There are many obvious reasons why the Pittsburg Steelers are presently a 10-point choice over the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh's great defense, explosive offense and championship experience are three.
The Rams, after struggling through a 9-7 season, have back several key players who were injured during the time the team posted a 5-6 mark.
The Rams have played good football of late, and their defense has been outstanding when it mattered most, against the Cowboys and the Bucs. It will have to be even better to withstand the multitalented Steeler offense.
Los Angeles is tough against the run but the Steelers have Franco Harris and Rocky Bleier. The L.A. secondary has recovered from injuries, but the Steelers have one of the most explosive passing attacks in football with Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. Fred Dryer and Jack Youngblood have revitalized the Ram pass rush, but the Steeler offensive line provides excellent protection for Terry Bradshaw.
Those are some of the reasons why the Steelers are the highest-priced favorite since the Vikings were a two-touchdown pick in their loss to the Chiefs in the fourth Super Bowl. However, it would be wise to consider that Chuck Noll and the Steelers have never beaten the Rams. Pittsburgh and L.A. have met three times during the 1970s and the Rams won all three games.
In 1975, the year the Steelers won their second Super Bowl title, the Rams won, 10-7, in Los Angeles. But that game was devoid of meaning as both teams were gearing up for the playoffs. Then, last year, the Rams intercepted Bradshaw three times during a 10-3 upset at the Coliseum. The Rams held the Steelers to 59 yards rushing and Pittsburgh had a great deal of difficulty generating any offense against the tough Ram defense. That loss to the Rams was the Steelers' last defeat in 1978.
For the first time in the history of the Super Bowl, a game will be played in the city (Pasadena isn't that far away from L.A.) of one of the participant teams. However, you can expect that the home field advantage of the Rams will have been dissipated by the counterreaction of the players being in the Super Bowl city for the entire two weeks of preparation for the game.