Steelers Sunday: Super Bowl XL
In honor of Jerome Bettis finally being inducted into the Hall of Fame yesterday, let’s take a look back at his final NFL game, Super Bowl XL in the Bus’ hometown of Detroit. It’s also a perfect time to look back at the Steelers fifth Super Bowl title because it came against the Seattle Seahawks, who are obviously going to be playing later today.
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The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers became the first sixth seed to ever win a Super Bowl thanks to an incredible run to finish the season. Not only did they have to go through the Bengals, Colts, and Broncos to get to the Super Bowl but they needed to win their final four regular season games just to make the playoffs. Going into the game against the number one seed in the NFC it felt like the Steelers were not going to be denied the “one for the thumb.”
The game started pretty slowly for the Steelers offense as they failed to gain a first down in the first quarter and Ben Roethlisberger was only 1 for 5 passing for a grand total of one yard. The Seahawks scored first on a John Brown 47-yard field goal. Prior to the kick the Seahawks seemed to have scored a touchdown on a pass from Matt Hasselbeck to Darrell Jackson, but Jackson was called for pass interference, nullifying the play.
On the Steelers fourth possession they finally gained a first down but Roethlisberger was intercepted by Michael Boulware. The Steelers defense stepped up and forced a three and out giving the ball back to the offense, who was finally waking up. The next drive the Steelers marched 59 yards on 12 plays, taking six minutes off the clock as they got into the end zone (maybe) on a 1-yard Big Ben scramble. Roethlisberger dove for the goal line and got very very close to the goal line. Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren challenged the ruling of a touchdown but the call was upheld and the Steelers lead 7-3 at the half.
The Steelers received the second half kick and two plays later fast Willie Parker scored the second touchdown of the game with a Super Bowl record 75-yard touchdown run. The touchdown put the Steelers up 14-3.
After a Brown missed field goal, the Steelers drove the field and looked to be on the verge of taking a commanding 21-3 lead. Unfortunately Big Ben threw his second pick of the game. This time Kelly Herndon made the play and returned the interception 76 yards all the way to the Steelers 20-yard line. This time the Seahawks made Roethlisberger pay for the mistake as the hated Jerramy Stevens caught a 16-yard touchdown to cut the Seahawks deficit to four.
After the team traded a few punts, Ike Taylor actually caught a football as he intercepted Hasselbeck in Steelers territory to end a promising Seahawks drive. His return was aided by a 15-penalty called on Hasselbeck for blocking below the waist.
Four plays after the pick, the Steelers ran a wide receiver reverse to Antwaan Randle El. Parker pitched the ball to Randle El, who was headed to the right side of the field. Randle El, the former Univeristy of Indiana quarterback, pulled up and launched a deep pass to the eventual Super Bowl MVP, Hines Ward. 43 yards later and the Steelers were up 21-10 with nine minutes to play.
The Steelers were able to force a punt and then they turned the game over to Jerome Bettis to run out the clock. While the Steelers were unable to end the game on that possession, they handed it to the Bus seven times and ran off four minutes as they gave the ball back to Seattle with only 1:51 remaining in the game.
The Seahawks were able to move the ball into Steelers territory but ultimately they turned the ball over on downs and Roethlisberger kneeled down for the Steelers first Super Bowl title in 26 years.
Here is a highlight video from Steelers.com, which I suggest you watch. Also, here is the box score of the game. Enjoy the Super Bowl and hopefully next year the Steelers will be playing in the game.