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1980 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head Coach Chuck Noll
Home Field Three Rivers Stadium
Results
Record 9–7
Place 3rd in AFC Central
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers
Team MVP Donnie Shell
Timeline
Previous Season Next Season
1979 1981

The 1980 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 48th season in the National Football League.

In 1980, the Steelers struggled for the first time in many years. The aging defense wasn't as effective as it had been in the 1978 and '79 seasons, falling from 2nd to 15th in yards allowed. The Steelers also surrendered 313 points, ranked 15th in the league, compared to 262 points (5th in the league) the previous season. The Pittsburgh defense only garnered 18 quarterback sacks.

The offense was still plagued with 42 total turnovers, 42 total,[1] but ranking 6th in total offense, and scoring 352 points.[2]

Despite the team's troubles, the Steelers could have again obtained home field advantage throughout the playoffs had they not lost several close games, including games against Cincinnati and Cleveland in which they lost despite having large leads in the fourth quarter. Pittsburgh remained in the playoff hunt until a 28-13 loss to Buffalo in week 12 and then a 6-0 loss to Houston effectively eliminated Pittsburgh from the postseason.

To many, these two losses marked the end of the Steeler Dynasty. Several key players retired after the 1980 season and the team was never the same again. The 1980 season was the first in which the Steelers did not qualify for the playoffs since 1971.

Offseason Edit

Schedule Edit

Week Date Opponent Location Time (ET) TV Result Record
1 Sunday September 7 Houston Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 31–17 1–0
2 Sunday September 14 at Baltimore Memorial Stadium 2:00 pm NBC W 20–17 2–0
3 Sunday September 21 at Cincinnati Riverfront Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 30–28 2–1
4 Sunday September 28 Chicago Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm CBS W 38–3 3–1
5 Sunday October 5 at Minnesota Metropolitan Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 23–17 4–1
6 Sunday October 12 Cincinnati Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 17–16 4–2
7 Monday October 20 Oakland Three Rivers Stadium 9:00 pm ABC L 45–34 4–3
8 Sunday October 26 at Cleveland Cleveland Municipal Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 27–26 4–4
9 Sunday November 2 Green Bay Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm CBS W 22–20 5–4
10 Sunday November 9 at Tampa Bay Tampa Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 24–21 6–4
11 Sunday November 16 Cleveland Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 16–13 7–4
12 Sunday November 23 at Buffalo Rich Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 28–13 7–5
13 Sunday November 30 Miami Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 23–10 8–5
14 Thursday December 4  at Houston Astrodome 8:30 pm ABC L 0–6 8–6
15 Sunday December 14 Kansas City Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 21–16 9–6
16 Monday December 22 at San Diego San Diego Stadium 9:00 pm ABC L 26–17 9–7

Game summaries Edit

Week 1 (Sunday September 7, 1980): vs. Houston Oilers Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 0 17 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 17 0 0 14 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 2 (Sunday September 14, 1980): at Baltimore Colts Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 10 0 7 {{{RTotal}}}
Colts 0 7 10 0 {{{HTotal}}}


at Memorial Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 25
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 29
  • Baltimore – Shiver 34 interception return (Mike-Mayer kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 10 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Baltimore – Butler 15 pass from Jones (Mike-Mayer kick)
  • Baltimore – FG Mike-Mayer 20
  • Pittsburgh – Smith 24 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)

Week 3 (Sunday September 21, 1980): at Cincinnati Bengals Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 14 7 7 {{{RTotal}}}
Bengals 10 3 0 17 {{{HTotal}}}


at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 52,490
  • Referee: Red Cashion
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Don Criqui (play by play), John Brodie (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Cincinnati – R. Griffin 28 interception return (Sunter kick)
  • Cincinnati – FG Sunter 27
  • Pittsburgh – Smith 45 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Swann 14 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Cincinnati – FG Sunter 42
  • Pittsburgh – Swann 68 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Cincinnati – Curtis 18 pass from Thompson (Sunter kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Hawthorne 4 run (Bahr kick)
  • Cincinnati – Bass 22 pass from Thompson
  • Cincinnati – FG Sunter 21

Week 4 (Sunday September 28, 1980): vs. Chicago Bears Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 3 0 0 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 7 17 7 7 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 5 (Sunday October 5, 1980): at Minnesota Vikings Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 6 10 7 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Vikings 3 0 0 14 {{{HTotal}}}


at Metropolitan Stadium, Bloomington, Minnesota

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 47,583
  • Referee: Cal Lepore
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Dick Enberg (play by play), Merlin Olsen (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Sweeney 21 pass from Bradshaw (kick failed)
  • Minnesota – FG Danmeier 35
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 4 run (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 28
  • Pittsburgh – Bradshaw 2 run (Bahr kick)
  • Minnesota – S. White 21 pass from Kramer (Danmeier kick)
  • Minnesota – Kramer 4 run (Danmeier kick)

Week 6 (Sunday October 12, 1980): vs. Cincinnati Bengals Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Bengals 10 7 0 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 0 0 16 0 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 53,668
  • Referee: Fred Silva
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Sam Nover (play by play), Bob Trumpy (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Cincinnati – Alexander 1 run (Sunter kick)
  • Cincinnati – FG Sunter 24
  • Cincinnati – Johnson 28 pass from Anderson (Sunter kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Davis 1 run (kick blocked)
  • Pittsburgh – Smith 13 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 35

