American Football: Seattle sail into Super Bowl as Pittsburgh prove mettle

This year's Super Bowl will be contested between the Seattle Seahawks and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who overcame Carolina and Denver respectively to book their places in American football's showcase event in Detroit on 5 February.

The Seahawks, who destroyed the Panthers 34-14, claimed their first Super Bowl berth in their 30-year history, while Pittsburgh, who upset Denver 34-17, have a chance at winning their first title since 1979.

Of the two, Pittsburgh had the tougher road to Detroit. They qualified for the play-offs as the lowest-ranked seeds, but became only the second team in the game's history to win three successive games away from home to claim their Super Bowl spot, their triumph on Sunday following road victories in Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

"We went to three different cities and shocked the world three different times," the linebacker Joey Porter said. "We weren't supposed to be in this situation, but we pulled it off."

They succeeded through outstanding play from their young quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, and punishing defence, which forced a succession of Denver errors. Roethlisberger completed 21 of his 29 pass attempts for 275 yards and two touchdowns. In contrast, Denver's passer, Jake Plummer, threw a pair of interceptions and also lost two fumbles.

It means that Pittsburgh's much-respected running back Jerome Bettis will end his 13-year career with a first Super Bowl appearance, and in his home city. It promises to be an expensive occasion. "He said all the meals will be on him when we get there," the linebacker Larry Foote said. "After the game he was so happy he kept saying 'yes, yes' to everything."

Unlike the Steelers, Seattle had qualified for post-season play as the top-ranked team in their conference, so their Super Bowl appearance is less of a surprise. The real shock in their rout of the Panthers was their humbling of the Carolina receiver Steve Smith. During the regular season Smith established his reputation as the sport's most complete receiver, but Seattle's unheralded defence restricted him to only five catches for 33 yards.

Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck threw two touchdowns, while the running back Shaun Alexander added 132 yards and two more scores on the ground.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Accounts Assistant - Fixed Term Contract - 6 Months

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...

Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£16575 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity is ava...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading and innovative con...

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue