Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10
It wasn’t the greatest game ever. It wasn’t even a great game. It was just a good game.
But since it was kind of an important game, let’s talk about it.
Ben Roethlisberger shook off some nerves in the first quarter (1 yard passing) by making a big throw in the second quarter, towing the line of scrimmage and chucking it to Hines Ward on 3rd-and-28. (3rd and 28?!) He capped off that drive by diving into the endzone with the ball grazing the white line ever so gently to put his team up for good, 7-3.
The next big score for Pittsburgh was a 75-yard scamper by Willie Parker. He broke Marcus Allen’s record for the longest TD run in the championship game by one yard.
The third big play touched five pairs of hands. Center Jeff Hartings snapped it to Roethlisberger, who tossed it to Willie Parker, who handed it to Antwaan Randle El on the reverse, who heaved it downfield to — take a wild guess — Hines Ward for their third and final touchdown.
In retrospect it was hard to believe that Seattle was never out of it until the second-to-last pass when Jerramy Stevens was tackled in bounds with 20 seconds to go. But when you look at the score and see they only had 10 points, you have to wonder why they didn’t score more.
They should have had 13, however. Kicker Josh Brown missed two field goals. One was from 50 yards out, the other was 54. Had either of those FG tries wobbled through the uprights, he would have made the game 21-13 and within reach on that last play.
While 10 points isn’t too much to hang your hat on, the Seahawk offensive line deserves an ocean of credit. They gave Matt Hasselbeck all the time in the world to throw, and they showed why two of those guys are playing in Hawaii next week.
Everyone on Pittsburgh contributed in this win, but somebody had to be the MVP because that trophy is difficult to break into pieces. Hines Ward, who was on the receiving end of two big plays, was given the “you da man” trophy. Although his catches were not as jaw-dropping as another former Steelers Super Bowl MVP (Lynn Swann), he caught five balls for 123 yards, exactly half of the balls caught by Pittsburgh. It would have been a little difficult to hand it to Roethlisberger, although he did lower his shoulder into some large defensive players and scored a touchdown. But he threw two interceptions, had as many passing yards as Hines Ward had receiving, and didn’t even throw the passing touchdown on his own team.
Oh, and some guy named Jerome Bettis is done playing football.
(By the way, halftime miraculously occurred the same time as The Simpsons. It was a good night.)