QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
Super Bowl XIII
Pittsburgh's previous Super Bowls had not met expectations, but the Steelers' 35-31 victory over the defending champion Cowboys became a classic. Bradshaw passed for 318 yards and four touchdowns, capping a 1978 season that marked the NFL's first under rules designed to stimulate passing. The Steelers led 21-17 in the fourth quarter when they faced third-and-9 from the Dallas 22. The Cowboys' Doomsday Defense had sacked Bradshaw four times on third down already, twice forcing fumbles, including one that linebacker Mike Hegman returned for a touchdown. With the Cowboys poised to blitz, Bradshaw called a quick handoff to Franco Harris, who scored on the play. Pittsburgh often won with its Steel Curtain defense and ground game, but Bradshaw's arm and play calling put his stamp on this Super Bowl. He completed 8 of 9 passes for 156 yards and two scores on third down. No starting quarterback has had a higher third-down completion rate in a Super Bowl.