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Thread: 1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back it up

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    Senior Member Array title="zulater has a reputation beyond repute"> zulater's Avatar

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    1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back it up



    http://www.steelers.com/news/article...b-26828b85b554


    During the opening weekend of the 1974 NFL Playoffs, the same weekend the Steelers were dispatching the Buffalo Bills in Pittsburgh, the Raiders had pulled off a dramatic win over the two-time defending champion Miami Dolphins in Oakland. The Dolphins had scored a late touchdown to take a 26-21 lead, but then Ken Stabler directed a perfect drive and capped it off with a touchdown pass in the final seconds to pull out a 28-26 win. In the early days of the Super Bowl, there were periods where teams took turns winning them, and the progression had been from Green Bay to Dallas to Miami. Everybody who watched the Raiders pull off that dramatic come-from-behind victory over the Dolphins simply assumed the torch had been passed.

    “The two best teams in football played today,” said Dolphins guard Larry Little. Added Raiders coach John Madden, “When the best plays the best, anything can happen.”

    A couple of time zones away, Noll was livid. He gathered his team on the Monday before the AFC Championship Game and delivered a succinct message.

    Joe Greene remembered it this way: “The thing that really, really gave us the impetus and the mind-set, and gave us – as Chuck always said – the refuse-to-be-denied attitude – came on the Monday after we beat Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs in 1974. People on the outside would always hear things like the refuse-to-be-denied attitude and call it a cliché, but to us it was real. But anyway, we were sitting in the team meeting room over at Three Rivers Stadium, and Chuck said, ‘You know, the coach of the Raiders said the two best teams in football (Miami and Oakland) played yesterday, and that was the Super Bowl.’ Then he said, ‘Well, the Super Bowl is three weeks from now, and the best team in pro football is sitting right here in this room.’

    “I’m telling you, I think I levitated right out of my seat when I heard that. Saying that was very un-Chuck-like, and that’s why it had so much power to it.”

    Later when he met the media for his weekly news conference, Noll was no less defiant. “We always enjoy our games with Oakland because it’s a test. From what I understand, they’re the self-proclaimed best. But they still have the playoff system to determine that, I think.”



    "A man's got to know his limitations."

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    Senior Member Array title="zulater has a reputation beyond repute"> zulater's Avatar

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    Re: 1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back i

    I always considered the 74 team the most underrated of all the Steelers Super Bowl teams, and possibly the best of all of them if one just considers how the team was playing at the time of the main event. That front four was without peer in league history and playing at it's peak. Joe Greene got a pinched nerve in his neck in 75 and while still great was never the dominant force he was from 69-74 afterwards. Jack Ham and Andy Russell were the best duo of OLB's in league history and never were better than in 74.( though they were equally good in 75)

    Bradshaw and the offense struggled at various times throughout the regular season, but really gelled in the playoffs and I think could have played with any team ever by that January.

    Of the great rookies of the 74 class, all but Webster were playing as seasoned veterans by the playoffs that year.

    Anyway it was a team that never got it's proper due in my opinion, I think they could have kicked anyone's ass ever to this day.
    "A man's got to know his limitations."

  3. #3
    SteelerSal
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    Re: 1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back i

    I absolutely love reading everything and anything about the steelers of the 70's....never gets old.

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    Senior Member Array title="zulater has a reputation beyond repute"> zulater's Avatar

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    Re: 1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back i

    The teams traded field goals in the first half, and the Steelers were denied a chance for a halftime lead when John Stallworth’s one-handed catch in the end zone was ruled incomplete. While fending off the coverage, Stallworth caught the ball in one hand as he toe-tapped the sideline. Even though Stallworth had complete control of the ball through the end of the play, officials ruled it incomplete because the receiver only had one hand on the ball. It was a bad call, and the Steelers knew it.

    “During the course of that game – in my mind and I believe in the minds of my teammates – we were thinking that these Raiders don’t have a chance,” said Greene. “Just before halftime, John Stallworth caught a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with his left hand and the cornerback was holding his other arm. Stallworth somehow crossed over with his feet and stayed in bounds. The officials called him out. The amazing thing was that none of us complained about it. We all could see that it was a touchdown, but we didn’t complain about it, and when we walked off the field and through the tunnel where all the Raiders fans were lined up, we ran off with a confidence that we’re going to beat you. You have no chance. We’re going to give you that touchdown.


    I wish the modern day team and some of our fans would take this sort of attitude to heart. That truly is the Steeler way, or what it should be in my opinion.
    "A man's got to know his limitations."

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    Re: 1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back i

    Oakland took a 10-3 lead in the third quarter on a 38-yard pass to Cliff Branch, and Steelers defensive coordinator Bud Carson was so angry with Blount’s overall play against Branch that he pulled him from the game. Later, Blount’s absence was explained as a chance to “get him a breather.”

    If there was a defining moment to this game, to this season, to the Steelers first successful run at a championship, it began with the kickoff following Branch’s go-ahead touchdown. The Steelers’ offense responded to this 10-3 deficit with a nine-play, 61-yard touchdown drive capped with an 8-yard run by Franco Harris.

    The Steelers offensive line had been re-made to a degree through the techniques taught by Dan Radakovich – involving hand placement and the ways doing that properly created an advantage over the opponent – and on this drive the front five plus tight end Larry Brown began to carve huge holes in the Raiders defense. Art Thoms’ susceptibility to being trapped, which Radakovich noticed earlier in the week, began to be exploited regularly. Eight times over the course of the game, Terry Bradshaw came to the line of scrimmage and noticed the Raiders in that defense; eight times he audibled to a trap play, one of which was the tying touchdown by Harris.


    I think the game was better when quarterbacks were allowed to call their own plays. I think Bradshaw still stands as the last NFL qb to call all of his own plays.
    "A man's got to know his limitations."

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    Senior Member Array title="Butch is a name known to all"> Butch's Avatar

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    Re: 1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back i

    Levitating Joe now that was truely an amazing accomplishment!!!

    You will get no argument from me about them being the being the best, but I have to give the '08 teams as one of the most exciting. The D always kept us in games and even though the O didn't always capitalize on the oppertunities that the D gave them in the end they just persevered and came through. Then the most exciting and dramatic ending to the Greatest Superbowl.

    Love those '70's teams but that 08 team was pretty special too!!!

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    K = Dean + Roy Array title="steeldevil is a jewel in the rough"> steeldevil's Avatar

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    Re: 1974 AFC championship game, Chuck Noll, knew how to talk the talk and then back i

    Wish so badly I could have witnessed the Steelers of the 70's live...

    I have kept up with this series of all the playoff games in Steelers history, very interesting.

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