Seahawks 0

(3-2, 1-2 away)

Steelers 21

(4-1, 3-0 home)

Coverage: FOX

1:00 PM ET, October 7, 2007

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA 

1 2 3 4 T
SEA 0 0 0 00
PIT 0 7 7 721

Top Performers

Passing: B. Roethlisberger (PIT) - 206 YDS, 1 TD

Rushing: W. Parker (PIT) - 28 CAR, 102 YDS

Receiving: C. Wilson (PIT) - 5 REC, 69 YDS

Big Ben, Davenport power Steelers to victory

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers' top defensive players stood on the sidelines for most of the second half, but only a couple of them were hurt. The rest stayed there simply because the offense wouldn't let them on the field.

Stingy Steelers

The Steelers' 4-1 start can by attributed partly to their stingy defense, which is off to a superb start of keeping their opponents off the scoreboard. Fewest points allowed by Steelers defense over first five games in franchise history:

Year Points allowed
1937 38
1936 40
1934 45
2007 47
1975 48
1978 56

The Steelers' 21-0 victory Sunday over Seattle, led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's improvising and creativity, might have been one of the few times where a shutout could be credited as much to the offense as the defense.

Pittsburgh's offense took nearly a half to get going, then couldn't be stopped as Roethlisberger directed three successive lengthy touchdown drives highlighted by Najeh Davenport's runs and a series of catches by backup receivers.

"Coach [Mike] Tomlin says that a lot: We've got 53 playmakers, and you've got to make plays when your number is called," Davenport said. "A lot of guys' numbers got called."

Called most of all was Roethlisberger's No. 7.

He bounced back from a two-interception performance in the previous week's 21-14 loss at Arizona to complete 13 consecutive passes. It was an impressive display of versatility given starting receivers Hines Ward (knee) and Santonio Holmes (hamstring) didn't play. The Steelers' record is 15 completions in a row by Bubby Brister in 1989.

Roethlisberger finished 18-of-22 for 206 yards and a touchdown.

"There were a lot of questions, obviously, with Hines being down and Santonio [being ruled out] right before the game, but there was no doubt in my mind those receivers would step up and they did a great job," Roethlisberger said. "They got open for me and caught the ball."

With Pittsburgh star Willie Parker held to 17 yards on 10 carries before he found a rhythm, the Steelers (4-1) stalled until the 247-pound Davenport ran 45 yards to the Seahawks 20 late in the second quarter of a scoreless game.

Roethlisberger found tight end Heath Miller for 13 yards and a touchdown with just under two minutes left in the half to finish off a 10-play drive. It was the first series of any consequence by either team after nine consecutive punts.

On an unusually warm day, the Seahawks got tired merely sitting on the sunny side of the field with the temperature in the high 80s. Members of Seattle's support staff created some shade by holding large protective screens over the players' heads.

It didn't help a defense that was on the field nearly the entire second half. The Steelers held a 24:53 to 5:07 edge in time of possession.

Scouts Buzz
These teams got little production from their wide receivers as Pittsburgh's Hines Ward was inactive and Santonio Holmes injured his hamstring in pre-game warmups and didn't play, and Seattle's Deion Branch was carted off in the second quarter. This put a lot of pressure on the quarterbacks. The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger showed great confidence and elevated his teammates, while the Seahawks' Matt Hasselbeck was unable to overcome the lack of support from his teammates.

Pittsburgh's secondary blanketed Seattle's pass-catchers. Seattle did mount a dominating pass rush, but Ben Roethlisberger did an exceptional job of moving his feet, keeping plays alive and shrugging off would-be tacklers. He threw strikes despite not always being able to set his feet and properly step into his throw, and he saw the entire field and threw with an exceptional touch. Roethlisberger's ability to keep plays and drives alive was the difference in this game. He was absolutely crucial in the field position battle in a game the Steelers played without several important players, helping Pittsburgh wear down the Seahawks and take control of the game in the second half. Roethlisberger is proving that his struggles last season were an aberration.
-- Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.
Complete Week 5 Scouts Buzz

Seattle completed only two passes in the second half against a Steelers defense that was missing two injured Pro Bowl players, safety Troy Polamalu (ribs) and nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring).

"We felt this game would be about attrition, we were going to beat on you and beat on you and beat on you until you give up," Davenport said. "I think the run I had sparked the offense and got things moving."

Of the Steelers' 18 receptions, only four were by a starter -- all by Miller. Cedrick Wilson had five catches for 69 yards, including three on a long third-quarter drive. Davenport had four catches. Nate Washington had three.

It wasn't quite a replay of the Steelers' 21-10 win over Seattle in the February 2006 Super Bowl, except for Pittsburgh's ability to prevent big plays by quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and running back Shaun Alexander. The Steelers led 342-144 in total offense.

"We broke down in some areas, and when you break down against a good football team, you're in trouble," Seattle safety Brian Russell said.

Hasselbeck was 13-of-27 for 116 yards. Alexander, playing with a broken left hand, managed 25 yards on 11 ineffective carries after gaining 353 yards in his first four games.

"I'm surprised, especially with them having two outstanding players missing off their defense, and we were feeling pretty good about our game offensively," tight end Marcus Pollard said of Seattle's first shutout loss since a 23-0 defeat to Miami in 2000.

Seattle clearly missed receiver Deion Branch, who sprained his right foot in the second quarter. He has frequently hurt the Steelers, with 16 catches in his three previous games against them while with New England.

The Seahawks' best chance to score came when Hasselbeck drove them to the Steelers 14 in the final minute before halftime, only to be intercepted by Ike Taylor at the goal line. That kept alive the Steelers' streak of not allowing a first-half touchdown this season. Seattle never threatened again.

Seattle (3-2) didn't even get the ball back until it trailed 14-0 late in the third quarter. Roethlisberger started the second half by directing the Steelers' best drive of the season, a 17-play, 80-yarder that lasted nearly 10{ minutes.

Because of penalties, the Steelers had 110 yards of offense on the drive, converting three times on third-and-long.

"I was a little disappointed, let me put it that way," Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. "Not much surprises me anymore, but I was disappointed in our ability to handle some of those third down conversions."

Davenport finished off that long possession by scoring from the 1, and he scored again from the 5 to cap Pittsburgh's next drive. Parker was starting to find running lanes by then and finished with 102 yards, his fourth 100-yard game this season.

Game notes

The Steelers are 3-0 at home, outscoring Buffalo, San Francisco and Seattle by a combined 84-19. ... Former Steelers coach Chuck Noll was a surprise guest and was introduced before kickoff. ... Parker's 100-yard game was the 17th of his career. ... The Steelers have given up only two field goals in the first half. ... Pittsburgh's last shutout was 41-0 over Cleveland late in 2005. ... The Steelers were 8-of-15 on third down.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs819
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays4666
Total Yards144342
Yards per play3.15.2
Total Drives1110
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-13-3
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

pitTD2:00Heath Miller, 13 yd pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed kick is good)
Drive info: 8 plays, 68 yds, 4:49
pitTD4:47Najeh Davenport, 1 yd run (Jeff Reed kick is good)
Drive info: 17 plays, 80 yds, 10:17
pitTD10:11Najeh Davenport, 5 yd run (Jeff Reed kick is good)
Drive info: 13 plays, 85 yds, 8:06