There are two types of Super Bowl teams that no one really remembers: 1--the team that lost the game, and 2--the team that only won one. The 1975 Steelers took that to heart and began the season as defending champions for the first time ever. For some, the Super Bowl is an ending. For the Steelers, it was only the beginning. Chuck Noll was eagerly preparing his team for the '75 championship in the locker room of old Tulane Stadium after Super Bowl IX. Noll left the hanging message that they could be better and win more and more as time went on. Nearly every player on the Pittsburgh roster had been drafted and developed under Noll, so it was little surprise that their players, like their coach, would be not satisfied with just one ring.
In Week 1, the Steelers were hosted by the San Diego Chargers. They played good defense, but played better offense as the Steelers won, 37-0. So they returned home to play the Buffalo Bills in Week 2. Chuck Noll had warned them the team wasn't playing well, but the team tried to shrug it off and win the way they had the previous week. However, Bills running back O.J. Simpson rushed for 227 yards, the most a Steelers defense had ever allowed. They took the humiliating loss and began an 11-game win streak that is still one of the best efforts in club history. An angry defense clamped down for the next three weeks on Cleveland, Denver, and Chicago and the offense scored a total of 99 points during the three games. The team realized they had to elevate their play to reach the Super Bowl again. They continually began to do just that. One of the team standouts that season was 2-year WR Lynn Swann. In his rookie 1974 season, Swann caught 11 passes. In 1975, he caught 11 touchdowns. His determination and talent combined to create one of the most consistent receivers the Steelers have ever had.
The Steelers visited Green Bay and Cincinnati and won scoring a total of 46 points. The emergence of Lynn and fellow WR #82 John Stallworth were continually making their quarterback, #12 Terry Bradshaw better after every week. The 1975 season was the first time that a division ever had three 10-game winning teams. They had already beaten the Bengals, and in Week 8, the 6-1 Steelers hosted the 6-1 Oilers. With the game tied in the final minutes, a catch in the endzone by John Stallworth placed them at the top of their division, 24-17. RB #32 Franco Harris was another standout for the Steelers, rushing for more yards than any other back except for O.J. Simpson. The Steelers had won more games, scored more points, and allowed fewer than in 1974. Just before beating New York, the Steelers beat the Oilers and won over the Bengals again for the AFC Central title. After losing a meaningless game in Los Angeles, the Steelers were ready for the playoffs.
The Steelers opened the playoffs with a 12-2 record and were ready for the 10-4 Baltimore Colts. While the Steel Curtain held down the Colts, the offense stalled out in a cold and wet Three Rivers Stadium. They turned the ball over five times. But an interception by CB Mel Blount gave a chance for the Steelers to take over. After a Rocky Bleier, #20, touchdown, a fumble recovery by LB #34 Andy Russell looked to seal the game. However, it wasn't before Andy took the ball on what Sports Illustrated called "the longest slowest touchdown ever witnessed". The Steelers won, 28-10, and prepared for their rival, the Oakland Raiders. Like last year, the Steelers would play the AFC Championship against them, however, this time in the comfort of Three Rivers and the ice. All week the weather was awful in Pittsburgh, after the field tarp split during the night, the sidelines became iced over and narrowed the field for the deep outside passing game of Oakland. The teams scored a total of 3 points in the first three quarters. Both teams combined for 13 turnovers. The most heated rivalry was stuck in a deep-freeze. It had been escalating for four years, and now it was escalating on every play. During the 3rd, #88 Lynn Swann was taken out of the game by a clothesline tackle from Raiders S #43 George Atkinson. He had been knocked out and later, was in the hospital. In the 4th quarter, the Steelers scored on a 25-yard run to the outside by #32 Franco Harris. It was a play in which John Stallworth made a key block on two Raider defenders. Later, a 20-yard pass caught by Stallworth put them up, 16-7. The game ended on a #12 Ken Stabler pass to #21 Cliff Branch, who was tackled down by CB #47 Mel Blount. The Steelers were headed to the Super Bowl again.
For the first time ever, the Super Bowl matched two teams that had already won Lombardi Trophies. Most the pre-game hype was centered around the health of Lynn Swann, who was given the worst concussion he had ever had. A statement made by Cowboys safety Cliff Harris had angered Swann. Swann was not the only Steeler who was challenged. The Cowboys scored quickly on a 29-yard pass to #88 Drew Pearson. The defense had allowed the first 1st quarter touchdown on the Steelers all year. However, a determined Lynn Swann made a leaping sideline catch over Cowboys CB #46 Mark Washington. Later, he made the catch that is often repeated by NFL Films as one of the greatest catches in NFL History. Bradshaw threw it deep to Swann who was covered very well by Washington again. However, when the ball was batted it, it began to fall. As the ball and Swann was falling, he was able to stick his hands up and grab it with Washington underneath him. At the end of the first half, the Cowboys were leading 10-7. The Steelers defense was very challenged by the complicated Cowboy offense. However, the Cowboys had never seen a defense quite like the Steelers. Roger Staubach was sacked 7 times for a loss of 42 yards. When the third quarter resumed, Cowboys' safety #43 Cliff Harris began to taunt Steelers kicker #10, Roy Gerela. LB #58 Jack Lambert, seeing this, ran over and threw Harris to the ground. It was a crucial moment in the game, as a huge momentum shift. S #23 Mike Wagner's interception helped the Steelers to their first lead. As usual, they saved their best for last. However, a long touchdown catch by Lynn Swann had come to a cost, as Bradshaw was shaken up and forced to leave the game. A Dallas touchdown cut their lead to 4. When #5 Terry Hanratty took over, Chuck Noll made an unusual decision. On 4th and 9, the Steelers ran the ball up the middle, giving the ball back to the Cowboys near mid-field. However, it was the faith he had in his defense that caused this decision. With three seconds left, the Cowboys had one last chance, and threw a pass into the endzone. However, it was tipped by Mike Wagner and intercepted by S #27 Glen Edwards. The Steelers were Super Bowl champions again. They had beaten the Cowboys, 21-17. The MVP of course, was #88 Lynn Swann. At the end of the game, Chuck Noll began to preparing his team in the locker room of the Miami Orange Bowl for the next year.
In Week 2, the Steelers, coming off a crushing defeat of the Chargers in Week 1, came to play revenge eager Buffalo in Pittsburgh. The Bills had been beaten the previous year by the Steelers in the playoffs, 32-14. Chuck Noll had warned the team the previous week that the team did not play very well, however, the players ignored him and were beaten by a 227-yard-rushing day by RB O.J. Simpson, 30-21. (1-1)
In this Week 3 matchup, the Steelers would be hosted by the Cleveland Browns. These two teams had already been established as one of the league's best rivalries by this time, and Joe Greene's infamous kicking of the Browns lineman Bob McKay only fueled the rivalry. The fight that broke out afterwards caught it on fire. Greene was later fined $500 while the Steelers beat the Browns, 42-6. (2-1)
In Week 5, the Steelers crushed Chicago, 34-3. Three weeks after the Steelers were beaten by Buffalo, the team was 4-1, and had allowed only 18 points during the last three weeks while scoring 99. (4-1)
In this heated Week 8 battle, the Steelers would play host to the Houston Oilers. Pittsburgh sealed the win with a 4th quarter TD pass from #12 Terry Bradshaw to #82 John Stallworth that placed them at the top of the division. (7-1)