SOUTH FLORIDA, January 28, 2014 — America is ready for the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks to take each other on in Super Bowl XLVIII. Before the game, a trip into the past brings us all gems of NFL greatness.
This is Part II of an eight-part series in Super Bowl History. Click here to read Part I.
Scroll below video for a recap of Super Bowls IX through XIV, covering the 1974-1979 seasons.
Super Bowl IX, 1974 – The Minnesota Vikings reached their third Super Bowl. The three-time AFC Champion Miami Dolphins were finally knocked out by the Oakland Raiders 28-26 in the classic “Sea of Hands” game. For three straight years, the AFC Title game between the Raiders and the Pittsburgh Steelers was more epic than the Super Bowl. In 1972, the Steelers defeated the Raiders in the “Immaculate Reception” game. In 1973, the Raiders throttled the Steelers. Both teams lost to the Dolphins.
This year the Raiders and Steelers were the big dogs. In Oakland, after three quarters, the Raiders led 10-3, but collapsed in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh exploded for 21 points and a 24-13 win.
The Super Bowl had the Purple People Eaters vs the Steel Curtain. It was all defense. The first half featured only a safety and a 2-0 Steelers lead. A fumbled kickoff return to start the second half produced a Pittsburgh touchdown run by Franco Harris. Minnesota’s only touchdown came on a blocked punt. The extra point was no good. Pittsburgh led 9-6.
Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers on the only real drive for either team of the entire game. 70 yards consumed the clock and led to the final touchdown and Pittsburgh’s first title. The Vikings had lost their third. 16-6 Steelers
Super Bowl X, 1975 – The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Vikings 17-14 in a very controversial NFC Title game. Roger Staubach completed a Hail Mary to Drew Pearson with less than one minute to play as Minnesota insisted that Pearson committed offensive pass interference against Nate Wright.
The AFC Title Game again featured the Raiders and Steelers. In ice cold Pittsburgh, the Steelers led 3-0 after three quarters. The field itself was a block if icy granite. The offenses did get going, but the Raiders had their final drive end at the five yard line as the clock ran out. Pittsburgh prevailed 16-10.
Super Bowl X had the Cowboys leading 10-7 after three quarters. Early in the fourth, a blocked punt for a safety cut the gap to 10-9. Momentum swung, and Pittsburgh led 21-10 with time running out. Roger Staubach led the Cowboys to within four points, but this time his Hail Mary on the final play of the game was intercepted in the end zone. 21-17 Steelers
Super Bowl XI, 1976 – The Vikings reached their fourth Super Bowl. For the third straight year, the Raiders and Steelers met in the AFC Title game. The Raiders had the best record in the NFL at 13-1. The last week of the season, with home field advantage locked up, they could have lost their final game, rested their team, and eliminated Pittsburgh from playoff contention. By winning, Pittsburgh would be in. Many speculated the Raiders would lose to avoid Pittsburgh. This enraged the team, who throttled their final opponent, and demanded to face Pittsburgh.
Oakland defeated New England 24-21 on a Ken Stabler quarterback sneak with 10 seconds remaining to avenge their only loss of the season. Then they finally beat Pittsburgh, destroying them 24-7.
Super Bowl XI was not close, with the image of cornerback Willie Brown returning an interception 75 yards for Oakland’s final touchdown. Minnesota lost their fourth Super Bowl, and Oakland won their first. Owner Al Davis and coach John Madden finally reached the top. 32-14 Raiders
Super Bowl XII, 1977 – The Raiders got back to the AFC Title Game for the fifth straight year, the only team to ever do so. Oakland faced their archrival, the Denver Broncos. Denver came out on top 20-17 when a Denver fumble short of the goal line was incorrectly ruled a touchdown.
The Cowboys represented the NFC in Super Bowl XII. Broncos quarterback Craig Morton was the losing quarterback for Dallas in the fifth Super Bowl. Roger Staubach led Dallas in their win the year later. In this game Denver committed seven turnovers in the first half, as Morton completed four passes to each team. Staubach won again, as Dallas cruised. It was their fourth Super Bowl, and they had won and lost twice. 27-10 Cowboys
Super Bowl XIII, 1978 – The Steelers returned after a two year absence, against defending champions Dallas. This was the rematch of Super Bowl X. Pittsburgh led 21-14 when a short pass to a wide open Jackie Smith was dropped in the end zone when he slipped and fell. Instead of the tying touchdown, a field goal cut the gap to 21-17.
A pair of touchdowns 18 seconds apart put Pittsburgh up 35-17, and they hung on for a four-point win for their third Super Bowl win. Dallas lost their third Super Bowl. Terry Bradshaw throwing bombs to Lynn Swann led to four catches for Swann and 164 yards. 35-31 Steelers.
Super Bowl XIV, 1979 – In the AFC Title game, Pittsburgh played the Houston Oilers for the second straight year. The previous year Pittsburgh won in a blowout, but this was a closer game. Houston thought they scored the tying touchdown, but it was ruled out of bounds. Pittsburgh won 27-13.
The Los Angeles Rams, only 9-7 in the regular season, became the only team in NFL history to win their division for the seventh straight year. The Rams dominated in previous years, but could not get past Minnesota and Dallas.
Super Bowl XIV was supposed to be a Pittsburgh blowout, but the Rams led 19-17 after three quarters. Nevertheless, the Steelers took the lead, and sealed the game when Pat Haden was intercepted. The Steelers had their fourth Super Bowl win in six years. 31-19 Steelers