Earlier this week Bob Labriola of Steelers.com, Mike Prisuta, sports director at WDVE-Pittsburgh, and Stan Savran of Savran on Sports, came together for a virtual debate to try to decide which of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl-winning teams was the greatest of them all.
Bob Labriola: 1975 Steelers, won Super Bowl X
Labriola kicked things off and used statistics to make his case. He noted that the 1975 defense recorded 43 sacks in 14 games, plus 27 interceptions and 10 fumble recoveries.
Opposing quarterbacks collectively completed only 46 percent of their passes, and threw just nine touchdown passes for a 1-to-3 TD to interception ratio.
Moreover, that Steelers defense allowed just nine points in the first quarter all year, and just 23 points in the third quarter—all year. They allowed a total of 17 touchdowns, just 1.2 per game, and forced 90 punts. Mel Blount was voted Defensive Player of the Year, having accumulated 11 interceptions.
Labriola points out that the offense wasn’t too shabby either. It scored 373 points and averaged 188 rushing yards per game.
Moreover, only one of the team’s two defeats came in a meaningful game, as a loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the season finale had no bearing on the playoffs.
Also, the AFC Central was the toughest division in the NFL that year. To get to 12-2 the Steelers beat the 11-3 Bengals twice and also vanquished the 10-4 Oilers twice.
Mike Prisuta: 2005 Steelers, won Super Bowl XL
As for Mike Prisuta, he clearly has a soft spot for the 2005 team. Much of his argument centers around the notion that Ben Roethlisberger is a better quarterback than Terry Bradshaw. Prisuta highlights the four-game winning streak the team needed to get into the playoffs, and then Roethlisberger’s dominance in the three AFC playoff games, in which he threw for 680 yards with 7 TDS and 1 INT en route to the Super Bowl.
Stan Savran: 1978 Steelers, won Super Bowl XIII
As for Savran, he maintains that the 2008 Steelers were better than the 2005 edition but goes on to choose the 1978 Steelers, which closed things out with a 35-31 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl XIII.
Savran notes that the 2008 defense was historically dominant, but all agree that the 2008 offense left something to be desired. The 1978 team was complete, though, with an offense that was taking advantage of a rules change designed to open up the passing game, with a defense not yet on the decline.
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Super Bowl XIII and XLIII ‘Game Rewinds’
Personally, I side with Labriola on the 1975 Steelers being the organization’s greatest Super Bowl team. But if you’re interested in watching past Steelers Super Bowls, it’s worth noting that the team recently re-aired several of its Super Bowl wins, including Super Bowl XIII, featuring new interviews with Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier.
There was also a re-airing of Super Bowl XLIII, during which Santonio Holmes is seen crying tears of joy recalling his Super Bowl MVP performance.
The Labriola/Prisuta/Savran roundtable is available to watch below: