The Steelers and Seahawks have very little in common. They operate in cities across the country from each other, play in separate conferences and usually only face off once every four years as the schedule dictates.
Both teams will be linked forever though because of Super Bowl XL, which took place Feb. 5, 2006, and resulted in a 21-10 Steelers victory and the franchise’s fifth NFL championship at Ford Field in Detroit.
No current Seahawk played in that game more than 13 years ago, and the only Steeler left who participated is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But with Seattle in town Sunday to take on the Steelers at Heinz Field, we thought it was as good a time as any to reminisce about that game and what was the Steelers’ first Lombardi Trophy since 1980.
Roethlisberger made the first of his three Super Bowl appearances in his sophomore NFL season. His box-score numbers weren’t particularly impressive — 9-of-21 for 123 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions — but he did score a rushing touchdown off a QB sneak in the second quarter.
The game’s MVP was receiver Hines Ward, who caught five balls for 123 yards, including a 43-yard touchdown thrown by fellow receiver Antwaan Randle El on a trick play.
That was the game’s most memorable play, but of equal importance was running back Willie Parker’s 75-yard touchdown run, which still stands as the longest run from scrimmage in Super Bowl history.
One of the sweetest parts of the victory was running back Jerome Bettis winning his first and only ring in his hometown. He retired after the game, riding off into the sunset as a Super Bowl champion.
Today, many non-Steelers fans remember Super Bowl XL for a few questionable calls that went Pittsburgh’s way. Those include whether or not that Roethlisberger QB sneak actually crossed the goal line, a touchdown catch by Seahawks receiver Darrell Jackson that was called back for offensive pass interference and another big reception by Seattle receiver Jerramy Stevens that didn’t stand due to a holding penalty on the offensive line.
Conspiracy theories abound about whether or not the game was fixed. Regardless, the Steelers won and celebrated accordingly.
The championship parade in Pittsburgh was also pretty lit.
The Steelers have gone 2-1 in three games against the Seahawks since Super Bowl XL. They lost their last matchup with Seattle in 2015, 39-30, though that game was at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle won’t have the benefit of the “12th Man” on Sunday at Heinz Field. Of course, the outcome of that game won’t leave quite the legacy the Steelers cemented that winter day in Detroit.