SUPER BOWL XL Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Seattle Seahawks 10 Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan February 5, 2006 Attendance: 68,206
Seattle Seahawks (NFC)
Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC)
Bill Cowher celebrates following the Steelers 21-10 win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
Antwaan Randle El threw 43 yards for a touchdown on a trick play and Willie Parker set a record with a 75-yard scoring run to highlight Pittsburgh's fifth championship, a 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL at Ford Field.
Ben Roethlisberger's controversial one-yard touchdown scramble with 1:55 left in the second quarter gave Pittsburgh the lead for good. The 23-year-old Roethlisberger became the youngest starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl, as the Steelers made it five titles in six trips to the big game. That equals the championship load carried by the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers.
After the game, Steelers running back and Detroit native Jerome Bettis announced his retirement after 13 NFL seasons.
"It's been an incredible ride and there's always a time when you have to call it quits," Bettis said. "I played this game to win a championship. I'm a champion and I think the Bus...the last time is here in Detroit."
Ike Taylor came up with a key interception to deny the Seahawks of a potential go-ahead TD early in the fourth quarter. The Steelers then worked the gadget play as Randle El, a former college quarterback, took the ball from Parker on a reverse and threw to Hines Ward to give Pittsburgh a 21-10 lead with 8:56 remaining.
Seattle punted on its next possession and the Steelers chewed up most of the remaining time with Roethlisberger passing and scrambling for first downs to finally give head coach Bill Cowher a Super Bowl title in his 14th season as head coach of the team.
It was special for Cowher in that he got a chance to present the Lombardi Trophy to Steelers owner Dan Rooney.
"He's what's great about the NFL," Cowher said. "I'm very fortunate and blessed to work for organization and a man like that."
The Steelers won the Super Bowl for the first time since January 20, 1980 against the Los Angeles Rams. Pittsburgh lost in its return to the big game to Dallas following the 1995 season.
Roethlisberger completed just 9-of-21 passes for 123 yards and was picked off twice, Parker ran for 93 yards on 10 carries, and Ward caught five balls for 123 yards and was named the game's MVP.
"It feels amazing," Roethlisberger. "To be able to win this here with Jerome in his hometown and with the offensive linemen and the other guys that put in a lot of work, it's just absolutely amazing. I finally get to shave, so I can't wait."
Matt Hasselbeck connected on 26-of-49 passes for 273 yards with a TD, but was picked off by Taylor at the Pittsburgh five early in the last quarter. Shaun Alexander, the season's NFL rushing champion, gained 95 yards on 20 carries.
"We just stalled out in the red zone," Hasselbeck said. "We just had opportunities to score touchdowns, but we didn't score touchdowns. We were moving the ball fine, rhythm, time of possession, first downs, yards...we just couldn't score touchdowns."
The Seahawks, in the Super Bowl for the first time in their 30-year history, were hurt by the kicking of Josh Brown, who missed two of his three field goal attempts. They were also penalized seven times for 70 yards.
Seattle took the ball from its own two-yard line to the Pittsburgh 27, bridging the end of the third into the fourth quarter. However, Hasselbeck's pass intended for Darrell Jackson was picked off by Taylor on the left side of the field and he returned the ball to the Pittsburgh 29. A low block penalty on Hasselbeck moved the ball to the 44.
Earlier in the sequence, an offensive holding call negated Hasselbeck's 18- yard completion to Jerramy Stevens that would have put Seattle at the one-yard line.
Roethlisberger ran for a first down on 3rd-and-2 and on the next play, the Steelers pulled the rabbit out of the hat and sealed the victory with Randle El's TD strike to Ward.
"It was a good play call and we kind of got them with their pants down," Parker said.
Seattle's last two possessions of the fourth resulted in a punt and turning the ball over on downs. Seattle got the ball back with 1:51 remaining and moved from its own 20 to the Pittsburgh 23, but had poor clock management before Hasselbeck's fourth down pass to Stevens fell incomplete with three seconds left.
"They accomplished, as a football team, quite a bit this year, and you can build on that," Seattle head coach Mike Holmgren said. "You don't have a great feeling after a game like this. I want them to remember that feeling and use it the next time they get in a game like this."
Brown's 47-yard field goal with 22 seconds left in the first quarter gave Seattle the lead, but he missed a 54-yard attempt with two seconds left in the half.
The Seahawks had a touchdown called back in the first quarter before Brown's field goal. Hasselbeck threw 16 yards over the middle for a score to Jackson, but it was taken away as the wide receiver was called for offensive pass interference.
Roethlisberger used his scrambling abilities to engineer an 11-play, 59-yard drive for the game's first TD. Grant Wistrom sacked Roethlisberger to push the ball back to the Seattle 40, setting up a 3rd-and-28. Roethlisberger then scrambled out of the pocket to the left side of the field before launching a 37-yard pass to Ward in the middle of the field.
Bettis was stopped on two runs up the middle, but on 3rd-and-goal Roethlisberger ran to the left and dove toward the end zone and was met by the shoulder of linebacker D.D. Lewis, and the ball barely hit the goal line. The play was reviewed by the officials, but the call stood and Holmgren argued and questioned the ruling when the half came to an end.
"To convert on that and have Ben score a touchdown, we had momentum going into (halftime)," Ward said. "We came out in the second half and Willie busted a wide open touchdown that put us up 14-3, so that was a huge play."
On just the second play from scrimmage of the second half, Parker found a hole on the right side and outraced the defense for the longest running play in Super Bowl history for a 14-3 Pittsburgh lead. That eclipsed the 74-yard TD run by the Raiders' Marcus Allen against Washington in Super Bowl XVIII.
Brown was wide left on a 50-yard field attempt on the Seahawks' next possession. Pittsburgh then drove to the Seattle 7, but faced with a 3rd- and-6, Roethlisberger's pass attempt to Cedrick Wilson on the right side was picked off by Kelly Herndon, who returned the ball a Super Bowl-record 76 yards.
The interception led to Hasselbeck's 16-yard TD strike to Stevens on the right side on a third down play with 6:45 left in the third.
Herndon's INT return eclipses the 75-yard effort from Oakland's Willie Brown in Super Bowl XI against Minnesota...Joe Jurevicius caught five passes for 93 yards and Bobby Engram had six catches for 70 yards for Seattle...Holmgren was attempting to become the first head coach to take two teams to Super Bowl titles. He won it with Green Bay over New England following the 1996 season...The Rolling Stones performed at halftime...Tom Brady, a three-time Super Bowl winner and two-time MVP with the Patriots, performed the coin toss...Seattle held the ball for 33:02 and outgained the Steelers, 396-339...The 31 total points are the fewest since the Steelers beat the Vikings, 16-6, in Super Bowl IX...The 26-year gap between titles is the second-longest in NFL history to the Packers, who went 29 years between championships...It's the first title for the city of Pittsburgh since the 1991-92 Penguins won the second of two straight Stanley Cups...The Steelers were the No. 6 seed in the AFC in the playoffs and derailed Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver on the road before playing in Detroit, less than 300 miles from Pittsburgh...Seattle was the No. 1 seed in the NFC and beat Washington and Carolina in the playoffs...Seahawks defensive back Marquand Manuel suffered a hip injury, while Rocky Bernard pulled his right hamstring.