Minnesota Vikings 6
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 years earlier.
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.