Seven 1970s rivalries that made the NFL ‘super’: Steelers-Raiders takes top spot

On the finish of the Nineteen Seventies, NFL Movies created a video highlighting the largest moments of the earlier decade in professional soccer. The movie was appropriately dubbed “The Tremendous Seventies,” a title that completely summed up that chapter within the NFL‘s wealthy historical past. 

Following the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, professional soccer picked up the place it left off within the Nineteen Sixties, when soccer really began to make the leap as America’s No. 1 pastime. This period of NFL soccer noticed the Cowboys, after years of heartbreaking championship defeats, lastly break by means of as champions. The last decade additionally bore witness to the Dolphins‘ good season, the Raiders‘ rise underneath Corridor of Fame coach John Madden, and the delivery of the Steelers‘ dynasty. It may be argued that this era in professional soccer had extra dominant groups at one time than at another interval within the NFL’s 100-year historical past. 

This period additionally included a number of compelling rivalries between groups that have been perennially within the combine for Super Bowl {hardware}. These rivalries helped both begin or finish among the biggest dynasties in NFL historical past. Within the course of, the rivalries additional elevated the league’s recognition, because the NFL was the undisputed king of the hill so far as skilled sports activities was involved because the ’70s drew to a detailed. 

With out additional ado, we carry you the seven greatest rivalries of the ’70s, rivalries that proceed to be celebrated by followers who witnessed the legendary matchups. 

General head-to-head matchup in the course of the decade:  Vikings, 6-5-1
Playoff report in the course of the decade: Vikings, 3-1
Greatest recreation: Divisional spherical, 1977 playoffs: Vikings 14, Rams 7 

Regardless of guiding the Rams to 5 straight division titles, coach Chuck Knox is basically remembered for his group’s shortcomings in opposition to Bud Grant’s Vikings in the course of the postseason. From 1974-77, the Rams fell to the Vikings 3 times within the playoffs, with two of these losses happening within the NFC title recreation. 

Taking part in inside a mud-soaked Los Angeles Coliseum within the divisional spherical of the ’77 playoffs, the Vikings jumped out to a 14-0 lead earlier than holding on for a 14-7 victory. Regardless of the mud, each groups discovered appreciable traction of their working video games. Rams working again Lawrence McCutcheon and Vikings working again Chuck Foreman every speeding for over 100 yards. Whereas Minnesota was capable of escape with a seven-point victory, the Rams lastly received their coveted playoff win over the Vikings the next season. In Week 14 of the 1979 season, Los Angeles edged Minnesota in additional time en path to successful their first NFC championship. 

6. Cowboys vs. Rams 

General head-to-head matchup in the course of the decade: Cowboys, 6-4 
Playoff report in the course of the decade: Cowboys, 3-2 
Greatest recreation: Divisional spherical, 1979 playoffs: Rams 21, Cowboys 19 

A 12 months after being blown out at dwelling by the Cowboys within the NFC Championship Sport, the underdog Rams relied on three lengthy landing passes from quarterback Vince Ferragamo to edge the Cowboys within the divisional spherical of the ’79 playoffs. Ferragamo’s 43-yard touchdown pass to Ron Smith gave the Rams a 14-5 halftime lead. HIs 50-yard landing go to Billy Waddy proved to be the game-winning rating. The Rams protection, led by Jack Youngblood (who performed your entire postseason with a damaged leg) additionally had an enormous day, holding Cowboys working again Tony Dorsett to underneath 100 speeding yards whereas limiting quarterback Roger Staubach to simply 13 of 28 passing. 

The win helped propel the Rams to an look in Tremendous Bowl XIV, whereas the loss signaled the top of an period in Dallas, as Staubach retired in the course of the offseason. 

5. Dolphins vs. Raiders 

General head-to-head matchup in the course of the decade: Raiders, 5-3 
Playoff report in the course of the decade: Raiders, 2-1 
Greatest recreation: Divisional spherical, 1974 playoffs: Raiders 28, Dolphins 26

In 1974, the two-time defending champion Dolphins have been attempting to turn into the primary group to win three straight Tremendous Bowls after they arrived in Oakland for his or her playoff showdown with the Raiders, a group they defeated with ease within the 1973 AFC Championship Sport. Miami took a direct lead when Nat Moore ran again the opening kickoff 89 yards for a rating. And after Ken Stalber’s 72-yard landing go to Cliff Department gave Oakland a fourth quarter lead, a 23-yard rating by Dolphins’ working again Benny Malone set the stage for one of the crucial dramatic finishes in NFL playoff historical past. 

Trailing 21-19, Stalber furiously drove the Raiders’ right down to the Dolphins’ 8-yard-line. With simply seconds remaining, Stalber lofted a determined go in the long run zone to working again Clarence Davis, who was capable of catch Stalber’s go regardless of being surrounded by Dolphins defenders. The play, referred to as the “Sea of Arms,” gave Oakland the victory whereas ending Miami’s championship reign. 

4. Cowboys vs. Vikings 

General head-to-head matchup in the course of the decade: Cowboys, 5-4 
Playoff report in the course of the decade: Cowboys, 3-1 
Greatest recreation:
Divisional spherical, 1975 playoffs: Cowboys 17, Vikings 14

After splitting their first two playoff video games in opposition to each other earlier within the decade, the two-time defending champion Vikings hosted the Cowboys within the first spherical of the ’75 playoffs. Trailing 14-10 with simply 32 seconds left, Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach lofted a 50-yard landing go to Drew Pearson that gave Dallas a 17-14 win. After the sport, Staubach inadvertently created the term “Hail Mary” to explain a last-second desperation go when explaining the game-winning play. 

“I used to be a Catholic child from Cincinnati, they usually requested me what have been you enthusiastic about whenever you threw the ball,” Staubach recalled, through the group’s official web site. “I mentioned, “After I closed my eyes I mentioned a Hail Mary. I might have mentioned Our Father, Glory Be, The Apostles Creed.

“So he picked it up and steadily, as an alternative of the bomb or the alley-oop, these have been type of the massive performs successful video games again then, he coined the phrase and, after all, I mentioned it, the NFL acknowledges I mentioned it, and slowly however absolutely it took off. Now it is used for every part.”

3. Cowboys vs. Washington

General head-to-head matchup in the course of the decade: Cowboys, 12-9
Playoff report in the course of the decade: Washington, 1-0  
Greatest recreation:
December 16, 1979: Cowboys 35, Washington 34 

Whereas Clint Longley’s 1974 Thanksgiving Day miracle was unbelievable, the very best recreation between these two divisional rivals in the course of the Nineteen Seventies was their remaining matchup. In what was the ultimate common season recreation of his Corridor of Fame profession, Staubach led the Cowboys again from 17- and 13-point deficits to defeat Washington, 35-34. Operating again John Riggins’ two fourth quarter touchdowns gave Washington a 34-21 lead, however a pair of Staubach landing passes to Ron Springs and Tony Hill gave the Cowboys the win in addition to the division title. The loss knocked Washington out of the playoffs. The loss was so devastating for Washington that it drove Riggins, a future Tremendous Bowl and league MVP, into a brief retirement. 

2. Cowboys vs. Steelers

General head-to-head matchup in the course of the decade: Steelers, 4-1 
Playoff report in the course of the decade: Steelers, 2-0 
Greatest recreation: Tremendous Bowl XIII: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31  

Three years after the 2 groups confronted one another in Tremendous Bowl X, the Cowboys and Steelers took half within the first Tremendous Bowl rematch in Tremendous Bowl XIII. The winner wouldn’t solely turn into the primary franchise to win three Lombardi Trophies, it could additionally earn the excellence because the Group of the ’70s. 

Publicly criticized by Cowboys linebacker Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson main as much as the sport, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who threw two landing passes in Pittsburgh’s 21-17 win over Dallas in Super Bowl X, responded by throwing for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns, each Tremendous Bowl information on the time. Regardless of a late rally by Staubach and the Cowboys, Pittsburgh held on for a four-point victory. Whereas the Cowboys could have been considered “America’s Group,” the Steelers received the title of professional soccer’s greatest group throughout that period. That reality was additional bolstered after Pittsburgh closed out the last decade by successful its fourth Tremendous Bowl over a six-year span. 

1. Raiders vs. Steelers

General head-to-head matchup in the course of the decade: Raiders, 6-5 
Playoff report in the course of the decade: Steelers, 3-2 
Greatest recreation: Divisional spherical, 1972 playoffs: Steelers 13, Raiders 7 

Arguably the nastiest rivalry in professional soccer historical past, no love was lost between the Raiders and Steelers, who confronted one another within the playoffs annually from 1972-76. Pittsburgh, led by its Metal Curtain protection, upset the Raiders in Oakland within the ’74 AFC Championship Sport earlier than successful its first Tremendous Bowl. After defeating Oakland once more within the ’75 AFC title recreation, Pittsburgh’s quest to turn into the primary group to win three Tremendous Bowls got here to a halt within the ’76 title recreation, as Ken “The Snake” Stabler and the Raiders lastly conquered the Steelers en path to their first Tremendous Bowl win. 

The rivalry started on December 23, 1972, when the underdog Steelers hosted the Raiders of their first-ever playoff recreation. After a Stabler landing run gave Oakland a 7-6 lead, Pittsburgh confronted a fourth-and-10 at their very own 40-yard-line with 22 seconds left. Needing a miracle, Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw evaded tacklers earlier than his deflected go discovered the arms of Franco Harris, who screamed down the close to sideline whereas finishing one of the crucial unbelievable performs in NFL historical past. The play, eternally referred to as the “Immaculate Reception,” began the Steelers’ dynasty whereas additionally jumpstarting the last decade’s biggest rivalry. Seventies-rivalries-that-made-the-nfl-super-steelers-raiders-takes-top-spot/ | Seven Nineteen Seventies rivalries that made the NFL ‘tremendous’: Steelers-Raiders takes high spot


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