In a Super Sunday matchup widely remembered for wide receiver Lynn Swann’s unexpected MVP performance after suffering a concussion that landed him in a hospital bed the previous week, the Pittsburgh Steelers claimed their second straight championship with a 21-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl X.
While it was the Steelers who picked up the win, it was the Cowboys who rewarded bettors, covering as 7-point underdogs, with the OVER prevailing for the first time in eight years on a point total pegged at 36 by the nation’s sportsbooks.
Living up to their reputation, Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain defense held opponents to 11.5 points per game, powering the Steelers to a 12-2 regular season finish and top spot in the AFC Central.
The Steelers continued their strong defensive play in the AFC Divisional Playoffs, forcing four turnovers while holding the Baltimore Colts to just 154 total yards in a 28-10 win.
In the AFC Championship Game, played in frigid conditions at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, the Steelers and Oakland Raiders combined to commit 12 turnovers. Both teams struggled to produce offense with the Steelers carrying a slim 3-0 lead into the fourth quarter. But Pittsburgh would reach the end zone twice in the final frame to eke out a narrow 16-10 victory to earn their second consecutive Super Bowl berth.
Unlike the Steelers, the Dallas Cowboys relied on an explosive offense led by QB Roger Staubach and their unique “flex” defense to compile a 10-4 record, earning the final playoff spot in the NFC.
It was the defense that carried the day in the Cowboys’ 17-14 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Divisional Playoffs, holding the Vikings to just 215 total yards.
Dallas dominated the NFL’s best defense in the NFC Championship Game, as Staubach threw for 220 yards and four TDs, while the Cowboys held the Los Angeles Rams to just 118 total yards in a dominating 37-7 win.
But it was all about Lynn Swann on Super Sunday, as the Steelers wide receiver bounced back from a severe concussion suffered the previous Sunday to catch four passes for 163 yards, including a 64-yard TD reception late in the fourth quarter that clinched the Steelers’ victory.
The Steel Curtain also did its part, halting a last-minute Cowboys drive, intercepting a Staubach pass at the Steelers’ two-yard line with just 18 seconds remaining in the game.
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