Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis – “the Bus” – confirmed after the game that he would retire after 13 NFL seasons, the last 10 with the Steelers, and so the script couldn’t have been written any better: a Super Bowl ring in his final game and doing it in his hometown.
“I think the Bus’ last stop is here in Detroit,” Bettis said.
He only had 43 yards on 14 carries, but he had a big block on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s skin-of-his-teeth touchdown in the second quarter – yet an even bigger moment was a solo entrance his teammates insisted upon during pre-game.
“Joey Porter told me, ‘It’s only right that you lead us out there – it’s your home,’ “Bettis said. “I was in awe.”
Just as his teammates have been for a decade.
“I promised Jerome that I’d get him here,” Roethlisberger said. “I didn’t promise him we’d win, but I promised I’d get him here and before the Cincinnati game I promised him I’d give him four game balls. It’s great to fulfill that.”
Putting on the blitz
Pittsburgh’s zone blitzing out of its 3-4 alignment caused the Seahawks some problems – two of the Steelers’ three sacks came off blitzes – but Seattle acquitted itself fairly well against a scheme they hadn’t seen since the midseason win against Dallas.
“They got us a couple of times,” said Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, “but we took advantage of it a few times, too. It’s a difficult scheme to play against because it puts a lot of pressure on the quarterback, but we got a couple of first downs against it, too.”
Said quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, “Just picking up the blitz is not the whole deal. You still have to throw and catch and run and sometimes that’s where we made our mistakes.”