1981 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head Coach Chuck Noll
Home Field Three Rivers Stadium
Results
Record 8-8
Place 2nd in AFC Central
Playoff Finish did not qualify
Pro Bowlers CB Mel Blount
LB Jack Lambert
S Donnie Shell
C Mike Webster
Team MVP Jack Lambert
Timeline
Previous season Next season
1980 1982

Offseason[edit | edit source]









Pre-Season[edit | edit source]

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Week Date Opponent Location Time (ET) TV Result Record
1 Unknown at Cleveland Browns Cleveland Stadium Unknown UNK W 34–31 1-0
2 Saturday August 15 at Philadelphia Eagles Veterans Stadium Unknown UNK L 36–20 1-1
3 Unknown at Dallas Cowboys Texas Stadium Unknown UNK L 24–14 1-2
4 Unknown New York Giants Three Rivers Stadium Unknown UNK W 31–6 2-2



Regular season[edit | edit source]

Schedule[edit | edit source]

Week Date Opponent Location Time (ET) TV Result Record
1 Sunday September 6 Kansas City Chiefs Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 37–33 0-1
2 Thursday September 10 at Miami Dolphins Miami Orange Bowl 8:30 pm ABC L 30–10 0-2
3 Sunday September 20 New York Jets Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 38–10 1-2
4 Sunday September 27 New England Patriots Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 27–21 (OT) 2-2
5 Sunday October 4 at New Orleans Saints Louisiana Superdome 2:00 pm NBC W 20–6 3-2
6 Sunday October 11 Cleveland Browns Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 13–7 4-2
7 Sunday October 18 at Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 34–7 4-3
8 Monday October 26 Houston Oilers Three Rivers Stadium 9:00 pm ABC W 26–13 5-3
9 Sunday November 1 San Francisco 49ers Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm CBS L 17–14 5-4
10 Sunday November 8 at Seattle Seahawks Kingdome 4:00 pm NBC L 24–21 5-5
11 Sunday November 15 at Atlanta Falcons Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 34–20 6-5
12 Sunday November 22 at Cleveland Browns Cleveland Municipal Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 32–10 7-5
13 Sunday November 29 Los Angeles Rams Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm CBS W 24–0 8-5
14 Monday December 7 at Oakland Raiders Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 9:00 pm ABC L 30–27 8-6
15 Sunday December 13 Cincinnati Bengals Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 17–10 8-7
16 Sunday December 20 at Houston Oilers Astrodome 1:00 pm NBC L 21–20 8-8

Game summaries[edit | edit source]

Week 1 (Sunday September 6, 1981): vs. Kansas City Chiefs[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Chiefs 10 3 10 14 37
Steelers 6 13 7 7 33



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 53,305
  • Referee: Jim Tunney
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Bob Costas (play by play), Bob Trumpy (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh - Swann 18 pass from Bradshaw (kick failed)
  • Kansas City - Marshall 48 pass from Kenney (Lowery kick)
  • Kansas City - FG Lowery 35
  • Pittsburgh - Harris 7 run (kick failed)
  • Pittsburgh - Harris 1 run (Trout kick)
  • Kansas City - FG Lowery 40
  • Kansas City - Carson 53 pass from Kenney (Lowery kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Hawthorne 1 run (Trout kick)
  • Kansas City - FG Lowery 42
  • Kansas City - McKnight 3 run (Lowery kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Smith 41 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)
  • Kansas City - Howard 65 fumble return (Lowery kick)

Week 2 (Thursday September 10, 1981): at Miami Dolphins[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 3 7 0 0 10
Dolphins 0 13 14 3 30



at Miami Orange Bowl, Miami, Florida

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh - FG Trout 23
  • Miami - Woodley 1 run (kick failed)
  • Miami - Franklin 1 run (von Schamann kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Smith 32 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)
  • Miami - Nathan 13 pass from Woodley (von Schamann kick)
  • Miami - Vigorito 87 punt return (von Schamann kick)
  • Miami - FG von Schamann 32

Week 3 (Sunday September 20, 1981): vs. New York Jets[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Jets 0 3 0 7 10
Steelers 7 10 14 7 38



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh - Davis 9 run (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - FG Trout 25
  • Pittsburgh - Pollard 23 run (Trout kick)
  • New York Jets - FG Leahy 47
  • Pittsburgh - Bradshaw 1 run (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Pollard 1 run (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Thornton 1 run (Trout kick)
  • New York Jets - McNeil 17 pass from Ryan (Leahy kick)

Week 4 (Sunday September 27, 1981): vs. New England Patriots[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Patriots 0 7 0 14 21
Steelers 7 7 7 0 27



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 53,344
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Bob Costas (play by play), Bob Trumpy (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh - Harris 1 run (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Cunningham 1 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)
  • New England - Cavanaugh 1 run (Smith kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Harris 1 run (Trout kick)
  • New England - Collins 10 run (Smith kick)
  • New England - Morgan 12 pass from Cavanaugh (Smith kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Swann 24 pass from Bradshaw

Week 5 (Sunday October 4, 1981): at New Orleans Saints[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 7 6 0 7 20
Saints 0 3 3 0 6



at Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana

  • Game time: 2:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: Dome
  • Game attendance: 64,578
  • Referee: Jerry Seeman
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Sam Nover (play by play), Harmon Wages (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

