January 20, 1980
Super Bowl XIV
Steelers 31, Los Angeles Rams 19
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California
On this day in Steelers history the team won their fourth Super Bowl in six years, defeating the Los Angeles Rams, 31-19.
The first three quarters were filled with back and forth action, with the underdog Rams leading 19-17 at the start of the fourth quarter.
The Steelers weren’t going to be denied from becoming the first team to win four Super Bowls though.
John Stallworth had the play of the day when he looked back, and while in stride, pulled the ball in over the outstretched arms of Rams’ cornerback Rod Perry and was end zone bound for a 73-yard touchdown.
The Rams made every effort to mount a comeback, but Jack Lambert intercepted Vince Ferragamo to give the Steelers the ball back. Terry Bradshaw, who won MVP honors, took over, driving the Steelers down the field where Franco Harris punched it in for a one-yard touchdown and 31-19 win and the team’s fourth Super Bowl in six years.
Steelers official Super Bowl XIV recap:
There was a moment of heroism and self-sacrifice when an old warrior, Los Angeles Rams defensive end Jack Youngblood, announced his intention to play in his team’s first Super Bowl despite a fractured leg.
There was a rush of “What if?” euphoria as the underdog Rams took a 19-17 lead into the fourth quarter.
And there was cold reality: Pittsburgh, a team with as much patience as talent, struck quickly and surely for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and it was over. The 31-19 victory was the Steelers’ fourth in the Super Bowl in only six seasons.
The signature image of Super Bowl XIV is of Steelers wide receiver John Stallworth at the Rams’ 32, looking back over his head for a lofty Terry Bradshaw pass, catching it in stride just over the outstretched arms of Rams cornerback Rod Perry, and continuing into the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown.
The Steelers had taken the lead and then surrendered it in the third quarter. Bradshaw hit wide receiver Lynn Swann over the middle for a 47-yard score. The Rams came back with a 24-yard halfback pass from Lawrence McCutcheon to Ron Smith that made it 19-17 before Bradshaw-to-Stallworth put Pittsburgh ahead for good.
Los Angeles intercepted Bradshaw three times, but it was the Steelers’ lone interception—by Jack Lambert—that punctuated the ending. With the score 24-19 and the Rams driving, Lambert intercepted a pass from quarterback Vince Ferragamo at the Pittsburgh 14.
For the second year in a row, Bradshaw was named the game’s most valuable player after passing for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns.