We're now down to the Final Four of heartbreakers in Pittsburgh Steelers' playoff history. Again, ranking these games is like ranking ice cream. There are no right and wrong opinions. At the end, our tournament will determine how BTSC Steeler Nation feels as a whole.
#4 - 1976 Season: Raiders 24 Steelers 7
While the game itself was a total flop, the situation surrounding this game was excruciating. When asked which Steelers' team was the greatest of all time, both Art Rooney and Dan Rooney proclaimed that the 1976 team was their top choice. That alone is enough testimony to put this loss among the top four playoff losses of all-time. Simply put, the 1976 Steelers' defense was the finest that I and many others have ever seen, and by far. People who never saw that team might compare total defensive numbers with other great NFL teams, but comparisons do not tell the story. The first third of the season was awful. After five games the Steelers, Super Bowl Champions mind you, looked in the mirror at a hideous 1-4 record. They had scored 108 points themselves and had given up two more than that, 110, for an average of 22 points surrendered per game.
Little did anyone know at that point that the last two thirds of the season were going to be a defensive majesty. In the middle five games, the Steelers gave up three field goals. Period. In that "middle season" the Steelers went 15 straight quarters without surrendering a single point and 21 straight quarters without giving up a touchdown. Close your eyes and imagine that today.
The final third of the season was almost as good as the middle third, if such can be fathomed. The final trimester featured another 11 consecutive quarters without giving up a single point and 12 straight stanzas without allowing a touchdown. A total of 28 points were scored against
When healthy these two men, both 1,000-yard rushers, led the Steelers to Super Bowl Titles