PRO FOOTBALL—Both of last season's Super Bowl teams needed some last-minute heroics to remain unbeaten. A 20-yard field goal by Pittsburgh rookie Matt Bahr with 13 seconds remaining gave the Steelers, who had trailed by two touchdowns in the final period, a 24-21 win over St. Louis. Roger Staubach threw three touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Tony Hill with 1:53 left to play, to lead Dallas to a 24-20 victory over Chicago. The loss dropped the Bears a game back of division rival Tampa Bay, which has won three straight for the first time in its four-year history. The Bucs upset Green Bay 21-10 behind the running of rookie Jerry Eckwood, who went for 99 yards, and Ricky Bell (97 yards and two TDs). In Sunday's only other upset, Philadelphia knocked off New Orleans 26-14 as the Eagle defense held the league's most productive offense to 235 total yards and Tony Franklin kicked four field goals. Denver's Jim Turner booted a 24-yarder with 6:15 gone in overtime to lift the Broncos to a 20-17 win over previously undefeated Atlanta. With 17 seconds remaining in regulation play, the Falcons' Tim Mazzetti missed a 31-yard attempt. In Cleveland, Colt Kicker Toni Linhart also missed a field-goal try, from 28 yards, with one second remaining, which would have sent the game into overtime. Instead Don Cockroft's three-pointer a minute and 50 seconds earlier gave the undefeated Browns a 13-10 win. Paced by Earl Campbell, who gained 131 yards on 32 carries, and J. C. Wilson and Mike Reinfeldt, who had two interceptions apiece, Houston rolled over Kansas City 20-6. Substituting for the injured Dan Pastorini, Oiler Quarterback Gifford Nielsen completed 12 of 18 passes for 173 yards and one TD in his first pro start. Miami also had to rely on its No. 2 signal-caller. After Bob Griese left the game with 8:30 left in the third quarter with a muscle pull in his leg, Don Strock hit five of seven passes, two of which went for fourth-quarter touchdowns, to rally the Dolphins to a 27-12 triumph over Minnesota. The day's hottest aerial battle was waged in Seattle, where Oakland's Ken Stabler completed 25 of 37 attempts for 343 yards and the Seahawks' Jim Zorn hit 13 of 22 for 277 yards. Steve Largent caught five of Zorn's passes as Seattle, which has now won three straight from the Raiders, ended up on top by a score of 27-10. Wesley Walker hauled in six passes for 177 yards, and Kevin Long scored three times to lead the Jets to a 31-10 rout of Detroit and their first victory. San Diego got a come-from-behind win over Buffalo as Clarence Williams picked up 157 yards on 18 carries and had a team-record four rushing TDs. In other games, Los Angeles edged San Francisco 27-24, New England defeated Cincinnati 20-14 and, on Monday night, Atlanta overcame the Eagles 14-10.
GOLF—The U.S. retained the Ryder Cup with a 17-11 victory over United Kingdom-Ireland-Europe in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va. (page 26).
Rookie JOHN FOUGHT defeated Jim Simons with a par 3 on the second extra hole to win the $150,000 Buick-Goodwrench Open in Grand Blanc, Mich. The victory was Fought's first on the PGA tour. Simons and he finished regulation play at 280, eight under par.
Jo Ann Washam and Nancy Lopez won the $110,000 LPGA team championship in Portland by one stroke over Susie Berning and Carole Jo Skala. The winners finished with a 21-under-par 198 for the 54-hole best-ball event.
HARNESS RACING—Undefeated NIATROSS ($2.80), with Clint Galbraith at the reins, won the $204,000 Kentucky Pacing Derby at Louisville Downs by 1½ lengths over Dorado Hanover. The 2-year-old covered the mile in 1:58[3/5].
Chiola Hanover ($3.60), driven by Jim Allen, finished 2½ lengths ahead of Crown's Christy to win the $112,000 Colonial Trot at Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. The 3-year-old was timed in 2:02[1/5] for the mile.
HORSE RACING—ROCKHILL NATIVE ($2.40), John Oldham up, won the $165,250 Futurity at Belmont Park by four lengths over Sportful. The 2-year-old covered the seven furlongs in 1:22.
Golden Act ($3.60), ridden by Sandy Hawley, defeated Smarten by two lengths to win the $83,925 Lawrence Realization at Belmont. The colt traveled the 1½ miles in 2:27[3/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—BOBBY UNSER averaged 175.211 mph in a Penske PC-7 Cosworth to win the $75,000 Gould Grand Prix in Brooklyn, Mich. It was his sixth Indy-car victory of the season. Tom Sneva was second in a McLaren Cosworth, 10.6 seconds off the pace.
Averaging 114.366 in a Chevrolet, RICHARD PETTY won the CRC Chemicals 500 at Dover Downs (Del.) International Speedway by one-half a car length over Donnie Allison, also in a Chevrolet.
SOCCER—ASL: Sacramento defeated Columbus 1-0 for the championship. Right Winger Ian Filby, the league's top scorer this season with 14 goals and 17 assists, got the winning score in the 83 rd minute from 18 yards out after taking a pass from Trevor Dawkins and dribbling the ball 40 yards. The game was played in Columbus before a crowd of 9,378, the third largest in the league's 62-year history.
TENNIS—In Davis Cup play, the U.S. defeated Argentina 4-1 in Memphis to win the American Zone.
Billie Jean King upset Evonne Goolagong Cawley 6-4, 7-5 to win the $150,000 Toray Sillook tournament in Tokyo.
Marty Riessen and Sherwood Stewart won the $150,000 ATP World Doubles Tournament in the Woodlands, Texas over Bob Carmichael and Tim Gullikson. Riessen and Stewart were up 6-3, 2-2 when Carmichael tore cartilage in his right knee and was forced to retire.
Eliot Teltscher won the $50,000 Atlanta Journal-Constitution Open with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 defeat of John Alexander.
TRACK & FIELD—PIETRO MENNEA of Italy broke the world record for the 200-meter dash at the World University Games in Mexico City. His time of 19.72 seconds was .11 of a second faster than the mark Tommie Smith of the United States set on the same track at the 1968 Olympics. The Soviet Union finished with 76 medals (34 gold), 25 more than the U.S., which placed second, and 46 more than third-place Romania.
MILEPOSTS—STRIPPED OF TITLE: By the World Boxing Association, light heavyweight champion VICTOR GALINDEZ for allegedly breaking a contract to defend his crown on Sept. 15 against Marvin Johnson.
SUSPENDED: By the New Jersey Athletic Commission for two and three months, respectively, cut man ADOLPH RITACCO and trainer NICK BELFIORE, for using an illegal substance to close a cut above the left eye of WBC light heavyweight champion Matthew Saad Muhammad during his Aug. 18 title defense against John Conteh. The substance, reportedly ground-up tea leaves, was not officially identified.
TRADED: By the Los Angeles Lakers, Forward ADRIAN DANTLEY, 23, who has scored 19.9 points a game for Buffalo, Indiana and the Lakers during his three-year NBA career, to the Utah Jazz for Forward SPENCER HAYWOOD, 30, who has a 23.0-point average over 10 pro seasons, during which he has played for four clubs.