Hombre de Acero posted looking for video of Terry Bradshaw's last game against the Jets. I looked for it and could not locate it. But, it got me looking at a lot of footage of the greatest Steelers QB of all time...Terry Bradshaw.
With respect to one Ben Roethlisberger who came out of the gate a lot faster than Terry Bradshaw, he is only the second greatest Steelers QB since 1933. For those of you that never saw Bradshaw play and have only seen the magic of Big Ben I can only tell you it was a sight to see.
Hombre is looking for Brad's last game. I remember it and the season well. Terry Bradshaw (against the advice of Steelers doctors) had surgery on his elbow in the deep south with a local surgeon. He never recovered in time to start the 1983 season. It didn't matter. The Steelers came out of the gate like gangbusters. Their defense never looked better in 1983. The Steelers surged to a 9-2 record behind a ferocious attacking defense led by stalwarts Jack Lambert, Donnie Shell and Mel Blount. Young up and comers Mike Merriweather, Edmund Nelson and DeWayne Woodruff helped the Steeler veterans.
It was November 20 before the league figured out the Bradshawless Steelers. The Minnesota Vikings figured if they played conservatively enough and waited for Steelers QB Cliff Stoudt to make a mistake they could win. They did. On Thanksgiving, the Lions used this recipe and absolutely shellacked the Steelers 45-3 ruining Turkey day dinner. The next week it was the Cincinnati Bengals who used the same formula. Stoudt self destructed and the Steelers lost again to fall to 9-5.
The Steelers were teetering on missing the playoffs. Their QB Soudt was inadequate and the league had figured them out. The Steelers desperately needed a win to get to 10 wins and a playoff spot. It was then sore winged Terry Bradshaw rode in on a white stallion one last time for the city of Pittsburgh and their rabid fan base. On December 10 1983 Terry Bradshaw started his last game for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the New York Jets. Brad effortlessly led the up to then anemic Steelers offense straight down the field on his first possession. Bradshaw hits Greg Garrity for a score and the Steelers led 7-0. He seemed to be in some discomfort but the fan base didn't notice in their joy. After a defensive stand motivated by a resurgent offense Bradshaw was back slinging the ball down field to open receivers and a 10 yard pass to Calvin Sweeney gave Pittsburgh a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter.
After that pass to Sweeney, Bradshaw ran off the field grimacing and holding his elbow. It was over. The greatest Steeler QB ever had led the Steelers to the one more win they needed to make the playoffs. Stoudt mopped up and then lost the last game of the season at Cleveland. Stoudt was at his worst in a 38-10 beat down in LA to the Raiders in the playoffs. But Bradshaw's legacy had been cemented. 4 world titles and at the end of his career he was Ben and Brady all rolled into one.
To Homber de Acero I apologize not finding Bradshaw's last game on video. Maybe someone else can? But I thank him for rattling my cage and getting me to watch some old Bradshaw highlights. I hope Ben can become the QB that Terry Bradshaw was later in his career and continue bringing Lombardi's home to Heinz. Two and counting...