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1989 Pittsburgh Steelers season
Head Coach Chuck Noll
Home Field Three Rivers Stadium
Results
Record 9–7
Place 3rd in AFC Central
Playoff Finish Lost to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Round
Pro Bowlers
Team MVP Louis Lipps
Team ROY Carnell Lake
Timeline
Previous season Next season
1988 1990

The 1989 Pittsburgh Steelers were considered a rebuilding team filled with many young players, especially after the release of longtime center Mike Webster in the offseason. The young team showed its inexperience in the first game of the season, when they lost at home to the archrival Cleveland Browns 51–0. The loss marked the Steelers worst defeat in franchise history. The following week wasn't much better, losing 41–10 to another division rival, the defending AFC Champion Cincinnati Bengals.

However, the team would rebound and despite being a huge long shot to make the playoffs, the Steelers by a miracle managed to clinch the final playoff spot in the last week in the season with a 9–7 record. Chuck Noll, in his 21st season as the team's head coach, was named the NFL's Coach of the Year for the only time in his coaching career. Noll was renowned as a stoic character, but in complete contrast was his reaction to Jerry Glanville, the head coach of the Oilers. After the Steelers second meeting, Noll in the post game handshake grabbed Glanville and told him he'd better watch out or he'd get jumped on. This was in reaction to Glanville's earlier comments on how the Oilers field was the 'house of pain' and his prediction that his players would intentionally hurt the Steelers. Despite the personal discord between the two coaches, at the end of the season, Glanville publicly revealed that would vote for Noll for NFL Coach of the Year.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Steelers would have a memorable come-from-behind overtime victory over the division-rival Houston Oilers 26–23, which saw Gary Anderson kick the game-tying field goal at the end of regulation and later the game-winning field goal in the extra-period. The following week, the Steelers nearly pulled off a major upset against the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium before losing 24–23 on one of John Elway's last-second drives.

Though the Steelers would not make the playoffs again under Chuck Noll (missing in 1990 with an identical 9–7 record and again in 1991 at 7–9 despite a second-place finish that year), the season did set the tone for the team's return to prominence in the 1990s under his successor, Bill Cowher.

OffseasonEdit

The offseason was marked with the team deciding not to renew the contract of longtime center Mike Webster. Webster's release marked the end of the Super Bowl-era players on the team. Although Dwayne Woodruff was still with the Steelers and had won a Super Bowl ring during his rookie year, Webster had been the last member on the team that won all four Super Bowls. Webster would be succeeded at center with a young Dermontti Dawson, who was drafted the year before to be groomed as Webster's replacement, and like Webster would go on to an All-Pro career as one of the best at his position.

Meanwhile, the team drafted UCLA safety Carnell Lake in the second round of the 1989 draft. Lake would be a key member of the team's defense through the 1998 season, although his accomplishments would often be underlooked as opposed to his teammate, Rod Woodson.

RosterEdit

Depth chartEdit

Defensive Starters
[1]




CB
Dwayne Woodruff


CB
Rod Woodson
Offensive Starters
[2]
WR
Derek Hill
LT LG C RG RT
John Jackson John Rienstra Dermontti Dawson Terry Long Tunch Ilkin
Brian Blankenship
TE
Mike Mularkey
WR
Louis Lipps
Dwight Stone
QB
Bubby Brister
RB
Tim Worley
FB
Merril Hoge
Special Teams
PK Gary Anderson
P Harry Newsome
KR Rod Woodson
PR Rod Woodson



Regular season Edit

Schedule Edit

Week Date Opponent Location Time (ET) TV Result Record
1 Sunday September 10 Cleveland Browns Three Rivers Stadium 4:00 pm NBC L 51–0 0–1
2 Sunday September 17 Cincinnati Bengals Riverfront Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 41–10 0–2
3 Sunday September 24 Minnesota Vikings Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm CBS W 27–14 1–2
4 Sunday October 1 Detroit Lions Pontiac Silverdome 1:00 pm NBC W 23–3 2–2
5 Sunday October 8 Cincinnati Bengals Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 26–16 2–3
6 Sunday October 15 Cleveland Browns Cleveland Municipal Stadium 4:00 pm NBC W 17–7 3–3
7 Sunday October 22 Houston Oilers Astrodome 1:00 pm NBC L 27–0 3–4
8 Sunday October 29 Kansas City Chiefs Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 23–17 4–4
9 Sunday November 5 Denver Broncos Mile High Stadium 4:00 pm NBC L 34–7 4–5
10 Sunday November 12 Chicago Bears Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm CBS L 20–0 4–6
11 Sunday November 19 San Diego Chargers Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 20–17 5–6
12 Sunday November 26 Miami Dolphins Joe Robbie Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 34–14 6–6
13 Sunday December 3 Houston Oilers Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC L 23–16 6–7
14 Sunday December 10 New York Jets Giants Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 13–0 7–7
15 Sunday December 17 New England Patriots Three Rivers Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 28–10 8–7
16 Sunday December 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Tampa Stadium 1:00 pm NBC W 31-22 9–7

Game summaries Edit

Week 1 (Sunday September 10, 1989): vs. Cleveland Browns Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Browns 17 13 14 7 51
Steelers 0 0 0 0 0



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 4:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 57,928
  • Referee: Johnny Grier
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Tom Hammond (play by play), Joe Namath (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Cleveland – Matthews 3 fumble return (Bahr kick)
  • Cleveland – FG Bahr 27
  • Cleveland – Grayson 28 fumble return (Bahr kick)
  • Cleveland – FG Bahr 20
  • Cleveland – Manoa 3 run (Bahr kick)
  • Cleveland – FG Bahr 27
  • Cleveland – Manoa 2 run (Bahr kick)
  • Cleveland – Grayson 14 interception return (Bahr kick)
  • Cleveland – Oliphant 21 run (Bahr kick)

Week 2 (Sunday September 17, 1989): at Cincinnati Bengals Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 0 7 0 10
Bengals 3 17 7 14 41



at Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Scoring Drives:

  • Cincinnati – FG Gallery 26
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 38
  • Cincinnati – Brown 27 pass from Esiason (Gallery kick)
  • Cincinnati – FG Gallery 47
  • Cincinnati – Woods 1 run (Gallery kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Hill 7 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • CIncinnati – Jennings 1 run (Gallery kick)
  • CIncinnati – Brooks 2 run (Gallery kick)
  • Cincinnati – Jennings 43 pass from Esiason (Gallery kick)

Week 3 (Sunday September 24, 1989): vs. Minnesota Vikings Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Vikings 7 7 0 0 14
Steelers 7 14 0 6 27



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Mularkey 15 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Minnesota – Wilson 1 run (Garcia kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Worley 8 run (Anderson kick)
  • Minnesota – Thomas 27 fumble return (Garcia kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 38
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 44

Week 4 (Sunday October 1, 1989): at Detroit Lions Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 10 7 6 23
Lions 3 0 0 0 3



at Pontiac Silverdome, Pontiac, Michigan

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather: Dome
  • Game attendance: 43,804
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Don Criqui (play by play), Ahmad Rashad (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Detroit – FG Murray 37
  • Pittsburgh – FG Lipps 48 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 20
  • Pittsburgh – Carter 1 run (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Wallace 2 run (pass failed)

Week 5 (Sunday October 8, 1989): vs. Cincinnati Bengals Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Bengals 0 13 0 13 26
Steelers 7 3 3 3 16



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 52,785
  • Referee: Howard Roe
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Joel Meyers (play by play), Paul Maguire (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Carter 22 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Cincinnati – FG Breech 24
  • Cincinnati – FG Breech 27
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 24
  • Cincinnati – Martin 7 pass from Esiason (Breech kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 40
  • Cincinnati – Brooks 13 run (kick failed)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 34
  • Cincinnati – Brooks 65 run (Breech kick)

Week 6 (Sunday October 15, 1989): at Cleveland Browns Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 0 7 7 17
Browns 0 0 0 7 7



at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Game time: 4:00 pm EDT
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 78,840
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Joel Meyers (play by play), Paul Maguire (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 49
  • Pittsburgh – Carter 14 pass from Blackledge (Anderson kick)
  • Cleveland – Metcalf 2 run (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Williams 1 run (Anderson kick)

Week 7 (Sunday October 22, 1989): at Houston Oilers Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 0 0 0 0
Oilers 7 17 3 0 27



at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

Scoring Drives:

  • Houston – Highsmith 3 pass from Moon (Zendejas kick)
  • Houston – FG Zendejas 41
  • Houston – Duncan 51 pass from Moon (Zendejas kick)
  • Houston – Highsmith 5 pass from Moon (Zendejas kick)
  • Houston – FG Zendejas 51

Week 8 (Sunday October 29, 1989): vs. Kansas City Chiefs Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Chiefs 0 3 14 0 17
Steelers 10 6 7 0 23



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 54,194
  • Referee: Tom Dooley
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Joel Meyers (play by play), Paul Maguire (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 41
  • Pittsburgh – Lipps 16 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 47
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 29
  • Kansas City – FG Lowery 50
  • Kansas City – Mandley 8 pass from DeBerg (Lowery kick)
  • Kansas City – Maas 4 fumble return (Lowery kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Lipps 64 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)

Week 9 (Sunday November 5, 1989): at Denver Broncos Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 7 0 0 7
Broncos 10 3 7 14 34



at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

  • Game time: 4:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 74,739
  • Referee: Red Cashion
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Marv Albert (play by play), Bob Trumpy (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Denver – Humphrey 22 run (Treadwell kick)
  • Denver – FG Treadwell 26
  • Pittsburgh – Carter 15 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Denver – FG Treadwell 26
  • Denver – Johnson 44 pass from Elway (Treadwell kick)
  • Denver – Elway 2 run (Treadwell kick)
  • Denver – Humphrey 12 run (Treadwell kick)

Week 10 (Sunday November 12, 1989): vs. Chicago Bears Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Bears 7 13 0 0 20
Steelers 0 0 0 0 0



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

  • Chicago – N. Anderson 2 run (Butler kick)
  • Chicago – FG Butler 39
  • Chicago – Muster 20 pass from Harbaugh (Butler kick)
  • Chicago – FG Butler 35

Week 11 (Sunday November 19, 1989): vs. San Diego Chargers Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Chargers 0 7 10 0 17
Steelers 3 3 7 7 20



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 49
  • San Diego – A. Miller 20 pass from McMahon (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 28
  • San Diego – FG Bahr 27
  • Pittsburgh – Woodson 84 kickoff return (Anderson kick)
  • San Diego – A. Miller 18 pass from McMahon (Bahr kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 1 run (Anderson kick)

Week 12 (Sunday November 26, 1989): at Miami Dolphins Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 0 17 17 0 34
Dolphins 14 0 0 0 14



at Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, Florida

Steelers get first ever win against the Dolphins in Miami. This game was played in a driving rain storm.

Scoring Drives:

  • Miami – Smith 1 run (Stoyanovich kick)
  • Miami – Clayton 66 pass from Marino (Stoyanovich kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 1 run (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Woodruff 21 with lateral after Lake 2 fumble return (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 27
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 5 run (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 42
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 1 run (Anderson kick)

Week 13 (Sunday December 3, 1989): vs. Houston Oilers Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Oilers 0 14 2 7 23
Steelers 3 7 3 3 16



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 40,541
  • Referee: Ben Dreith
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Jim Donovan (play by play), Bob Trumpy (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 18
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 4 run (Anderson kick)
  • Houston – Duncan 18 pass from Moon (Zendejas kick)
  • Houston – Hill 27 pass from Moon (Zendejas kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 37
  • Houston – Safety, McDowell tackled Newsome in end zone
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 18
  • Houston – White 1 run (Zendejas kick)

Week 14 (Sunday December 10, 1989): at New York Jets Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 0 0 6 13
Jets 0 0 0 0 0



at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 41,037
  • Referee: Johnny Grier
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Tom Hammond (play by play), Joe Namath (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Worley 35 run (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 42
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 45

Week 15 (Sunday December 17, 1989): vs. New England Patriots Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Patriots 3 0 0 7 10
Steelers 7 7 7 7 28



at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Game time: 1:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: 5 °F (Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 26,594
  • Referee: Tom Dooley
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Jim Donovan (play by play), Jimmy Cefalo (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Worley 8 run (Anderson kick)
  • New England – FG Staurovsky 20
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 1 run (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Lipps 58 run (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 2 run (Anderson kick)
  • New England – C. Jones 12 pass from Wilson (Staurovsky kick)

Week 16 (Sunday December 24, 1989): at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 17 7 0 31
Buccaneers 7 3 3 9 22



at Tampa Stadium, Tampa, Florida

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Worley 1 run (Anderson kick)
  • Tampa Bay – Carrier 7 pass from Ferguson (Igwebuike kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Lipps 79 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Tampa Bay – FG Igwebuike 45
  • Pittsburgh – Lipps 12 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 32
  • Tampa Bay – FG Igwebuike 24
  • Pittsburgh – Worley 1 run (Anderson kick)
  • Tampa Bay – Safety, Cocroft blocked punt out of end zone
  • Tampa Bay – Carrier 39 pass from Ferguson (Igwebuike kick)

StandingsEdit

AFC East
TeamWLTPCTPFPA
Cleveland Browns 961.594334254
Pittsburgh Steelers 970.563265326
Houston Oilers 970.563365412
Cincinnati Bengals 880.500404285

PlayoffsEdit

Game summaries Edit

AFC Wild Card Playoff (Sunday December 31, 1989): at Houston Oilers Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 7 3 3 10 26
Oilers 0 6 3 14 23



at Astrodome, Houston, Texas

  • Game time: 4:00 pm EST
  • Game weather: Dome
  • Game attendance: 58,306
  • Referee: Pat Haggerty
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Marv Albert (play by play), Bob Trumpy (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – Worley 9 run (Anderson kick)
  • Houston – FG Zendejas 26
  • Houston – FG Zendejas 35
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 25
  • Houston – FG Zendejas 26
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 30
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 48
  • Houston – Givins 18 pass from Moon (Zendejas kick)
  • Houston – Givins 9 pass from Moon (Zendejas kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 2 run (Anderson kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 50

AFC Divisional Playoff (Sunday January 7, 1990): at Denver Broncos Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
Steelers 3 14 3 3 23
Broncos 0 10 7 7 24



at Mile High Stadium, Denver, Colorado

  • Game time: 4:00 pm EST
  • Game weather:
  • Game attendance: 75,868
  • Referee: Gene Barth
  • TV announcers: (NBC) Dick Enberg (play by play), Bill Walsh (color commentator)

Scoring Drives:

  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 32
  • Pittsburgh – Hoge 7 run (Anderson kick)
  • Denver – Bratton 1 run (Treadwell kick)
  • Pittsburgh – Lipps 9 pass from Brister (Anderson kick)
  • Denver – FG Treadwell 43
  • Denver – Johnson 37 pass from Elway (Treadwell kick)
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 35
  • Pittsburgh – FG Anderson 32
  • Denver – Breatton 1 run (Treadwell kick)

Awards and honorsEdit

References Edit

AFC East Central West East Central West NFC
Buffalo Cincinnati Denver Dallas Chicago Atlanta
Indianapolis Cleveland Kansas City NY Giants Detroit LA Rams
Miami Houston LA Raiders Philadelphia Green Bay New Orleans
New England Pittsburgh San Diego Phoenix Minnesota San Francisco
NY Jets Seattle Washington Tampa Bay
1989 NFL DraftNFL PlayoffsPro BowlSuper Bowl XXIV