Despite their loss to the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl VIII, the
Minnesota Vikings rebounded for a second-consecutive appearance in
the big game. Their opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers were coming
off of decades of futility to make their first appearance.
The Vikings were once again led by the arm and scrambling ability
of Fran Tarkenton, although his shoulder caused some concern among
the NFC champions. In the Steelers' camp, the concern was over running
back Franco Harris, who was suffering from a severe head cold.
The strength of the Pittsburgh squad was the defense. In fact, they
are considered to be one of the greatest defenses of all time, hence
the moniker, "The Steel Curtain". The defense was led by "Mean" Joe
Greene, who ironically received his nickname for a hit on Tarkenton
The game started out as expected, as a defensive struggle. The first
quarter was scoreless as both teams struggled to move the ball, but
after a Rocky Bleier fumble, the Vikings found themselves on the
Pittsburgh 24-yard line. The Steelers came up empty though, when
Fred Cox missed a field goal from 39 yards.
The first and only score of the first half came midway through the
second period when Dave Osborne fumbled a pitch out from Tarkenton,
and fell on it in the endzone. The Steelers went into the locker
room with a 2-0 lead.
The second half started with a Minnesota fumble of the kickoff on
the 30-yard line, and after three runs by Franco Harris that resulted
in a touchdown, the score was 9-0. The Vikings first score came after
Chuck Foreman had fumbled on the Steelers' five-yard line. But after
Pittsburgh failed to make a first down, their punt was blocked by
Matt Blair and recovered in the end zone by Terry Brown for a touchdown.
The extra-point attempt struck the left upright and bounded away,
leaving the score at 9-6.
With ten minutes remaining in the game, Terry Bradshaw led the Steelers
on a drive that ate up more than seven minutes before hitting tight
end Larry Brown for the final score of the game. The Steelers won
Super Bowl IX, 16-6.
Super Bowl IX Statistics
PIT - Safety: Dwight White tackled Fran Tarkenton in end zone 2-0
PIT - TD: Franco Harris 9 yard run (Roy Gerela kick) 9-0 PIT
MIN - TD: Terry Brown recovered blocked punt in end zone (kick failed)
PIT - TD: Larry Brown 4 yard pass from Terry Bradshaw (Roy Gerela
kick) 16-6 PIT
Pittsburgh Steelers - 16
Minnesota Vikings - 6
Super Bowl IX MVP Franco Harris Pittsburgh
Franco Harris rushed
34 times for 158 yards, breaking the record Larry Csonka set one
year earlier. After a baseball-like 2-0 halftime score in favor of
Pittsburgh, the Steelers took advantage of a Minnesota fumble on
the second-half kickoff. Harris ran the ball in from 9 yards for
the touchdown. Harris' running and the powerful Steeler defense combined
to make that lead stand.