Matt Hasselbeck

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Posted by pompos 04/20/2009 @ 12:08

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News headlines
Behind Enemy Lines: Seahawks/Cardinals Pt 2 - NorthwestFootball.Net
What's the likelihood of QB Matt Hasselbeck, LT Walter Jones and DE Patrick Kerney all staying healthy for the duration of the season? Doug Farrar: It's always dodgy when you're talking about NFL players in their early- to mid-thirties coming back from...
Michael Vick to Dog-Loving Seattle? Thankfully, It Will Never Happen - Bleacher Report
Mora and new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp, who coached Vick in Atlanta, are so excited that they finally have a bona fide NFL quarterback to run their offense in Pro Bowl passer Matt Hasselbeck. They know Hasselbeck gives the Seahawks a better...
Hasselbeck Doesn't Sweat the Off-Field Stuff - Kitsap Sun
By John Boyle For the Kitsap Sun Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has learned not to worry about outside elements. (Ted S. Warren | Associated Press) RENTON — Seattle's draft decisions a vote of confidence for QB Matt Hasselbeck and RB Julius Jones...
Back in contention? Seahawks must have healthy Hasselbeck -
Matt Hasselbeck's back injury was only part of an IR plague in Seattle last season. (AP) So far, there is no reason to believe Hasselbeck can't make it through next season, but as coach Jim Mora explained the other day you never know about injuries...
Butler adjusting to life on a different coast - NorthwestFootball.Net
Helping him along the way are players like S Deon Grant and the plethora of veteran receivers already on Seattle's roster as well as QB Matt Hasselbeck. "(Seattle's roster) is full of high character guys," Butler said. "It's guys that are willing the...
Take Five With Seattle Seahawks' QB Matt Hasselbeck - Bleacher Report
Indeed this off season will be an interesting one for Hasselbeck. He's seen offensive guide Mike Holmgren replaced, favorite target Bobby Engram depart for Kansas City and a modified playbook thrust upon him. Q/ A lot has changed in Seattle during the...
SI scribe: Season will depend on Matt Hasselbeck's back - Seattle Times
But this team will sink or swim on the back of Matt Hasselbeck. Jim Mora told me in about 16 different ways Hasselbeck's back is fine. Hasselbeck has echoed that repeatedly, but let's see how he holds up when the real games start....
After '08 swoon, top pick Curry should boost defense in Seattle - USA Today
How will 33-year-old quarterback Matt Hasselbeck rebound after missing nine games last season with a bulging disk in his back? How effective will offensive tackle Walter Jones and defensive end Patrick Kerney be after surgeries?...
Seattle's '09 Fortunes Rest on the Healthy Back of Matt Hasselbeck - Bleacher Report
Most importantly however, is the return of a fully healthy Hasselbeck. Now seven full months removed from the back injuries that plagued him all last year, Hasselbeck says he's 100 percent and ready for a deep postseason run. As long as Hasselbeck is...
12th Man Rising Featured on - 12th Man Rising
In addition to how the team will fare next season with a new coaching staff, Kemmeter inquired about the health of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and how Seattle's success is dependent on his well-being. Questions were also asked about Seattle's new zone...

Matt Hasselbeck

Matt Hasselbeck.jpg

Matthew Hasselbeck (born September 25, 1975, in Boulder, Colorado) is an American football quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round of the 1998 NFL Draft.

Hasselbeck was born to Mary Beth (Betsy) and Don Hasselbeck (a former NFL New England Patriots tight end). His grandmother is Millie Reilly and his step-grandfather is Bill Reilly. Matt and younger brothers Tim Hasselbeck and Nathanael grew up in Norfolk, Massachusetts and attended Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood. He was selected as an honorable mention All-American, by USA Today as a senior, and then played college football at nearby Boston College. He graduated with a degree in marketing and finance .

Hasselbeck was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the sixth round (187th overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft.

Matt married to his college sweetheart, Sarah Egnaczyk on June 17 2000. The two knew one another since age 17 and both were sports players at Boston College, Matt in football and Sarah in field hockey. Sarah graduated summa cum laude as an accounting major . Together they have a son Henry (2005), and two daughters: Annabelle (2002) and Mallory (2003) .

Hasselbeck began his professional career with the Green Bay Packers, where he joined the practice squad in 1998 and then backed-up starter Brett Favre for two seasons, beginning in 1999.

Hasselbeck joined former head coach Mike Holmgren and the Seattle Seahawks on March 2, 2001. The Packers traded him, along with their first (17th overall) and seventh-round draft picks, to the Seahawks for their first (10th overall) and third-round draft picks.

After the trade Hasselbeck became the starting quarterback for the Seahawks and started 52 games between 2001 and 2004. In his early years in Seattle he battled for playing time with Trent Dilfer.

In 2004, Hasselbeck won the 2004 NFL Quarterback Challenge.

In 2005, Hasselbeck had one of his most productive career performances, earning the highest passer rating in the NFC, and leading the Seahawks to the playoffs for the third consecutive year. He led his team to Super Bowl XL which he lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was the starting quarterback for the NFC in the 2006 Pro Bowl.

Hasselbeck led the Seahawks to a 4-1 record to start the 2006 season before being seriously injured on Week 7. Minnesota linebacker E.J. Henderson rolled into Hasselbeck's right leg. The result was a second degree MCL sprain, causing Hasselbeck to miss four games. Hasselbeck contended that Henderson could have avoided injuring him. Upon returning he subsequently broke fingers on his non-throwing hand, but continued to lead his team to a 9–7 record and to the divisional round of the postseason. The fourth-seeded Seahawks defeated the Dallas Cowboys by a point in the wild card round in Seattle, then lost at top-seeded Chicago in overtime, 27–24.

In 2007, Hasselbeck led his team to its fourth consecutive division title and fifth consecutive playoff appearance with 3,966 passing yards, 28 touchdowns (both career highs), 62.6% completion percentage, and a 91.4 quarterback rating. He threw for 229 yards in a 35-14 NFC wild card victory over the Washington Redskins. The third-seeded Seahawks lost in the divisional round to the NFC's #2 seed Green Bay, losing 42–20 in the snow at Lambeau Field despite an early 14–0 lead.

Hasselbeck set career highs in yards, attempts, and touchdown passes in the 2007 season, and was elected to his third Pro Bowl.

In 2008, Hasselback suffered from a back injury that affected a nerve in his lower back, creating a weakness in his leg that brought on a knee injury. Hasselback twisted his back awkwardly in the preseason opener on Aug. 8 at Minnesota and missed the rest of the preseason. His bulging disk was diagnosed and treated with injections and he opened the regular season as the starter, but he hurt his knee after a hit early in the Seahawks' loss to the New York Giants on Oct. 5. He also received a helmet-to-helmet hit vs. the Arizona Cardinals. These injuries caused Hasselback to miss most of the 2008 NFL season.

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Boston College Eagles football

Boston College football team, 1893

The Boston College Eagles football team is the collegiate football program of Boston College. The team is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, a Division I Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) league governed by the NCAA. Within the ACC, the Eagles are one of six teams in the Atlantic Division. Begun in 1892, Boston College was one of six "Major College" football programs in New England as designated by NCAA classifications, starting in 1938. By 1981, and for the remainder of the twentieth century, BC was New England's sole Division I-A program. It has amassed a 601-419-36 record and is 71-30-0 since the turn of the century. In 2007, the Eagles captured the ACC's Atlantic Division Championship and finished the season ranked in the AP Top 10 for the first time since 1984. They also achieved a mid-season #2 ranking, their highest since being ranked #1 in 1942.

Most recently, the team was coached by Jeff Jagodzinski, however he was fired on January 7, 2009 after interviewing for the head coaching job with the New York Jets. The Eagles' home games are played at Alumni Stadium on the Boston College campus in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. In addition to success on the gridiron, Boston College football teams are consistently ranked among the nation's best for academic achievement and graduation. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, the football team's Academic Progress Rate was the highest of any school that finished the season ranked in the AP or ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls.

In 1892, Boston College President Edward Ignatius Devitt, S.J., grudgingly agreed to the requests of two undergraduates, Joseph F. O'Connell of the class of 1893 and Joseph Drum of the class of 1894, to start a varsity football team. Drum would become the first head coach, albeit an unpaid position and O'Connell was captain. On October 26, 1893, BC played its first official game against the St. John's Literary Institute of Cambridge followed by its first intercollegiate game against MIT. BC won the first game 4-0, but lost 6-0 to MIT. Two of the original team's alumni had particularly significant careers: captain Joseph Drum became the first BC graduate to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and running back James Carlin became president of the College of the Holy Cross.

In 1896, Boston College and Holy Cross began what was to become one of the most storied rivalries in college football. For much of the early to mid 20th century, BC and The Cross drew some of New England's largest sports crowds. In 1913, BC began playing home games at Alumni Field.

To accommodate larger crowds, the Holy Cross game was routinely held at larger venues off campus, with the 1916 matchup taking place at the newly constructed Fenway Park. A record 54,000 attended the 1922 game at Braves Field, home of the Boston Braves baseball team. On November 28, 1942, BC lost in a huge upset to Holy Cross by a score of 55-12. This led to the BC players not attending their scheduled victory celebration at the Cocoanut Grove nightclub, which burned down that night. By the late 1970s the Holy Cross game had become more of a tradition than a rivalry, as Holy Cross football had long since ceased being a major power. By 1980, the game was no longer part of the student ticket package, and was mostly attended by alumni. In 1986 Holy Cross changed the direction of its football program, joining the Division 1-AA Patriot League, and terminated the series. BC had won 17 of the last 20 games.

The 1940 season can arguably be called the greatest year in the history of Boston College football. BC's undefeated (11-0) and untied team captured the 1941 Sugar Bowl championship and earned the nickname "Team of Destiny". Five members of that storied team have been inducted into the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame: end Eugene Goodreault (50); guard George Kerr (47); center Chet Gladchuk, Sr. (45); fullback Michael Holovak (12); and halfback Charles O’Rourke (13). It included a 19-18 victory over Georgetown before 41,700 fans at sold-out Fenway Park, that was called one of the greatest games ever by famed sportswriter Grantland Rice. Going into the game, the Hoyas had twenty-two consecutive victories spanning three seasons. BC trailed until the third quarter, when a 43 yard touchdown pass from Charlie O'Rourke to Monk Maznicki put the Eagles ahead. With just seconds remaining, BC had the ball on their own nine, fourth down and 18 to go. Georgetown set up to return the Eagles’ punt. Instead of punting, O’Rourke scrambled in his own end zone for 45 seconds then took a safety. BC used the free kick to boot the ball far downfield and dashed the Hoyas' three-season unbeaten record. Legendary Coach Frank Leahy took his undefeated Eagles on to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans where they beat Tennessee. A banner on BC's campus commemorating the team uses the phrase "national champions," but Boston College was not awarded a national championship by any of the national polls, and BC's claim that it has won a national championship is not recognized by any independent organization. According to the NCAA, 14 polling organizations awarded national championships in 1940 but none of them declared Boston College the champion.

In November 2008, Doug Flutie was honored by Boston College with a statue of his famous “Hail Mary” pass to Gerard Phelan to beat Miami.

In recent years, Notre Dame has become one of BC's football rivals. Today, ND is the only other Catholic university playing NCAA Division I-A football. The match up was dubbed the "Holy War" in 1975, and has acquired a number of other nicknames over the years. The two teams battle for the Frank Leahy Memorial Bowl and the Ireland Trophy.

The series produced one of the top moments in college football history when in 1993, David Gordon kicked a wobbly 41-yard field goal as time expired to beat top-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame 41-39, ending Irish hopes for a national championship. During the 2002 matchup in South Bend, Indiana, Notre Dame came into the game undefeated at 8-0, wearing their celebrated green jerseys (which since 1981 had only been worn against archrival USC or in bowl games). BC won the game 14-7, putting an end – again – to Notre Dame's dreams of an undefeated season. The series was played annually from 1992 to 2004 and resumed in 2007, though its future after 2010 is uncertain.

Boston College's Cody Williams earned some negative press in 1996 when news broke that some football players had bet against BC in a bad loss on October 26 to Syracuse. After the 45-17 beating by the Orange, word leaked out to Head Coach Dan Henning that several players may have bet against the team in the game, and the coach subsequently told the university administration. Following an investigation by the university and law enforcement officials, 13 players would be suspended from the team for the season for placing illegal bets — six permanently from the football program. As a result of the scandal and a mediocre 16-19-1 record as coach, Henning resigned at then end of the 1996 season.

In December 1996 BC hired a 1971 Navy graduate and the former Virginia offensive coordinator Tom O'Brien. O'Brien arrived at The Heights with plans to revive the program after the team had been tarnished in the wake of the scandal. With good recruiting skills and a strong coaching staff around him, notably offensive coordinator Dana Bible and defensive coordinator Frank Spaziani, O'Brien has turned the program into a consistent top-25 team. The team has also been helped by increased exposure on the national stage due to the move to the ACC and, more recently, improved facilities in the form of the Yawkey Center.

Following two mediocre seasons in 1997 (4-7) and 1998 (4-7), O'Brien's vision of a re-built football program began to take shape. In 1999, the Eagles finished the regular season 8-3 including a 31-29 win at Notre Dame Stadium on November 20. BC had earned itself its first bowl berth since being ensnarled in the 1996 gambling scandal. Despite the excitement of its first postseason game in five years, Boston College laid an egg at the Bowl in Tucson, Arizona, getting squashed by the University of Colorado, 62-28. In 2000 BC finished the regular season at 6-5 with just enough wins to be bowl-eligible and found themselves in Honolulu for the Aloha Bowl where they downed Arizona State 31-17, giving O'Brien his first bowl victory as head coach.

The year 2001 saw Boston College end a 21-game losing streak to ranked opponents when, in the Music City Bowl, the Eagles beat No. 16 Georgia 20-16 to finish at 8-5. But the most memorable moment of the year came in another thrilling game against then-No. 1 Miami at Alumni Stadium. Trailing 12-7 BC stood at the Hurricanes 9-yard-line, poised to win with just over 20 seconds left in the contest, but a freak interception thrown by Eagles quarterback Brian St. Pierre cost BC the game. St. Pierre threw too low for BC receiver Ryan Read, and the pass ricocheted off a Miami defender's leg and fell into the hands of Ed Reed, who returned it 80 yards for a touchdown — preserving a win for the Hurricanes and keeping its hopes alive for a national championship, which they would eventually win. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the season had several highs including running back William Green rushing for 1,559 yards and being the top RB taken in the 2002 NFL Draft; eight wins for the first time since 1993; and the team finished the season ranked (No. 21) for the first time since 1994.

Over the next few years the team posted respectable win-loss records and continued to win bowl games. In 2002, BC went 9-4 and won the Motor City Bowl, in 2003 they were 8-5 with a victory in the San Francisco Bowl and finished 9-3 in 2004 with a win in the Continental Tire Bowl. The year 2004 would be the Eagles final campaign in the Big East, and it finished the season in a four-way tie atop the league — a year in which they closed the season ranked No. 21 in both major polls.

BC holds the active national record for consecutive bowl victories, having won a postseason bowl game in each of the past eight years. BC footballers routinely rank at or near the top in Division 1-A for best graduation rate and were ranked sixth nationally in Student-Athlete GPA for 2004-05. As of June 2005, 20 Boston College football players were on NFL rosters. Among the more notable: Marc Colombo '02 (Cowboys), Doug Flutie '85 (Patriots), William Green '02 (Browns), Matt Hasselbeck '98 (Seahawks), Chris Hovan '00 (Bucs), Dan Koppen '03 (Patriots), Tom Nalen '94 (Broncos), and Damien Woody '99 (Lions).

Mathias Kiwanuka, BC defensive end who earned Big East Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2004, was drafted by the New York Giants in the April 2006 NFL Draft. The Giants are coached by former BC Head Football Coach Tom Coughlin.

On December 6, 2006, O'Brien decided to leave the Eagles and replace Chuck Amato as head coach at NC State. He was replaced by then Green Bay Packers' offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski.

Boston College moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference in time for the 2005 season and the football team faced a new schedule of opponents. BC football earned its first ACC win at Clemson on September 24 and finished the year at 8-3 including a 5-3 conference record, tied for the Atlantic Division title with Florida State, and the Eagles were invited to the MPC Computers Bowl where they defeated Boise State on the Broncos' home blue turf. BC ended the 2005-06 campaign at No. 17 in the coaches' poll and at No. 18 in the AP poll. Boston College won nine games for the second straight year and the third time in four years, while the senior class tied the school record for most wins in a four-year period with 35 (1939-42).

The Eagles, under first year coach Jeff Jagodzinski, the Boston College Eagles started their season 8-0, featuring a dramatic last-minute win engineered by QB Matt Ryan against Virginia Tech. They rose to Number 2, a position not held by a BC football team since the 1940s. Florida State upset the Eagles in the 9th week, ending Boston College's hopes of contending for a National Championship. After a second consecutive loss, this time to Maryland, they beat Clemson to clinch a position in the ACC Championship Game. The next week they beat Miami for the first time since "Hail Flutie" in 1984, and sent Miami to their first bowl-ineligible season in 9 years. A loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game, however, dashed Boston College's hopes of its first BCS bowl bid.

Despite their #2 conference ranking, #14 BCS ranking and 10-3 record the Eagles were the 4th overall bowl selection in their conference and were chosen by the Champs Sports Bowl. Due to loopholes in the ACC bowl selection process the Chick-fil-A Bowl used its #2 pick to select Clemson, a team BC had beaten on the road. With the third choice the Gator Bowl selected Virginia. Both Clemson and Virginia had 9-3 records and only 1 win each over ranked teams to BC's 3 wins (over ranked opponents). This made Boston College and its former conference rival Connecticut the only bowl-eligible teams in 2007 that received a bowl bid lower than its conference ranking.

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Super Bowl XL

Ford Field on Super Bowl XL Sunday, countdown to kickoff on Comerica Park's score board.

Super Bowl XL featured the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Seattle Seahawks to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2005 season. The Steelers defeated the Seahawks, 21–10, to join the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys as the only franchises to have won five Super Bowls, a tie the Steelers themselves broke with their 2008 victory. The game, played on February 5, 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, drew a 41.6 rating with a 62 share in the audience.

The Steelers, after finishing the regular season with a 11-5 record, became the fourth wild card team, and third in nine years, to win the Super Bowl and also became the first #6 seed in the NFL playoffs to win a Super Bowl (after becoming the first #6 seed to win a conference title). Meanwhile, the Seahawks entered the contest after posting an NFC-best 13-3 regular season record.

Although Seattle won the turnover battle in Super Bowl XL, 2–1, Pittsburgh won on the strength of three big plays converted into touchdowns. The Seahawks, on the other hand, were plagued by missed scoring opportunities, dropped balls, and penalties. The officiating was also met with harsh criticism from some fans and media soon after the game. Seattle scored first late in the first quarter on Josh Brown's 47-yard field goal, a few plays after an offensive "pushing off" pass interference call against wide receiver Darrell Jackson nullified his 16-yard touchdown reception. Then with less than two minutes left in the first half, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ran for 1-yard sneak. The touchdown was reviewed automatically and upheld when replays were unable to provide visual evidence that the ball had not crossed the plane of the end zone line as ruled on the field.

Pittsburgh took a 14–3 lead on their first drive in the second half with running back Willie Parker's Super Bowl record 75-yard touchdown run. The Seahawks then scored on tight end Jerramy Stevens's 16-yard touchdown reception, and later threatened to take the lead early in the fourth quarter, but a holding call against right tackle Sean Locklear nullified an 18-yard gain to the Pittsburgh 1-yard line. Three plays later, Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor intercepted a Hasselbeck pass; Adding insult to injury, during the return Matt Hasselbeck was penalized for a low block call (crashing into an opponents legs), which NFL officials would acknowledge was incorrect during a May 2006 meeting between officials and Seahawks coaching staff.

Ford Field was selected to host Super Bowl XL on November 1, 2000, two years before the stadium opened in 2002; the only previous Super Bowl held in the Detroit area, Super Bowl XVI, had been played at the Pontiac Silverdome in 1982.

The NFL promoted the game under the slogan "The Road to Forty". The slogan not only honored the 40-year history of the game, but was a nod to Detroit's traditional role as the center of the U.S. automotive industry. In a related note, Roger Penske, owner of car dealerships, racing teams, and other related companies, headed the Super Bowl XL host committee.

This was the first Super Bowl to be played on the FieldTurf surface; each of the previous Super Bowls had been played either on natural grass or on AstroTurf.

The Seahawks became the first team to have their city/state location painted in their end zone for a Super Bowl, as their end zone read Seattle Seahawks. In Super Bowl XLIII, the Arizona Cardinals became the second team to have this, as their end zone read Arizona Cardinals. For all other Super Bowl teams, end zones have just featured the team nickname.

After stumbling to a 7-5 start, the Steelers rebounded and entered Super Bowl XL finishing the regular season with an 11-5 record. (Although the team finished tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for the division lead, the Bengals won the tiebreaker for the AFC North championship based on better divisional record.) They also became the first team ever to defeat the top three seeded teams on the road in the playoffs (#3 Cincinnati, #1 Indianapolis and #2 Denver). In addition, the team became the first sixth-seeded team to reach both a conference championship game and the Super Bowl since the NFL expanded to a 12-team playoff format in 1990.

Under Bill Cowher's reign as head coach since 1992, the Steelers had been one of the top teams in the NFL, making the playoffs in 10 out of his 14 seasons, advancing to the AFC Championship Game six times, and making an appearance in Super Bowl XXX, losing to the Dallas Cowboys 27-17. After having finished the 2003 season with a 6-10 record and after splitting its first two games to open 2004, Pittsburgh lost starting quarterback Tommy Maddox to injury. Maddox was replaced by rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who was drafted with the 11th pick in the 2004 NFL Draft but was not expected to play during his rookie season. Nevertheless, Roethlisberger led the Steelers to victory in all of the team's 14 remaining regular season games, giving Pittsburgh a 15-1 record and making the Steelers the first AFC team ever to win 15 games. However, the Steelers lost to eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

Pittsburgh began the 2005 season by winning seven of its first nine games, but suffered a major setback when both Roethlisberger and his backup, Charlie Batch, went down with injuries. With Maddox back as the starter, the team was upset by Baltimore and dropped two more games after Roethlisberger's return, falling to then-undefeated Indianapolis, and division rival Cincinnati. The postseason hopes of the Steelers were in peril, but the team recovered to win its final four regular season games and to claim the sixth—and final—seed in the AFC playoffs.

Roethlisberger was efficient in his 12 regular season games, throwing for 2,385 yards and seventeen touchdowns with nine interceptions, while adding three rushing touchdowns. The Steelers' main receiving threat was wide receiver Hines Ward, who led the team with 69 receptions for 975 yards and eleven touchdowns. His 69 catches gave him a career total of 574, surpassing a franchise record for receptions previously held by Hall of Famer John Stallworth. On the other side of the field, speedy wide receiver Antwaan Randle El was a constant breakaway threat, catching 35 passes for 558 yards, while gaining 448 yards and two touchdowns on punt returns. Rookie tight end Heath Miller also recorded 39 receptions for 459 yards and six touchdowns.

Pittsburgh's main strength on offense, however, was its running game. Running back Willie Parker was the team's leading rusher with 1,202 yards, while also recording 18 catches for 218 yards and scoring five touchdowns. In short-yardage situations, the team relied on 255-pound running back Jerome Bettis, who rushed for 368 yards and scored nine touchdowns. The 33-year-old Bettis finished his 13th NFL season as the league's fifth all-time leading rusher (13,662 yards and 91 touchdowns), but until this point he had never played in a Super Bowl. The Steelers rushing attack was powered by an offensive line led by Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca and Pro Bowl reserve center Jeff Hartings.

The Steelers defense ranked fourth in the NFL, giving up 284.0 total yards per game. The Pittsburgh defense was led by its linebacking corps: Joey Porter, James Farrior, Clark Haggans, and Larry Foote. Porter led all NFL linebackers with 10.5 quarterback sacks and also recorded two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Haggans tallied nine sacks and 40 tackles, while Farrior added a team-high 119 tackles to go with his two sacks and one fumble recovery. In the secondary, free safety Chris Hope led the team with three interceptions, while Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu, the team's top threat in the defensive backfield, notched 91 tackles, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, and two interceptions.

The Steelers became just the third team to win the Super Bowl despite not playing a single home game in the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers, who won Super Bowl I (against the Kansas City Chiefs), and the Kansas City Chiefs, who won Super Bowl IV (against the Minnesota Vikings), also accomplished the feat. The Steelers, however, had to win four games to accomplish the feat, while the Chiefs won three and Packers won only two games.

Of a "bridging the eras" moment, Steelers cornerback Willie Williams was the last remaining player to have been on the Steelers last Super Bowl team, their Super Bowl XXX loss to the Dallas Cowboys following the 1995 season. (Defensive backs coach Darren Perry was also a player on the Super Bowl XXX team. Both were starters in that game.) Ironically, Williams, who was in his second stint with the Steelers at the time, played with Seattle from 1997-2003. He would be inactive for Super Bowl XL, which like Bettis would turn out to be his final NFL game before retiring that offseason.

The Seahawks entered Super Bowl XL after finishing the regular season with an NFC-best 13-3 record. After a rocky 2-2 start, they won 11 consecutive games before losing to the Green Bay Packers to finish the season. The 13-3 record and 11-game winning streak set new team records.

This was Seattle's first Super Bowl appearance in the team's 30-year history. The Seahawks had been mediocre for much of the 1990s, recording eight consecutive non-winning seasons from 1991 through 1998. The team hit a low point in 1996, when then-owner Ken Behring announced his intention to move the team to the Los Angeles area. The team's fortunes began to turn in 1997, when Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen bought the team and brokered a deal to build a new football stadium, Qwest Field, to replace the aging Kingdome. Mike Holmgren, who had led the Green Bay Packers to Super Bowls XXXI and XXXII, became head coach in 1999. He became the fifth coach to take two different teams to the Super Bowl. Joe Jurevicius became the sixth player to play in a Super Bowl with three different teams.

Behind Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle finished the 2005 season as the league's top offense, scoring 452 points. Hasselbeck completed 65.5% of his passes for 3,455 yards and 24 touchdowns (against just nine interceptions) and added 124 yards and one touchdown on the ground. Shaun Alexander, who had scored at least sixteen touchdowns in each of the previous four seasons, had the best campaign of his career, leading the league with 1,880 rushing yards and scoring an NFL-record 28 touchdowns, for which he was rewarded with the NFL Most Valuable Player Award. Although the Seahawks suffered injuries to starting wide receivers Darrell Jackson and Bobby Engram throughout the season, the passing game nevertheless proved potent, as Engram managed 67 receptions for 778 yards. Joe Jurevicius, a backup when the season began, started eleven games and made 55 catches for 694 yards and ten touchdowns; tight end Jerramy Stevens also emerged as a Hasselbeck target, catching 45 passes for 554 yards and scoring five touchdowns. Hasselbeck was protected and Alexander was given time to run by a stout offensive line, led by Pro Bowl offensive tackle Walter Jones, guard Steve Hutchinson, and center Robbie Tobeck, and by bruising Pro Bowl fullback Mack Strong.

Though unheralded—rookie middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu was the Seahawks' only defensive Pro Bowler—the Seahawks defense recorded 50 quarterback sacks, leading the NFL in that category; defensive end Bryce Fisher led the Seahawks with nine sacks, while defensive tackle Rocky Bernard added 8.5 and veteran defensive end Grant Wistrom recorded four. Despite starting two rookies at linebacker for most of the year, the Seattle linebacking corp played well, led by Tatupu, who topped the team with 104 tackles and added four sacks, three interceptions, and one fumble recovery. From his strong safety position, Michael Boulware led the team with four interceptions and also tallied two sacks and one fumble recovery. The Seattle secondary suffered injuries throughout the year, notably to free safety Ken Hamlin; second-year cornerback Jordan Babineaux played well as he appeared in all sixteen games for Seattle, intercepting three passes and making 61 tackles. For the year, the defense surrendered just 271 points, 181 fewer than the Seahawks offense scored.

The chart below provides a comparison of regular season statistics in key categories (overall rank amongst 32 teams in parentheses).

The Steelers became the second team after the 1985 New England Patriots to win three road playoff games to reach the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh defeated the third-seeded Bengals, 31-17; the top-seeded Colts, 21-18 in the Immaculate Redemption/Tackle II game; and the second-seeded Denver Broncos, 34-17, in the AFC Championship Game. The Steelers also became the ninth wild-card team to go to the Super Bowl and the fourth in nine seasons. The Steelers' catchphrase for the playoffs was "One for the Thumb".

Meanwhile, the Seahawks became the first team to advance to the Super Bowl without playing a division champion in the playoffs. Off a first-round bye, Seattle defeated the sixth-seeded Washington Redskins, 20-10, before eliminating the fifth-seeded Carolina Panthers, 34-14, in the NFC Championship Game. These were Seattle's first playoff victories since the 1984 season when they defeated the Los Angeles Raiders 13-6.

The game was televised in the United States by ABC with play-by-play announcer Al Michaels, color commentator John Madden, who was named the day before to the Class of 2006 by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and sideline reporters Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber. This was the sixth Super Bowl telecast for Michaels, and the tenth for Madden (whose first was Super Bowl XVI, also played in Michigan). The opening theme was sung by Hank Williams Jr., who was later spotted in the stands wearing Steelers regalia.

Although the Super Bowl had largely been presented in high definition since Super Bowl XXXIV, Super Bowl XL would be the first Super Bowl where all aspects of the game itself were aired in HD.

With the expiration of the current television contracts among ABC, CBS, ESPN and FOX following the 2005 season, this game served as the final telecast for ABC after 36 seasons with the NFL, at least for the foreseeable future. It was the second (after Super Bowl XXXVII) Super Bowl telecast, and final ABC telecast, for the broadcast team of Michaels and Madden, who would call Sunday night NFL games on NBC beginning with the 2006 season.

With the Steelers win, they became the fourth team to win Super Bowls on three different networks (NBC-IX and XIII, CBS-X and XIV, and ABC).

Chris Berman, from Disney-owned corporate sibling ESPN, returned to host ABC's pregame show, as he had done for the network's coverage of Super Bowls XXXIV and XXXVII. Berman was joined by his fellow analysts from ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown pregame show: Michael Irvin, Tom Jackson, and Steve Young, along with co-host Mike Tirico and New England Patriots head coach (and three-time Super Bowl winner) Bill Belichick.

Since the game was being played close to the U.S.-Canada border, Canadian television rights holders Global broadcast portions of an NFL-sponsored "Passport To The Super Bowl" event in nearby Windsor, Ontario, featuring a performance by the newly-revived 1980s rock group INXS with Canadian native lead singer J.D. Fortune, though the network limited coverage of the Windsor event to short segments immediately prior to commercial breaks.

The game was also televised in Australia (SBS), Austria (ORF and TW1), Brazil (ESPN International), Denmark (TV 2), Finland (MTV3), France (France 2), Germany (ARD), Hungary (Sport 1), Iceland (SÝN), Ireland (Sky Sports), Italy (Sky Sports 3 and Italia 1), Japan (NHK BS-1, NTV), Mexico (TV Azteca), the Netherlands (SBS6), New Zealand (ESPN International/SKY TV), Portugal (SportTV), Slovenia (Prva TV), Spain (Canal +), Sweden (ZTV), and UK (ITV/Sky Sports). According to the NFL, the game was available worldwide in 32 languages.

The main NFL international feed of the game featured FOX broadcasters Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnston providing commentary tailored to those largely unfamiliar with the rules of American football.

Westwood One/CBS Radio provided radio coverage in the United States, with the broadcasting team of Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason.

Sirius Satellite Radio and carried international local-language broadcasts from the United Kingdom (BBC Radio Five Live), Spain (Canal Plus Spain), Russia (NTV), Belgium (BeTV, in French), China (SMG), and Japan (NTV), in addition to the press box intercom and the public address announcer feeds.

During the pre-game ceremonies, Stevie Wonder, along with Joss Stone, India.Arie, and John Legend, performed a medley of Wonder's hits. The Four Tops also performed during the pregame ceremonies, though the performance was not televised. In honor of the fortieth Super Bowl, the pre-game ceremony featured the on-field introduction of 30 of the previous 34 Super Bowl Most Valuable Players (with the exception of Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Jake Scott, and the late Harvey Martin). The absences of Montana and Bradshaw were originally reported to have been due to disagreements over appearance funds to be paid by the NFL, but each later rebutted such reports, suggesting that they had prior family commitments; Scott was reported to have been traveling through Australia.

A moment of silence was observed in memory of the two civil rights activists who had died during the months prior to the game: Coretta Scott King (six days earlier) and Rosa Parks (on October 24, 2005), the latter a long-time Detroit resident.

Singers Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville, along with pianist Dr. John and a 150-member choir, performed the national anthem as part of a pre-game tribute to New Orleans, a nine-time Super Bowl host city then in the midst of efforts to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The national anthem was performed in American Sign Language by Angela LaGuardia, a teacher at Michigan School for the Deaf.

Tom Brady, MVP of Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII, became the first active player to participate in a Super Bowl coin toss, the result of which toss was tails, as selected by Seattle. Brady was booed by the Pittsburgh fans in the stadium during the coin toss.

The Steelers became only the third franchise to wear white jerseys despite being the "home" team; the Cowboys (Super Bowls XIII and XXVII) and the Redskins (Super Bowl XVII), both of whom traditionally wear white at home, are the other two. Bill Cowher stated that the Steelers were playing in Detroit, not Pittsburgh, and therefore it wasn't a "home" game (although 10 years earlier Cowher's Steelers did wear their black home jerseys as the "home" team in Super Bowl XXX at Tempe, Arizona away from Pittsburgh, where they had won both their playoff games to reach that Super Bowl). The Steelers became the first AFC club to don their white jerseys as "home" team.

The Rolling Stones performed during the halftime show, which was sponsored by the American telecommunications company Sprint. The group performed three songs: "Start Me Up", "Rough Justice", and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". In the wake of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show controversy with Janet Jackson, ABC and the NFL imposed a five-second delay and censored lyrics considered too sexually explicit in the first two songs by briefly turning off Mick Jagger's microphone; the group had previously agreed to the censoring.

However, the choice of The Rolling Stones sparked controversy in the Detroit community because the band did not represent the music of Detroit and no other artist from the area was included.

The post-game presentation saw Bart Starr, the MVP of Super Bowls I and II, take the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the podium, whence it was presented to Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

After the first four possessions of the game ended with punts, Seahawks punt returner Peter Warrick gave his team good field position by returning Chris Gardocki's 37-yard punt 12 yards to Seattle's 49-yard line. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck then started off the drive with a pair of completions to receivers Darrell Jackson and Joe Jurevicius for gains of 20 and 11 yards, respectively. On the third play of the drive, Jackson caught a pass in the end-zone, apparently for a touchdown, but the play was nullified on a pass interference penalty on Jackson for pushing off his defender. Running back Shaun Alexander ran the ball the next two plays, but gained only three yards. Hasselbeck's third-down pass attempt fell incomplete, and the Seahawks were forced to settle for a 47-yard field goal by kicker Josh Brown. By the end of the first quarter, the Steelers had failed to gain a first down, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had completed one of five pass attempts for one yard. On their first second-quarter possession, Pittsburgh once more was forced to punt after three plays, but benefited from another Seahawks penalty, a holding call that nullified Warrick's 34-yard punt return. The Steelers forced a Seattle punt, but Seattle safety Michael Boulware intercepted a Roethlisberger pass at the Seattle 17-yard line on the ensuing drive. The Seahawks, though, were once more forced to punt after three plays, and Pittsburgh drove into Seattle territory on the following drive.

An offensive pass interference call against tight end Heath Miller and a sack for an eight-yard loss by Seahawks defensive end Grant Wistrom, though, backed the Steelers to the 40-yard line, and left the team facing a third-down-and-28. However, Roethlisberger hit receiver Hines Ward out of a scramble and extremely unorthodox, against the grain pass for a 37-yard gain to keep the drive going. Jerome Bettis carried the ball on the next two plays, taking his team to the one-yard line but not into the end-zone. On the third-down play, after the two-minute warning, Roethlisberger faked a handoff and dove into the end-zone himself.

On the strength of a 19-yard Jurevicius reception, Seattle advanced the ball to the Pittsburgh 36-yard line, but, after the drive stalled, Brown missed a 54-yard field goal attempt to the right and the Steelers ran out the clock to end the first half.

The Steelers took the ball to begin the second half, and just two plays in, running back Willie Parker broke through for a 75-yard touchdown run, giving his team a 14-3 lead and setting a record for the longest run in Super Bowl history, beating Marcus Allen's Super Bowl XVIII mark by one yard.

The Seahawks drove into Pittsburgh territory on the next drive, sparked by a 21-yard run by Alexander, but Brown again missed a field-goal attempt, this one from 50 yards, as Seattle was unable to close the 11-point deficit.

Pittsburgh drove 54 yards to the Seattle six-yard line to put themselves in position to take a large lead, but Seahawks defensive back Kelly Herndon intercepted a pass from Roethlisberger and returned it a Super Bowl record 76 yards to the Steelers 20-yard line. From there, the Seahawks required just two plays to score on Hasselbeck's 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jerramy Stevens, cutting their deficit to 14-10.

The teams exchanged punts (two from Pittsburgh, one from Seattle) to fill out most of the third quarter, but the Seahawks ended the quarter having driven from their own two-yard line to near midfield. The drive continued in the fourth quarter, as the Seahawks reached the Pittsburgh 19-yard line. An 18-yard pass to Stevens, though, was negated on a controversial penalty call against Seattle tackle Sean Locklear for holding, denying the Seahawks an opportunity for a first-down-and-goal from the 1-yard-line. Three plays later, Pittsburgh defensive back Ike Taylor intercepted a Hasselbeck pass at the 5-yard line and returned it 24 yards. While making the tackle on Taylor, Hasselbeck dove low and was flagged for blocking below the waist on an attempt to tackle. The penalty added 15 yards to the return and gave the Steelers the ball on their own 44-yard line.

Four plays later, Pittsburgh ran a wide receiver reverse, but the play turned out to be a pass play by wide receiver Antwaan Randle El, who played quarterback while in college. Parker took a pitch from Roethlisberger and handed off to Randle El, who was running in the opposite direction. Randle El then pulled up and threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Ward, giving the Steelers a 21-10 lead and also marking the first time a wide receiver threw a touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.

On the ensuing possession, Hasselbeck ran the ball for eighteen yards and was briefly touched by Steelers linebacker Larry Foote as the former fell to the ground. Though the play was initially ruled a fumble, with the ball recovered by the Steelers, a Seahawks challenge proved successful, as officials ruled Hasselbeck to have been down prior to his having lost the ball; Seattle, aided by a 13-yard Jurevicius reception, drove to the Pittsburgh 48-yard line but could go no further; a Tom Rouen punt entered the end zone, giving the Steelers possession on their own 20-yard line.

Pittsburgh possessed the ball on for nearly four-and-one-half minutes on the ensuing drive, as Bettis carried seven times; Seattle was forced to use all of its three timeouts to stop the clock, but nevertheless had only 1:51 left when it took the ball from its own 20-yard line following a Gardocki punt. A 35-yard reception by Jurevicius took the Seahawks into Pittsburgh territory, and a 13-yard Bobby Engram reception took the team to within field-goal range, but dubious clock-management and play-calling left the team with just 35 seconds remaining; an incompletion and a three-yard pass to Stevens over the middle over the field consumed 26 seconds, and Hasselbeck threw incomplete near Stevens on fourth down, giving the Steelers the ball on downs with just three seconds left, after which a Roethlisberger kneel-down ended the game.

The Steelers became just the third team to win the Super Bowl despite not playing a single home game in the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers, who won Super Bowl I, and the Kansas City Chiefs, who won Super Bowl IV, also accomplished the feat. The Steelers, however, had to win four games to accomplish the feat, while the Chiefs won three and Packers won only two games.

Roethlisberger finished the game having completed just 9 of 21 passes for 123 yards and having also thrown two interceptions; his 22.6 quarterback rating was the lowest ever of any by a Super Bowl winning quarterback. He also rushed for 25 yards and a touchdown. He became the second youngest quarterback to start in a Super Bowl and the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl at 23 years, 11 months.

The Pittsburgh rushing game was paced by Willie Parker, who gained 93 yards and one touchdown on just ten carries; Bettis rushed 14 times for 43 yards, converted a key first down, and allowing his team to run time off the clock late in the fourth quarter. Ward caught five passes for 123 yards and a touchdown. In addition to his 43-yard touchdown pass, Randle El caught three passes for 22 yards and returned two punts for 32 yards. In defeat for the Seahawks, Hasselbeck completed 26 of 49 pass attempts for 273 yards and a touchdown, with one interception. Jurevicius caught 5 passes for 93 yards. Engram and Jackson also played roles, combining to gain 120 yards on eleven receptions. Alexander led all rushers in the game, accumulating 95 yards on 20 carries while also catching two passes for two yards. The Steelers were the third team to lose the turnover battle and win the game, after the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V and the Steelers in Super Bowl XIV.

Defensively, Taylor led the Steelers, making seven tackles, defensing two passes, and intercepting Hasselbeck; for the Seahawks, linebacker Lofa Tatupu recorded nine tackles.

Some calls made during Super Bowl XL were met with criticism from Seahawks Coaches and fans, members of the media, and many others, as critics suggested that referee Bill Leavy's crew had wrongly nullified some key plays made by the Seattle offense.

Following the game, Coach Bill Cowher was shown on TV seeking Holmgren for a traditional post-game handshake that never came, while cameras then panned to Holmgren heading for the locker room. This led many to believe Holmgren had snubbed Cowher, although it was later revealed that the handshake is to take place on the 25 yard line and both coaches went to opposite 25 yard line. Both coaches, it was reported, caught up with one another and chatted briefly in the Seahawks' locker room after the trophy ceremony.

In response to the criticisms leveled at the officials, the NFL, just two days after the game, released a statement defending the officials' performance. "The game was properly officiated, including, as in most NFL games, some tight plays that produced disagreement about the calls made by the officials," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement.

The game ended a playoffs season that was plagued by complaints about officiating, most notably during the divisional playoff games between the Steelers and Colts, and the Broncos and Patriots.

As usual, the American television broadcast of the Super Bowl showcased top commercials and commanded high prices, estimated at $2.6 million (US) for a 30-second spot. According to Advertising Age, Anheuser-Busch was the top advertiser during the game, having purchased 10 30-second spots. The magazine reported that other companies having purchased multiple commercial segments included Ameriquest (two), (two), Pepsi-Cola (four), Pizza Hut (ten, though most ran prior to kickoff), Sprint (three), Procter & Gamble (four, three for Gillette's new Fusion razor), Warner Bros. (three), Disney (two) and (two). Three companies aired 60-second advertisements: General Motors (for the Cadillac brand), Burger King, and Mobile ESPN (the Sports Heaven ad). Agency BBDO was the biggest single producer of commercials, creating 19. ABC also aired several 60-second commercials for some of its shows, including Lost, Desperate Housewives, and Grey's Anatomy. Notably, this was the first Super Bowl during which commercials, in addition to the game itself, were broadcast in HDTV; on typical HDTV broadcasts, the commercials themselves are broadcast in standard definition.

Google Video and America Online each catalogued ads for later viewing. The USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter, which measures viewer online reaction to all Super Bowl ads, found the Bud Light "Magic Refrigerator" spot ranked as the top spot.

This was just the fifth time in Super Bowl history when a lower-seeded team opened as the favorite to win; the previous occurrences were Super Bowls XXXIX (AFC second-seeded New England Patriots were favored by seven points over NFC top-seed Philadelphia Eagles), XXXV (AFC fourth-seeded Baltimore Ravens were favored by three points over NFC top-seed New York Giants), XXIII (NFC second-seeded San Francisco 49ers were favored by seven points over AFC first-seed Cincinnati Bengals), and XVII (AFC second-seeded Miami Dolphins were favored by three points over Washington Redskins). In each but the last iteration, the lower-seeded and favored team won.

This was also the second time in Super Bowl history when the favorite was a wild card team; the first was before Super Bowl XXXV, when the Ravens were favored. It also marked the first time since that game the favorite won against the spread.

Members of the winning team each received a payment of $73,000 for playing in the game, while players on the losing team were paid $38,000. The Green Bay Packers received $15,000 each for winning Super Bowl I in 1967; adjusted for inflation in 2006 dollars, that sum is roughly $86,000.

After having held constant at $600 for three years, the face value of the costliest Super Bowl ticket rose to $700 for the game. On eBay, the least-desirable seats—those behind each end zone in the upper level—fetched more than $2000 each, while top seats around the 50-yard line sold for more than $6000.

The ring for the Pittsburgh Steelers was designed by Steelers owner Dan Rooney with Jerome Bettis and Ben Roethlisberger. It is crowned by five Vince Lombardi trophies, all topped with football-shaped diamond settings to represent their five Super Bowl victories. The base of each trophy has the Roman numeral for their victories, with Super Bowl XL front and center. In front of the trophies is the Steelers logo set with colored jewels to mimic the colors of the logo. On the top of the crown is "PITTSBURGH", and on the bottom is "WORLD CHAMPIONS". One side of the ring has the Super Bowl XL logo and the score of the game.

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Tim Hasselbeck

Timothy Thomas "Tim" Hasselbeck (born April 6, 1978) is an American ESPN analyst and former professional football quarterback for the New York Giants, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Buffalo Bills.

He is son of former NFL tight end Don Hasselbeck, the younger brother of Matt Hasselbeck (the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks), and is married to The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

Tim Hasselbeck was raised in Norfolk, Massachusetts. He played football for Xaverian Brothers High School in Westwood, Massachusetts and for the Boston College Eagles.

He was originally signed by the Buffalo Bills as an undrafted free agent in 2001.

Hasselbeck was signed to the Philadelphia Eagles practice squad in 2002 as a free agent.

In 2003 he was signed by the Washington Redskins, where he spent two seasons as a backup quarterback. He entered the starting lineup in 2003 when then starter Patrick Ramsey was injured. On December 7, 2003, when he completed 13 of 19 passes for 154 yards in leading the Redskins to a 20-7 win over the New York Giants. He threw two touchdown passes and no interceptions in that game. The following week he had the lowest possible single-game passer rating (0.0) in a 27-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Hasselbeck was 6-for-26 (23%) for 57 yards with four interceptions in that game.

In May 2005, the New York Giants signed Hasselbeck to be their backup for QB Eli Manning. His only game action with the Giants consisted of two kneeldowns. On September 1, 2007, he was released by the Giants.

Hasselbeck was signed by the Arizona Cardinals on October 16, 2007. He appeared in one game with the Cardinals. He was also previously on the rosters of the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers without participating in a game. Hasselbeck had a 63.7 career passer rating.

Hasselbeck made his TV debut on September 23, 2007, announcing the Arizona Cardinals-Baltimore Ravens game for NFL on FOX.

Hasselbeck worked as a television sports analyst for ESPN, the SportsNet New York network, Sirius NFL Radio for a trial period as well.

On July 6, 2002 he married his college girlfriend Elisabeth Filarski. She was a Survivor contestant and is currently a co-host on the ABC talk show The View.

The couple have a daughter, Grace and a son, Taylor and are expecting their third child in August 2009.

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2008 Seattle Seahawks season


The 2008 Seattle Seahawks season was the 33rd season for the team in the National Football League. The Seahawks' streak of four consecutive NFC West divisional championships was broken, as they fell to a 4-12 record. As he had announced back in January, the 2008 season was the final season for Mike Holmgren as the team's head coach.

NOTE: Due to NBC's coverage of the 2008 Summer Olympics, two pre-season telecasts were switched to KING's sibling station, KONG as both are owned by Belo.

The Seahawks began their 2008 campaign on the road against the Buffalo Bills. In the first quarter, Seattle trailed early as Bills RB Marshawn Lynch got a 21-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Seahawks continued to struggle as WR/PR Roscoe Parrish returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown. Seattle would respond with QB Matt Hasselbeck completing a 20-yard TD pass to WR Nate Burleson. Buffalo would close out the half with kicker Rian Lindell getting a 35-yard and a 38-yard field goal. In the third quarter, the Seahawks replied with kicker Olindo Mare nailing a 45-yard field goal. However, the Bills pulled a trick play on Seattle. Appearing to go for a 32-yard field goal, Buffalo's holder (punter Brian Moorman) instead throws a 19-yard TD pass to DE Ryan Denney. The Bills would pull away with QB Trent Edwards completing a 30-yard TD pass to TE Robert Royal.

With the loss, the Seahawks began their season at 0-1.

