led the charge with a record 158 yards on 34 rushing attempts.

He was named the game's Most Valuable Player.

Harris scored one touchdown and quarterback Terry Bradshaw passed four yards to tight end Larry Brown for the other. A safety accounted for the Steeler's remaining points.

The Vikings, losing in the Super Bowl for the third time in the last six years, trailed 2-0 at the half and 9-0 at the end of the third quarter. Their lone touchdown came when rookie linebacker Matt Blair blocked a Bobby Walden punt and reserve defensive back Terry Brown covered it in the end zone with 10:33 remaining in the game.

A Key Interception

As was the case in their American Football Conference championship game victory over Oakland two weeks ago, the Steelers treated adversity as if it were a gift horse. They drove 66 yards in 11 plays, culminating the retaliatory drive with Bradshaw's short toss to Larry Brown with 3:31 left.

Mike Wagner's interception--the Steelers third--locked up the win seconds later.

Despite the second half absence of linebackers Andy Russell and Jack Lambert, Pittsburgh limited the Vikings to only 21 yards rushing on 20 attempts. Meanwhile, the Steelers accumulated 249 yards against Minnesota's willing but weary defense.

They did most of their damage to the right as guard Gerry Mullins and tackle Gordan Gravelle caved in the left side of the Vikings once inpenetrable defense.

Quarterback Fran Tarkenton, normally the Vikings main weapon, passed for only 102 yards. His scrambling was never a factor as Steeler ends L.C. Greenwood and Dwight White repeatedly turned him inside where the traffic was heaviest.

Steeler Defense Shows

Greenwood also batted down three passes and tackle Ernie Holmes broke up another. Left tackle Joe Greene intercepted a pass as did Wagner and cornerback Mel Blount.

In all, the Vikings turned the ball over five times against the AFC's No. 1 defense.

The win marked the third consecutive time the AFC had triumphed over the NFC champion and it also marked the first time a team playing in its first Super Bowl had beat a team that had played there before.

At first, it was Pittsburgh which seemed doomed to frustration. Twice in the first period, Roy Gereia tried field goals that failed. The first was a 33-yarder that sailed wide. Later, the Steelers tried for a 38-yarder, but a fumbled snap doomed that attempt.

The Vikings, too, tried to get on the scoreboard with a field goal, but Fred Cox' 39-yard attempt was also wide.

The game was developing into a punting duel between Minnesota's Mike Eischeid and Bobby Walden of the Steelers when midway through the second period, the Steeler front four forced a Tarkenton error that led to the 2-0 safety. It was the first safety in Super Bowl history.

With Greene thrusting his arms in the air in celebration, the Pittsburgh fans roared their approval at the front four they call the "Steel Curtain." Tarkenton was to see plenty more of them.

Post-Gazette coverage:


10 minutes of live game broadcast film

NBC Super Bowl IX broadcast bumper

Mel Blount recalls Super Bowl IX

NFL Films short (with fantastically bad music)

America's Game: The 1974 Steelers Pt. 1

Pt. 2

Pt. 3

Pt. 4

Pt. 5

Pt. 6

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