The Steelers, on the other hand, were prepared for everything the Raiders might throw at them. Using the new "Stunt 4-3 defense," the Steelers limited the Raiders to 29 yards rushing while running for over 200 yards themselves in Oakland. The Steelers also held them to just three first downs and scored first.
This was the first time these two teams had met since the '73 season finale when the Steelers defeated Oakland 31-27. At that point, they were undefeated and were considered heavy favorites by many to win their second straight Super Bowl title. It was also widely believed that the Raiders would not be able to play well without late owner Al Davis due to his being hospitalized with cancer.
However, the Raiders came out firing on all cylinders and took a 14-0 lead before the Steelers went back to their staple defense which worked so well earlier in the year. The '74 Steelers are now known for their "Steeler Defense" after Chris Henry broke several tackles including one from future Hall of Famer Mel Blount to score a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. This game is often cited as the origin of the name "Tough Team To Beat."
Since that day in 1974, these two teams have met twice more with the Raiders winning both games. Last year's meeting at Paul Brown Stadium was close throughout but Oakland won convincingly 24-10.
The Steelers defeated the Raiders 16-10 in Pittsburgh on January 4, 1976, to earn a trip to the Super Bowl. The Steelers outgained the Raiders by 332 yards to 321 yards. Stabler and Bradshaw combined for five interceptions. Jackson was 22 of 39 for 303 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
In addition to their regular season meeting, these teams also met in the 1972 AFC Wild Card Game which the Raiders won 20-7. That game is not counted as part of the official series between these teams because it was played after the 1971 NFL season had ended.
The Raiders have won only one of their last eight games against the Steelers. That came in 1973 during the Chuck Noll era. Since then, the Steelers have dominated the series; they lead 12-3.
Stabler was the star for the Raiders in this game. He went 18 of 29 for 243 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. His brother Greg played the same position for the Steelers and was 10 of 15 for 158 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Jack Tatum added seven catches for 91 yards and a score for Oakland. Left tackle Dan Koppen was credited with a half sack in this game.
The Steelers held the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
The Steelers were behind 7-6 late in the 1972 AFC Divisional Playoff Game against the Oakland Raiders at Three Rivers Stadium. It didn't appear to be promising. It didn't look bright as they faced a fourth-and-10 from their own 40-yard line with only 22 seconds remaining and were desperate for the team's first-ever playoff trip. But back up quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Lynn Swann with just over 10 minutes left to play and the Steelers were able to survive with a 7-6 victory.
This also served as Terry Bradshaw's first career post-season win as a starter (he lost his first two starts during the 1969 season). It also gave the Steelers their first ever postseason win over the Oakland Raiders. This was also the final playoff game that legendary Oakland Raiders coach John Madden would coach before he retired after 21 seasons.
The Steelers will face the Miami Dolphins in the 1973 AFC Championship Game. The winner will go on to face the undefeated Washington Redskins in Super Bowl IX. This will be the first time since 1970 that both finalists come from the same conference. Previously, this had never happened more than twice in any single season. Last year is an exception as it happened three times.
The 1972 Oakland Raiders are famous for their "Greatest Show Ever Played" comeback victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game.
The Steelers, on the other hand, would dominate Buffalo and limit O.J. Simpson to 49 yards rushing (it was O.J.'s last playoff appearance). The Steelers would face an old opponent, the Raiders, in the 1974 AFC Championship Game. The rivalry became stronger with each passing year. The Steelers triumphed in Pittsburgh in 1972, and the Raiders returned the favor in Oakland in 1973.
Both teams were undefeated at home this season. The Steelers had a perfect 12-0 record while the Raiders were 11-1-0. This would be the first postseason game for both teams. The winner would go on to face the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl II.
The 74 AFC Championship Game was played on January 13, 1974, at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. The Bengals were 9-3 and had made it to the playoffs as a wild card team. The Steelers were 15-1 and ranked No. 1 in the league. This would be the first meeting between these two teams.
Buffalo entered the game with a dominant defense that allowed only 77 points all season. They came into the playoffs as the top-ranked unit against the run. Linebacker Jack Lambert was considered one of the best outside linebackers in football. He had 10 sacks this season. Defensive back Mel Blount also contributed with nine interceptions. Center Dermontti Dawson was one of the most respected players at his position. He started every game at center for the Bills during the season.
On offense, running back O.