Hoping to rebound from their disappointing road loss to the Bills, the Seahawks played their Week 2 home opener their NFC West foe, the San Francisco 49ers. In the first quarter, the 'Hawks took flight with RB Julius Jones getting a 27-yard TD run, along with DT Craig Terrill returning a fumble 10 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers would reply with kicker Joe Nedney getting a 26-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Nedney gave San Francisco a 28-yard field goal. Seattle would responded with kicker Olindo Mare getting a 51-yard field goal. The 49ers would hack away at the lead as QB J.T. O'Sullivan completed a 3-yard TD pass to WR Bryant Johnson, yet the Seahawks closed out the half with Mare's 38-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, San Francisco took the lead with LB Patrick Willis returning an interception 86 yards for a touchdown, along with RB Frank Gore's 2-yard TD run. Fortunately, Seattle regained the lead as RB T.J. Duckett got a 1-yard TD run, along with Mare kicking a 32-yard field goal. However, the 49ers tied the game with Nedney's 28-yard field goal. In overtime, San Francisco sealed Seattle's doom as Nedney nailed the game-winning 40-yard field goal.

With the loss, the Seahawks fell to 0-2.

Despite the loss, Julius Jones (26 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown) got his first 100-yard game since Week 14 of 2006.

Trying to avoid an 0-3 start, the Seahawks stayed at home for a Week 3 NFC West duel with the St. Louis Rams. In the first quarter, Seattle took flight early with kicker Olindo Mare getting a 28-yard field goal. The Seahawks continued its assault as QB Matt Hasselbeck completed a 10-yard TD pass to rookie WR Michael Bumpus and RB Julius Jones getting a 29-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Rams got on the board with former Seahawks kicker Josh Brown getting a 43-yard field goal. Seattle would reply with RB T.J. Duckett getting a 4-yard TD run. St. Louis tried to rally as Brown kicked a 29-yard field goal, yet the Seahawks continued to increase their lead with Mare's 38-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Rams tried to comeback as QB Marc Bulger completed a 21-yard TD pass to WR Dane Looker. In the fourth quarter, Seattle flew away as Duckett got a 1-yard TD run and Mare nailed a 38-yard field goal.

With the win, the Seahawks entered their bye week at 1-2.

Coming off their bye week, the Seahawks flew to Giants Stadium for a Week 5 duel with the defending Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants. In the first quarter, Seattle trailed early as QB Eli Manning completed a 32-yard TD pass to WR Domenik Hixon. The Seahawks responded with kicker Olindo Mare completing a 30-yard field goal, yet New York answered with RB Brandon Jacobs getting a 3-yard TD run. In the second quarter, the Giants increased their lead with kicker John Carney getting a 29-yard field goal, Jacobs getting a 1-yard TD run, and Carney making a 33-yard field goal. Seattle closed out the half with Mare kicking a 29-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, New York pulled away as Manning completed a 23-yard TD pass to WR Sinorice Moss, along with Carney nailing a 35-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Giants sealed the win as QB David Carr completed a 5-yard TD pass to Moss.

With the loss, the Seahawks fell to 1-3.

Hoping to rebound from their embarrassing road loss to the Giants, the Seahawks for a Week 6 duel with the Green Bay Packers, as head coach Mike Holmgren faced his former team for the last time. Also, QB Matt Hasselbeck was unable to play due to a knee injury he suffered from last week. QB Charlie Frye was given the start]].

In the first quarter, Seattle trailed early as Packers kicker Mason Crosby got a 29-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Seahawks took the lead as kicker Olindo Mare got a 50-yard field goal, while Frye completed a 6-yard TD pass to rookie TE John Carlson. Green Bay would tie the game as QB Aaron Rodgers got a 1-yard TD run.

In the third quarter, the Packers regained the lead as Rodgers completed a 45-yard TD pass to WR Greg Jennings. In the fourth quarter, Green Bay pulled away as Rodgers completed a 1-yard TD pass to FB John Kuhn, along with Crosby nailing a 51-yard field goal. Seattle tried to comeback as Frye completed a 5-yard TD pass to WR Keary Colbert, but the Packers' defense was took much.

With the loss, the Seahawks fell to 1-4.

Hoping to snap a two-game losing streak, the Seahawks flew to Raymond James Stadium for a Week 7 Sunday night duel with their 1976 expansion rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With QB Matt Hasselbeck recovering from an injured knee, back-up Seneca Wallace was given the start.

In the first quarter, Seattle trailed early as Buccaneers QB Jeff Garcia completed a 47-yard TD pass to TE Antonio Bryant. In the second quarter, Tampa Bay increased their lead as RB Earnest Graham got a 1-yard TD run, along with kicker Matt Bryant getting a 27-yard field goal. In the third quarter, the Seahawks got on the board as kicker Olindo Mare got a 26-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Buccaneers sailed away as Bryant nailed a 27-yard field goal. Seattle ended the game's scoring as Wallace completed a 2-yard TD pass to rookie TE John Carlson.

With the loss, not only did the Seahawks fall to 1-5, but they also suffered their first-ever loss at Tampa Bay.

Trying to snap a three-game losing streak, the Seahawks flew to Bill Walsh Field at Candlestick Park for a Week 8 NFC West rematch with the San Francisco 49ers. In the first quarter, the Seahawks took flight as kicker Olindo Mare got a 43-yard and a 42-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Seattle increased its lead with RB T.J. Duckett getting a 1-yard TD run. The 49ers responded with kicker Joe Nedney getting a 42-yard field goal. The Seahawks would close out the half as CB Josh Wilson returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown.

In the third quarter, San Francisco responded with Nedney making a 40-yard field goal, yet Seattle responded with QB Seneca Wallace completing a 43-yard TD pass to FB Leonard Weaver. In the fourth quarter, the 49ers tried to rally as QB Shaun Hill completed a 2-yard TD pass to WR Jason Hill, yet the 'Hawks pulled away as Wallace hooked up with Weaver on a 62-yard TD pass.

With the win, the Seahawks improved to 2-5.

Coming off their divisional road win over the 49ers, the Seahawks went home for a Week 9 duel with the Philadelphia Eagles. In the first quarter, the 'Hawks immediately took flight as QB Seneca Wallace completed a franchise-long 90-yard TD pass to WR Koren Robinson. In the second quarter, the Eagles took the lead as QB Donovan McNabb completed a 22-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Brown and a 1-yard TD pass to Todd Herremans.

In the third quarter, Philadelphia continued its domination as kicker David Akers got a 39-yard and a 24-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Eagles flew away as Akers nailed a 42-yard and a 39-yard field goal.

With the loss, the Seahawks fell to 2-6.

Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Eagles, the Seahawks flew to Dolphin Stadium for a Week 10 interconference duel with the Miami Dolphins. In the first quarter, Seattle trailed early as Dolphins QB Chad Pennington completed a 39-yard TD pass to WR Ted Ginn, Jr. In the second quarter, the Seahawks continued to trail as Miami unleashed another play from the infamous "Wildcat Offense", with RB Ronnie Brown handing the ball off to RB Ricky Williams, who would then take the ball 51 yards for a touchdown. Seattle would respond as DB Jordan Babineaux returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown.

In the third quarter, the Seahawks drew closer as former Dolphins kicker Olindo Mare nailed a 37-yard and a 27-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Dolphins answered with Brown getting a 16-yard TD run. Seattle tried to comeback as QB Seneca Wallace completed a 3-yard TD pass to WR Koren Robinson. However, Miami's defense prevented Wallace's 2-point conversion pass from working.

With the loss, the Seahawks fell to 2-7.

Trying to snap a two-game skid, the Seahawks went home for a Week 11 NFC West duel with the Arizona Cardinals. For this game, QB Matt Hasselbeck finally recovered from his knee injury and was able to reclaim his starting role.

In the first quarter, Seattle trailed early as Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers made a 38-yard field goal, along with RB J. J. Arrington getting a 4-yard TD run. In the second quarter, Arizona increased their lead as Rackers got a 48-yard field goal. The Seahawks got on the board as Hasselbeck completed a 13-yard TD pass to RB Maurice Morris. The Cardinals closed out the half with Rackers making a 54-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, Arizona increased its lead as Rackers nailed a 26-yard field goal, along with Warner completing a 6-yard TD pass to Arrington. Seattle tried to rally as RB T.J. Duckett got a 1-yard (with a failed 2-point conversion) and a 2-yard TD run. However, the Cardinals' defense prevented any possible comeback.

With the loss, the Seahawks fell to 2-8.

Trying to snap a three-game losing streak, the Seahawks stayed at home for a Week 12 duel with the Washington Redskins, headed by former Seahawk QB/Assistant Coach Jim Zorn.

In the first quarter, Seattle took flight as kicker Olindo Mare got a 45-yard field goal. In the second quarter, the Redskins took the lead with RB Ladell Betts getting a 1-yard TD run. The Seahawks would get the lead again prior to halftime as QB Matt Hasselbeck completed a 4-yard TD pass to RB Maurice Morris.

In the third quarter, Washington retook the lead as kicker Shaun Suisham made a 26-yard field goal, while QB Jason Campbell completed an 8-yard TD pass to WR Antwaan Randle El. In the fourth quarter, Seattle tried to comeback as Hasselbeck completed a 10-yard TD pass to rookie TE John Carlson. However, the Redskins retook with Suisham nailing a 22-yard field goal. The Seahawks tried to get one final rally, but a Shawn Springs interception ended any hope of a comeback.

With the loss, Seattle fell to 2-9.

Trying to snap a four-game losing streak, the Seahawks flew to Texas Stadium for a Week 13 Thanksgiving duel with the Dallas Cowboys. In the first quarter, Seattle trailed early as Cowboys QB Tony Romo completed a 16-yard TD pass to TE Martellus Bennett, along with RB Marion Barber getting a 2-yard TD run. The Seahawks would respond with kicker Olindo Mare getting a 44-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Dallas answered with Romo completing a 7-yard TD pass to TE Jason Witten, while Folk got a 41-yard field goal. Seattle would close out the half with Mare making a 38-yard field goal.

In the third quarter, the Seahawks tried to rally as Mare made a 25-yard field goal. The Cowboys replied with Romo completing a 19-yard TD pass to WR Terrell Owens. In the fourth quarter, Dallas closed out the game with Folk nailing a 42-yard field goal.

With the loss, Seattle fell to 2-10.

The Rams played a solid 1st half but the Seahawks turned the tables with 10 points in the final 2:47 for a 23-20 victory Sunday. T.J. Duckett's 1-yard run tied it, the Rams fizzled while going three-and-out, and Olindo Mare's 27-yard field goal as time expired ended the Seahawks' six-game losing streak and extended the Rams' losing streak to 8.

After snapping a six-game losing streak the previous week, the Seahawks went home for a Week 16 interconference duel with the New York Jets, in what would be Mike Holmgren's last home game as the franchise's head coach.

Seattle would trail in the first quarter as Jets kicker Jay Feely got a 20-yard field goal. The Seahawks would respond with quarterback Seneca Wallace completing a 2-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end John Carlson. In the second half, Seattle pulled away with kicker Olindo Mare's 31-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 38-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, while the defense would shut down New York's offense.

With the upset win, the Seahawks improved to 4-11. This was the only time during the season that the Seahawks won back-to-back games as well as their only win over a team with a winning record. This was also known as the "snow ball" game.

Coming off their upset home win over the Jets, the Seahawks closed out the Mike Holmgren era at the University of Phoenix Stadium in a Week 17 NFC West rematch with the Arizona Cardinals. Seattle would get the first quarter lead as running back T.J. Duckett got a 1-yard touchdown run. The Cardinals would take the lead in the second quarter as quarterback Kurt Warner completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jerheme Urban and a 5-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The Seahawks would tie the game prior to halftime as quarterback Seneca Wallace completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deion Branch.

In the third quarter, Arizona would retake their lead as Warner completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to Fitzgerald and a 14-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Steve Breaston. Seattle tried to comeback in the fourth quarter as Wallace hooked up with Branch again on a 2-yard touchdown pass, but the Cardinals would close out the game with kicker Neil Rackers nailing a 23-yard and a 32-yard field goal.

With the loss, the Seahawks' season ended at 4-12.

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NFL playoffs, 2005–06

The National Football League playoffs for the 2005 season led up to Super Bowl XL on February 5, 2006 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan.

After scrutiny in the Wild Card and Divisional rounds, the league reversed a three-year precedent, and returned to "all star" officiating crews for the Conference Championship games. Since 2003-04, postseason officiating had been done by entire crews from the regular season.

Although the Redskins gained only 120 yards on offense, the lowest total in NFL playoff history for a winning team, they converted two turnovers into touchdowns.

Midway through the first quarter, Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington's 21-yard interception return set up running back Clinton Portis' six-yard touchdown run. Then, Redskins linebacker Marcus Washington recovered Tampa Bay running back Carnell Williams' fumble and returned it seven yards before losing it himself – into the arms of safety Sean Taylor who then ran 51 yards for the Redskins' second touchdown.

Early in the second quarter, Tampa Bay drove 38 yards to the Redskins 24-yard line where Matt Bryant kicked a 43-yard field goal to cut their deficit to 14-3. The Redskins responded with an 10-play, 40-yard drive and scored with a 40-yard field goal from John Hall.

In the third quarter, Mark Jones gave the Buccaneers the ball at their own 49-yard line on a 24-yard punt return. Tampa Bay's offense then went on a 7-play, 51-yard drive that ended with quarterback Chris Simms' two-yard touchdown run. In the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay drove to the Redskins 19-yard line, but linebacker Lemar Marshall tackled fullback Mike Alstott for no gain on third down and 1, and then Simms threw an incomplete pass on fourth down. Buccaneers defensive back Brian Kelly intercepted a pass from Mark Brunell on the Redskins' next drive and returned it the Redskins 35-yard line. With 3 minutes left in the game, Tampa Bay wide receiver Edell Shepherd caught what appeared to be a 35-yard touchdown reception, but he lost control of the ball as he was coming down in the end zone for an incomplete pass. The Buccaneers got one last chance to tie the game when they received a punt at their own 46-yard line with 1:05 left in regulation, but Simms threw a pass that was tipped at the line of scrimmage and went into the arms of the Redskins' Marcus Washington for a game-ending interception.

This game was widely regarded by commentators as an "ugly" performance by both teams' offenses, rendering it a largely defensive game.

The three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots, who for the first time in their previous three playoff trips would have to win three games to advance to the Super Bowl, defeated the Jaguars 28-3. Linebacker Willie McGinest set NFL playoff records for sacks in a game (4.5, 1 sack ahead of the old record held by Richard Dent and Rich Milot) and career postseason sacks (16, two ahead of the old record held by Bruce Smith), while quarterback Tom Brady threw for 201 yards and three touchdown passes.

In the first half, the Jaguars recorded four sacks and held New England to 126 yards, while the Patriots defense recorded two sacks, gave up only 115 yards, and didn't allow a first down until 9:40 remained in the second period. Neither team could score in the first quarter, but early in the second, New England receiver Tim Dwight returned Chris Hanson's 46-yard punt 27 yards to the Jaguars 37-yard line. Two 4-yard runs by Corey Dillon and an 18-yard burst from Kevin Faulk then moved the ball to the 11-yard line, and Brady capped off the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Troy Brown. On Jacksonville's ensuing possession, Jimmy Smith's 19-yard reception his team a first down for the first time in the game and moved the ball to the Patriots 44-yard line. But on the next play, a tackle from safety Eugene Wilson caused Alvin Pearman to fumble the ball, and defensive lineman Richard Seymour recovered it. However, the Patriots could not take advantage of the turnover; Jacksonville managed to force a punt and then drove into scoring range for the first time in the game. Quarterback Byron Leftwich completed five passes for 59 yards on the drive, and Josh Scobee finished it with a 36-yard field goal, cutting their deficit to 7-3. After the kickoff, Faulk's 21-yard reception moved the ball to midfield and gave the Patriots a chance to increase their lead before halftime, but receiver Deion Branch dropped a pass from Brady at the Jaguars 10-yard line with 19 seconds left.

After forcing Jacksonville to punt on the opening drive of the second half, Brady led the Patriots 81-yards in 12 plays. On the 11th play, they nearly turned the ball over when tight end Benjamin Watson fumbled the ball on the Jaguars 5-yard line, but receiver André Davis recovered the ball, and Brady threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to David Givens on the next play. Then after forcing a punt, Brady threw a short pass to Watson who broke several tackles en route to a 63-yard score, increasing New England's lead to 21-3. After the kickoff, Leftwich led his team to the Patriots 32-yard line, but on the first play of the fourth quarter, defensive back Asante Samuel intercepted Leftwich's pass and took off for a 73-yard touchdown return, making the score 28-3. After that, Jacksonville mounted two more drives, but could not come away with any points. First they drove to the Patriots 8-yard line. But on third down and 2, McGinest sacked Leftwich for a 15-yard loss and Scobee missed a 41-yard field goal attempt on the next play. Then after forcing a punt, they drove to the Patriots 6-yard line, but ended up turning the ball over downs with 5 minutes left in the game.

This game also marked three career playoff records: Brady and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick set records for 10 straight postseason victories, eclipsing Vince Lombardi's run with the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s.

The Panthers forced five turnovers, limited the Giants to only 109 yards of total offense, and became the first club to shut out a home playoff team since the Los Angeles Rams shut out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 1979 NFC Championship Game. Although the Giants entered the game with Pro Bowler Tiki Barber starting at running back, the Panthers running game, featuring DeShaun Foster and Nick Goings, outgained the Giants 223 yards to 41 on the ground. Carolina wide receiver Steve Smith caught 10 passes for 84 yards and scored two touchdowns, a 22-yard reception and a 12-yard run, while kicker John Kasay added three field goals and Foster rushed for 151 yards. Meanwhile, quarterback Eli Manning threw three interceptions in his first playoff start.

After the first five possessions of the game ended with punts, Carolina drove 77 yards in 12 plays and scored with Jake Delhomme's 22-yard touchdown pass to Smith. On Carolina's next possession, they were forced to punt, but New York safety Gibril Wilson muffed the kick and Panthers defensive back Dante Wesley recovered the ball at the Giants 15-yard line, setting up a 31-yard Kasay field goal to increase the lead to 10–0.

Carolina dominated the second half, intercepting Eli Manning three times. Midway through the third quarter, Ken Lucas intercepted a pass from Manning and returned it 14 yards to the Giants 12-yard line, setting up Smith's 12-yard touchdown run on the next play. On New York's next drive, a 17-yard pass interference penalty on Lucas nullified his second interception and gave the Giants a first down at the Panthers 43-yard line. But two plays later, Manning's pass was intercepted by Marlon McCree at the 18. On the Panthers ensuing drive, Foster rushed three times for 44 yards, and Delhomme completed a 25-yard pass to Keary Colbert, moving the ball to the Giants 27-yard line where Kasay's 45-yard field goal made the score 20-0. Then five plays after the kickoff, McCree recorded his second interception on the Panthers 44-yard line. Carolina subsequently closed out the scoring with a 14-play, 55 yard drive that ended with Kasay's third field goal with 2:40 left in the game.

The Bengals' first playoff appearance in 15 years began when Pro Bowl quarterback Carson Palmer was knocked out of the game on their opening drive. They still managed to build an early 10 point lead, but gave up 24 unanswered points later in the game while turning the ball over three times.

On the Bengals second offensive play of the game, Palmer suffered a season-ending knee injury after being hit by Pittsburgh's Kimo von Oelhoffen, but his 66-yard pass to wide receiver Chris Henry (who was also injured on the play) set up kicker Shayne Graham's 23-yard field goal. Then after forcing a punt, backup quarterback Jon Kitna completed 3 consecutive passes for 40 yards and rushed for 11, while running back Rudi Johnson finished the drive with a 20-yard touchdown run, increasing their lead to 10-0. Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor returned the ensuing kickoff 36 yards to the 40-yard line. Aided by a 15-yard penalty on cornerback Tory James, the Steelers subsequently drove 60 yards in 8 plays and scored with Ben Roethlisberger's 19-yard touchdown pass to Willie Parker. The ensuing kickoff was returned by Tab Perry for 32 yards to his own 43-yard line, and then the Bengals drove 57 yards in 14 plays. Kitna completed the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to T. J. Houshmandzadeh, retaking their 10-point lead, 17-7. But on the Steelers ensuing drive, Roethlisberger's 54-yard completion to Cedrick Wilson set up his 5-yard touchdown pass to Hines Ward, cutting the score to 17-14 at halftime.