Week 7 (Monday October 20, 1980): vs. Oakland Raiders Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Raiders 7 21 7 10 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 10 14 10 0 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 8 (Sunday October 26, 1980): at Cleveland Browns Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 10 3 13 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Browns 0 7 7 13 {{{HTotal}}}


at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 79,095
  • Referee: Bob Frederic
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Don Criqui (play by play), John Brodie (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Hawthorne 1 run (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 27
  • Cleveland – Hill 5 pass from Sipe (Cockroft kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 22
  • Pittsburgh – Hawthorne 2 run (Bahr kick)
  • Cleveland – G. Pruitt 6 pass from Sipe (Cockroft kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Thornton 2 run (kick failed)
  • Cleveland – G. Pruitt 7 pass from Sipe (kick failed)
  • Cleveland – Newsome 18 pass from Sipe (Cockroft kick)

Week 9 (Sunday November 2, 1980): vs. Green Bay Packers Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Packers 7 7 0 6 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 2 7 6 7 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Safety, ball snapped out of end zone
  • Green Bay – Ellis 7 pass from Dickey (Birney kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Swann 7 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Green Bay – Ellis 69 pass from Dickey (Birney kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 27
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 18
  • Pittsburgh – Bleier 4 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Green Bay – Thompson 14 pass from Dickey (kick blocked)

Week 10 (Sunday November 9, 1980): at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 10 14 0 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Buccaneers 7 7 7 0 {{{HTotal}}}


at Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 71,636
  • Referee: Fred Wyant
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Dick Enberg (play by play), Merlin Olsen (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 48
  • Pittsburgh – Winston recovered blocked punt in end zone (Bahr kick)
  • Tampa Bay – House 26 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Thornton 1 run (Bahr kick)
  • Tampa Bay – Giles 12 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Swann 20 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Tampa Bay – Bell 8 pass from Williams (Yepremian kick)

Week 11 (Sunday November 16, 1980): vs. Cleveland Browns Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 0 13 0 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 0 7 0 9 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Smith 10 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Cleveland – Newsome 4 pass from Sipe (kick failed)
  • Cleveland – Logan 15 pass from Sipe (Cockroft kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Safety, Toews tackled Evans in end zone
  • Pittsburgh – Swann 3 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)

Week 12 (Sunday November 23, 1980): at Buffalo Bills Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 3 0 3 {{{RTotal}}}
Bills 7 7 7 7 {{{HTotal}}}


at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Harris 2 run (Bahr kick)
  • Buffalo – Butler 29 pass from Ferguson (Mike-Mayer kick)
  • Buffalo – Butler 10 pass from Ferguson (Mike-Mayer kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 36
  • Buffalo – Brown 34 run (Mike-Mayer kick)
  • Buffalo – Gant 2 pass from Ferguson (Mike-Mayer kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 42

Week 13 (Sunday November 30, 1980): vs. Miami Dolphins Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Dolphins 0 3 0 7 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 0 13 3 7 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 51,384
  • Referee: Cal Lepore
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Don Criqui (play by play), John Brodie (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 32
  • Pittsburgh – Swann 30 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Miami – FG von Schamann 42
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 33
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 30
  • Miami – Moore 31 pass from Woodley (von Schamann kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Harris 9 run (Bahr kick)

Week 14 (Thursday December 4, 1980): at Houston Oilers Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 0 0 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Oilers 0 0 3 3 {{{HTotal}}}


at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Scoring Drives:

Week 15 (Sunday December 14, 1980): vs. Kansas City Chiefs Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 0 3 13 0 {{{RTotal}}}
Steelers 7 0 0 14 {{{HTotal}}}


at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 50,013
  • Referee: Fred Silva
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Marv Albert (play by play), Mike Haffner (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Swann 9 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Kansas City – FG Lowery 36
  • Kansas City – Hadnot 3 run (Lowery kick)
  • Kansas City – FG Lowery 22
  • Kansas City – FG Lowery 50
  • Pittsburgh – Bell 13 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Bleier 11 run (Bahr kick)

Week 16 (Monday December 22, 1980): at San Diego Chargers Edit

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 3 7 7 {{{RTotal}}}
Chargers 3 6 10 7 {{{HTotal}}}


at San Diego Stadium, San Diego, California

Scoring Drives:

  • San Diego – FG Benirschke 33
  • Pittsburgh – FG Bahr 32
  • San Diego – FG Benirschke 26
  • San Diego – FG Benirschke 26
  • San Diego – Fouts 1 run (Benirschke kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Thornton 2 run (Bahr kick)
  • San Diego – FG Benirschke 33
  • San Diego – Muncie 10 run (Benirschke kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Cunningham 16 pass from Bradshaw (Bahr kick)

StandingsEdit

AFC Central
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
Cleveland Browns 1150.688357310
Houston Oilers 1150.688295251
Pittsburgh Steelers 970.563352313
Cincinnati Bengals 6100.375244312

References Edit

  1. ranked 23rd in the league in 1980
  2. Ranked 10th in the NFL

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