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Throwback Jerseys have good memories

The Steelers are wearing their Throwback Jerseys on Sunday, a tribute to the 1978 and 1979 team that wore the same jerseys and won two Super Bowls doing so.

And the team will wear them against the Browns, an opponent the 1978 and 1979 teams fared well against. The Steelers swept the Browns both years, including a few exciting overtime games.

"Back in the 70s we had no idea what we were really building," said Franco Harris. "We were in the moment, and those moments were special. Us laying the foundation, brick by brick, to where it's at today. It really makes us feel proud what started back in the 70s lasted until today and will go beyond today. This is what we stand for, this is who we are. It really makes you proud to be a Pittsburgh Steeler."

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In 1978 the Steelers defeated the Browns, 15-9, in an OT thriller at Three Rivers Stadium, while defeating the Browns, 34-14, on the road.

Both teams came into the first game with 2-0 records, but it would be the Steelers who would walk away unblemished after their first meeting of the season.

Browns quarterback Brian Sipe was intercepted by Donnie Shell on the first offensive play of the game, and the Steelers put points on the board when Roy Gerela hit a 19-yard field goal. The Browns came back with three unanswered field goals by Don Cockroft, giving them a 9-3 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Gerela closed the gap to 9-6 with his second field goal of the game and tied it when he hit a 36-yard field goal with just 2:35 left to play.

The game headed into overtime and it didn't look good for the Steelers. Larry Anderson fumbled on the return, and the Browns recovered. Or at least that's what it looked like. Officials ruled that the whistle had blown prior to the fumble, and the Steelers maintained possession. Franco Harris converted a fourth-and-one with a one-yard run. The play of the game was the one that won it, with Terry Bradshaw handing off to Rocky Bleier, who then gave it to Lynn Swann for a reverse. Swann lateraled back to Bradshaw for the flea-flicker to Bennie Cunningham for a 37-yard touchdown and 15-9 win.

The two teams met three weeks later at Cleveland Stadium, this time the outcome a little less dramatic. The Steelers jumped out to a 6-0 lead on two Gerela field goals, but the Browns grabbed a 7-6 lead after a Sipe touchdown pass to Dave Logan.

Anderson's 95-yard kickoff return gave the Steelers the lead right back, and they never looked back. Swann pulled in a 28-yard touchdown pass, John Stallworth caught a 32-yard touchdown, and Bleier ran it in from the one-yard line, in the 34-14 win.

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In 1979 the Steelers once again pulled out the sweep, starting with a 51-35 win at Cleveland Stadium.

The Steelers jumped out to a 21-0 lead after the first quarter, which included a 71-yard touchdown run by Franco Harris. The Browns battled back, sending the game into the half, 30-14.

Harris added a 25-yard touchdown run in the second half, and Rocky Bleier got in on the fun with a 70-yard touchdown run of his own en route to the 51-35 victory.

When the teams met up for the second time, it was an offensive explosion. The Steelers put up 606 yards on offense, including 351 in the air, without one receiver going over 100 yards. Six players caught a combined 30 receptions, with Harris leading the way with nine receptions for 81 yards, and 32 rushing attempts for 151 yards.

Despite the big numbers the Browns also put up, they held their ground with 345 yards of total offense, they couldn't hold off the defending Super Bowl champions. The Browns were leading, 30-27, with just 24 seconds to play, when Matt Bahr tied the game, 30-30, with a 21-yard field goal.

The game headed into overtime, and with just nine seconds to play Bahr sent the Three Rivers Stadium crowd home happy when he hit a 37-yard field goal for the 33-30 win.