Week 6 (Sunday October 11, 1981): vs. Cleveland Browns[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Browns 0 7 0 0 7
Steelers 7 3 0 3 13



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 53,255
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Don Criqui (play by play), John Brodie (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

Week 7 (Sunday October 18, 1981): at Cincinnati Bengals[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 0 0 0 7 7
Bengals 10 3 14 7 34



at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Scoring Drives:

  • Cincinnati - FG Breech 27
  • Cincinnati - Johnson 3 run (Breech kick)
  • Cincinnati - FG Breech 23
  • Cincinnati - Verser 73 pass from Ken Anderson (Breech kick)
  • Cincinnati - Alexander 3 run (Breech kick)
  • Cincinnati - Johnson 5 pass from Ken Anderson (Breech kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Smith 17 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)

Week 8 (Monday October 26, 1981): vs. Houston Oilers[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Oilers 0 3 0 10 13
Steelers 10 3 0 13 26



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

Week 9 (Sunday November 1, 1981): vs. San Francisco 49ers[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
49ers 0 10 0 7 17
Steelers 0 0 14 0 14



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 52,878
  • Referee: Bob Frederic
  • TV announcers: (CBS) Vin Scully (play by play), Hank Stram (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • San Francisco - Young 5 pass from Montana (Wersching kick)
  • San Francisco - FG Wersching 45
  • Pittsburgh - Blount 50 interception return (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Smith 22 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)
  • San Francisco - Easley 1 run (Wersching kick)

Week 10 (Sunday November 8, 1981): at Seattle Seahawks[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 7 14 0 0 21
Seahawks 3 7 0 14 24



at The Kingdome, Seattle, Washington

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh - Harris 6 run (Trout kick)
  • Seattle - FG Herrera 37
  • Pittsburgh - Malone 90 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Thornton 4 run (Trout kick)
  • Seattle - Doornink 44 pass from Zorn (Herrera kick)
  • Seattle - T. Brown 1 run (Herrera kick)
  • Seattle - T. Brown 1 run (Herrera kick)

Week 11 (Sunday November 15, 1981): at Atlanta Falcons[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 7 7 13 7 34
Falcons 0 7 3 10 20



at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 57,485
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Bob Costas (play by play), Bob Trumpy (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

Week 12 (Sunday November 22, 1981): at Cleveland Browns[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 12 0 6 14 32
Browns 3 7 0 0 10



at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 77,958
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Don Criqui (play by play), John Brodie (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Cleveland - FG Bahr 33
  • Pittsburgh - Hawthorne 1 run (kick failed)
  • Pittsburgh - Thornton 3 run (kick failed)
  • Cleveland - Logan 13 pass from Sipe (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Harris 2 run (kick failed)
  • Pittsburgh - Pinney 1 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Moser 5 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)

Week 13 (Sunday November 29, 1981): vs. Los Angeles Rams[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Rams 0 0 0 0 0
Steelers 7 14 3 0 24



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 51,854
  • Referee: Tom Dooley
  • TV announcers: (CBS) Vin Scully (play by play), Hank Stram (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

Week 14 (Monday December 7, 1981): at Oakland Raiders[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 7 7 6 7 27
Raiders 0 7 7 16 30



at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Oakland, California

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh - Cunningham 5 pass from Bradshaw (Trout kick)
  • Oakland - Ramsey 25 pass from Wilson (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Smith 19 pass from Malone (Trout kick)
  • Oakland - Whittington 17 pass from Wilson (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Malone 11 run (kick failed)
  • Oakland - Chandler 36 pass from Wilson (kick failed)
  • Oakland - Watts 53 punt return (Bahr kick)
  • Oakland - FG Bahr 29
  • Pittsburgh - Smith 17 pass from Malone (Trout kick)

Week 15 (Sunday December 13, 1981): vs. Cincinnati Bengals[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Bengals 0 10 7 0 17
Steelers 0 3 0 7 10



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 50,623
  • Referee: Red Cashion
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Sam Nover (play by play), Dave Rowe (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

Week 16 (Sunday December 20, 1981): at Houston Oilers[edit | edit source]

1 2 3 4 OT
Steelers 3 3 14 0 20
Oilers 7 7 0 7 21



at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh - FG Trout 40
  • Houston - Casper 15 pass from Neilsen (Fritsch kick)
  • Houston - Casper 23 pass from Neilsen (Fritsch kick)
  • Pittsburgh - FG Trout 37
  • Pittsburgh - Thornton 17 run (Trout kick)
  • Pittsburgh - Malone 2 run (Trout kick)
  • Houston - Casper 16 pass from Neilsen (Fritsch kick)

Standings[edit | edit source]

AFC Central
Team W L T PCT PF PA
Cincinnati Bengals 12 4 0 .750 421 304
Pittsburgh Steelers 8 8 0 .500 356 297
Houston Oilers 7 9 0 .438 281 355
Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 .313 276 375

References[edit | edit source]

1. Pittsburgh Steelers Media Guide 1982

AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Baltimore Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Buffalo Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit Los Angeles
Miami Houston Oakland Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego St. Louis Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1981 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XVI
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