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The 1984 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 52nd season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.
Most of the stars from the 1970s had departed, but the Steelers showed signs of their past glory by amassing a 9-7 record to capture the AFC Central Title again. The highlight of the season was an October 14 win over the 49ers in San Francisco. It was the only loss the 49ers suffered all season. Also serving up highlights that season was WR Louis Lipps who won the Offensive Rookie of the Year. In the playoffs the Steelers stunned the Broncos 24-17 in Denver to earn a trip to the AFC Championship. However, the Steelers season would end with a 45-28 thrashing at the hands of the Dolphins in Miami.
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This game was not on many NBC stations, since game 5 of the World Series was being broadcast at the same time. However, that game would prove the last Sunday afternoon World Series game. This was the solitary game the eventual Super Bowl champion 49ers lost during the 1984 season.
This game was particularly frustrating to Steeler fans. One week previously, the Steelers beat the 49ers in San Francisco - becoming the solitary team to achieve this as the 49ers finished 15-1 on the way to winning the Super Bowl. Then coming back east to play one of the worst teams of the season, the Indianapolis Colts - who had only two wins at that point and were to win just four games for the season - they lost on a last minute improbable play after leading throughout the game. The Colts' third-string quarterback, Mike Pagel, came off the bench in the third quarter and was leading a final minute drive from their 20. On the Colts 40 with 34 seconds left, Pagel avoided a near sack, scrambled right and threw down the middle of the field to WR Bernard Henry. The ball however went directly to the hands of Steeler CB Sam Washington who bobbled the ball. Between Washington and a few other Steeler defenders, WR Ray Butler burst through the gap, snatched the ball in the air and ran untouched 54 yards for the touchdown. The extra point sealed the game.
The Saints won their first Monday Night game in seven tries, and also avenged a 1974 Monday Night loss to the Steelers at Tulane Stadium. It was Pittsburgh's first loss to New Orleans since 1969 in what was the Steelers' final game in the NFL before moving to the AFC as part of the AFL-NFL merger.