It was a bitter december night, two of the best teams of their time were locked in a hostile conflict. Pride was on the line. The two Hall of Fame studded casts donned blood-stained jerseys while visible breath escaped from their jaws.
Chuck Noll stared across the battlefield at Vince Lombardi just before kickoff. The first half was full of memorable plays. Early in the first quarter Bart Starr play-action faked to Jim Taylor, dropped back and was violently blindsided by “Mean Joe” Greene and thrown to the turf. Starr fumbled, center Jim Ringo tried to corral the ball but Mel Blount scooped it up and ran it back 34 yards for the touchdown. Later in the first quarter Willie Davis’ rush caused Terry Bradshaw’s pass to Lynn Swann to be under-thrown and picked off by Herb Adderley on the sideline. On the very next play, Paul Hornung took a Packers Sweep 60 yards for a score — you should have seen Jerry Kramer’s block on Jack Lambert.
7-7 end of the first quarter.
Each team recorded a field goal before Franco Harris caught a short pass from Bradshaw and ran it 35 yards down to the Packers’ three-yard line–after being caught from behind by Willie Wood. On the next play Bradshaw faked a handoff but couldn’t find an open receiver. Ray Nitschke blitzed up the middle, pushing past Mike Webster, and pulled Bradshaw to the ground for a seven yard loss. On second down Bradshaw impressively evaded the rush of Henry Jordan and scrambled to his right before hitting John Stallworth for the touchdown reception. Bradshaw’s pass was just over the fingertips of a reaching Dave Robinson. Near the end of the half Starr led the Packers on a two-minute drive. With nine seconds left in the half, a blitzing Jack Ham beat Forrest Gregg around the end, but Starr broke free of his grip and dove into the end zone for the score.
17-17 at the end of the first half.
You remember how the second half played out, right? No? That’s because this game never happened; it didn’t have a chance to. But you can imagine it though, can’t you? Watching the titans of modern-day professional football exchanging blows. Unfortunately, two of the greatest all-time teams ever assembled didn’t get to face each other out on the field.
Often times when people discuss or rank NFL dynasties they let popularity, mystique, or an emotional attachment influence their thoughts. We sought to eliminate such factors by laying out each dynasties’ exact accomplishments. That way when our minds ponder this question we can do so with the facts to back up our claims. Which team would have won the game? Which was the better Dynasty? Would Lombardi’s Packers have won the game? Or would the Steel Curtain have dominated the contest? Who knows, all that’s left to do is compare accolades.
1960s Packers Dynasty (Eight Year Stretch Between 1960-1967):
Championships: Five (1961, 1962, 1965, 1966, 1967)
Playoff Appearances: Six (1960, 61, 62, 65, 66, 67)
Winning Percentage: .763% (82-24-4)
Playoff Winning Percentage: .900% (9-1)
Hall of Fame Inductees: 12
AP MVPs: Three
Best Seasons: 1962 (13-1), 1966 (12-2)
1970s Steelers Dynasty (Eight Year Stretch Between 1972-1979):
Championships: Four (1975, 1976, 1979, 1980)
Playoff Appearances: Eight (1972, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79)
Winning Percentage: .762% (88-27-1)
Playoff Winning Percentage: .777% (14-4)
Hall of Fame Inductees: 10
AP MVPs: One
Best Seasons: 1975 (12-2), 1979 (14-2)
As you can see both dynasties were absolutely chock-full of talent and achieved a legendary amount of success. But which was the better dynasty?
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