Cincinnati took the second half kickoff and advanced the ball 62 yards to the Steelers 15-yard line. Graham attempted a 34-yard field goal but center Brad St. Louis' high snap sent the ball over holder Kyle Larson's head. Graham recovered the fumble, but the Steelers took over on the 34-yard line. On the seventh play of the drive, defensive back Kevin Kaesviharn committed 40-yard pass interference penalty on the Bengals 5-yard line, and Jerome Bettis ran the ball into the end zone on the next play.

Aftter Cincinnati was forced to punt, Pittsburgh receiver Antwaan Randle El took a direct snap, ran to his right, and threw the ball back to Roethlisberger — who then connected with Wilson for a 43-yard touchdown reception that increased their lead, 28–17. Then on the Bengals next drive, linebacker James Farrior intercepted a pass from Kitna and returned it 22 yards to the Bengals 40-yard line, setting up a 23-yard field goal by Jeff Reed. Later in the fourth quarter, the Bengals managed to drive to the Steelers 43-yard line, but safety Troy Polamalu ended the drive with an interception and the Steelers offense ran out the rest of the clock.

The Seahawks overcame an early concussion suffered by NFL MVP and rushing champion Shaun Alexander, and three turnovers, to end their 21-year playoff victory drought. Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck led the offense, completing 16 out of 26 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 21 yards and another score. Despite the loss of Alexander, Seattle outgained the Redskins in rushing yards 119 to 59 and held Clinton Portis, who rushed for over 1,500 yards during the season, to just 41 yards on 17 carries.

The Seahawks took the opening kickoff and drove to the Redskins 11-yard line, but then Alexander lost a fumble without being touched, and linebacker Lemar Marshall recovered it. After that, the two teams were forced to punt on all their possessions in first quarter, and with 5:28 remaining, Alexander was knocked out of the game.

Washington scored first in the second quarter after a muffed punt set up John Hall's 26-yard field goal. Seattle responded by driving 74 yards in 12 plays and scoring with Hasselbeck's 29-yard touchdown pass to Darrell Jackson.

After forcing the Redskins to punt on the opening drive of the third quarter, Hasslebeck led the Seahawks on an 81-yard scoring drive, completing four passes for 54 yards and finishing it with a 9-yard touchdown run to give his team a 14-3 lead. Washington responded with a drive to the Seahawks 33-yard line, but on a fourth down conversion attempt, quarterback Mark Brunell lost a fumble while being sacked by Bryce Fisher, and defensive lineman Grant Wistrom recovered it. One play later, Hasslebeck's 37-yard comepltion to Jackson set up a 33-yard field goal by Josh Brown on the second play of the fourth quarter, making the score 17-3.

After the ensuing kickoff, Brunell's 52-yard completion to Chris Cooley moved the ball to Seattle's 24-yard line. Three plays later, he threw a 20-yard touchdown pass Santana Moss, a throw that bounced off the shoulder of Seattle cornerback Andre Dyson into Moss' arms. Washington got the ball back when Hall recovered a fumble from Josh Scobey at the Seahawks 40-yard line on the ensuing kickoff. But the Redskins drive stalled at the 18-yard line and ended with no points when Hall missed a 36-yard field goal attempt.

Seattle then drove to the game-clinching field goal, led by fullback Mack Strong's career-long 32-yard run. The Seahawks' win was their first since a 1984 AFC Wild Card playoff win over the then-Los Angeles Raiders.

The Broncos converted four out of five turnovers into 24 points as they eliminated the two-time defending Super Bowl champion Patriots, 27-13, and won their first playoff game since defeating the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. This game also ended New England's league-record ten-game postseason winning streak and gave quarterback Tom Brady his first ever postseason loss.

Early in the second quarter, the Broncos drove to the Patriots 3-yard line, only to turn the ball over on downs after failing to convert a fourth down and 1 on New England's 3-yard line. Then after forcing a punt, Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer threw a pass that was intercepted by Asante Samuel. On the next play, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a 51-yard completion to Andre Davis setting up Adam Vinatieri's 40-yard field goal to give New England a 3-0 lead.

With New England leading 3-0 with less than two minutes left in the first half, Broncos linebacker Ian Gold recovered a fumble from Kevin Faulk on the Patriots 40-yard line. After that, a pass interference penalty on Samuel moved the ball to the 1-yard line, and then Mike Anderson scored a 1-yard touchdown run on the next play. On the ensuing kickoff, Ellis Hobbs fumbled and kicker Todd Sauerbrun recovered the ball on the Patriots 39-yard line, setting up kicker Jason Elam's 50-yard field goal to give Denver a 10-3 halftime lead.

Early in the third quarter, the Patriots drove 58 yards in 11 plays and scored with a 32-yard field goal from Vinatieri, cutting their deficit to 10-6. With less than a minute to go in the third quarter, New England reached the Denver 5-yard line. However, Brady was intercepted for the first time in the playoffs since Super Bowl XXXVIII. The interception was returned by Champ Bailey for 101 yards before New England tight end Benjamin Watson knocked the ball out of bounds at the New England 1-yard line. The Patriots challenged whether the ball was actually knocked through and out of the end zone (which would have been a touchback and given the Patriots the ball at their own 20-yard line), but the original call stood. Mike Anderson then ran for another one-yard touchdown on the next play to increase Denver's lead, 17-6. Then on New England's next drive, the usually accurate Vinatieri missed a 42-yard field goal, his first in 21 field goal attempts in the playoffs. Later in the fourth quarter, Troy Brown muffed a Denver punt and the Broncos recovered it on New England's 15-yard line, setting up Rod Smith's four-yard touchdown pass from Plummer.

With 8:33 left in the game, Brady completed a 73-yard pass to Deion Branch and then followed it up with a 4-yard touchdown pass to David Givens, cutting the score to 24-13. But on the Broncos ensuing possession, Plummer's 42-yard completion to Smith set up another Elam field goal. Denver then all but clinched the game when safety John Lynch intercepted a Brady pass with less than 3 minutes remaining.

The Steelers became the first #6 playoff seed (since the league expanded to a 12-team playoff format in 1990) to defeat a #1 seed, and also the first #6 seed to reach a conference championship game. Colts quarterback Peyton Manning threw for 290 passing yards and a touchdown, but it wasn't enough to win.

The Steelers stunned the Colts home crowd at the RCA dome by driving 84 yards and scoring on their opening possession. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed six consecutive passes for 76 yards, including a 36-yard completion to tight end Heath Miller and a 6-yard touchdown pass to Antwaan Randle El. Later in the first quarter, Roethlisberger's 45-yard completion to Hines Ward moved the ball to the Colts 8-yard line, and they scored another touchdown with his 7-yard pass to Miller, increasing the Steelers lead to 14-0.

Five minutes into the second quarter, Indianapolis managed to get a good drive going, advancing the ball 96 yards to the Steelers 2-yard line and taking 9:39 off the clock, but were forced to settle for a field goal from Mike Vanderjagt, cutting their deficit to 14-3.

Late in the third quarter, Steelers linebacker James Farrior (who finished the game with 8 tackles and 2.5 sacks) sacked quarterback Peyton Manning at the Colts 1-yard line on third down, and Randle El returned Hunter Smith's ensuing punt 20 yards to the Indianapolis 30. Five plays later, Jerome Bettis scored a 1-yard touchdown run, making the score 21-3. But this time, Indianapolis struck back, driving 72 yards in six plays and scoring with Manning's 50-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. The Steelers were forced to punt on their ensuing drive, but only after taking over 7 minutes off the clock, leaving just 6:03 left in the game by the time Indianapolis got the ball back.

One play after the punt, an interception by Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu was overturned by instant replay (a reversal that the league would later admit was a mistake.) Taking advantage of his second chance, Manning completed a 9-yard pass to Clark, a 20-yard pass to Marvin Harrison, and a 24-yard pass to Reggie Wayne, moving the ball to the Steelers 3-yard line. Running back Edgerrin James finished the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run, and then Manning threw a pass to Wayne for a successful 2-point conversion, cutting the Colts deficit to 21-18. The Steelers were forced to punt on their ensuing drive. But with 1:20 left in the game, Manning was sacked on fourth and 16 at the Colts' 2-yard line, and the ball was turned over to the Steelers on downs.

At this point, the game appeared to be over. However, the Steelers were forced to advance the ball towards another score instead of taking a quarterback kneel because the Colts still had three timeouts remaining. But on Pittsburgh's first play, in which Bettis tried to punch it in for an insurance touchdown, he fumbled for the first time all season when linebacker Gary Brackett popped it from Bettis' hands with his helmet. Indianapolis defensive back Nick Harper recovered the ball and appeared to be on his way for an Indy touchdown that would have given the Colts the lead when Roethlisberger made a season saving tackle at the Colts' 42-yard line, spinning around and grabbing his ankle. Eventually, the Colts then advanced to the Pittsburgh 28-yard line, but Vanderjagt, who had been perfect at home in the playoffs, missed a 46-yard game-tying field goal attempt wide right with 17 seconds remaining, and the Steelers ran out the clock.

The Panthers recorded 434 yards of total offense, and avenged a 13-3 regular season defeat by the Bears, to advance to their third NFC Championship Game in their eleven-year existence. Carolina receiver Steve Smith caught 12 passes for 218 yards and 2 touchdowns, the first coming 55 seconds into the contest, and rushed for 26 yards. Panthers kicker John Kasay contributed three second-quarter field goals, while quarterback Jake Delhomme threw for 319 yards and 3 touchdowns. Although the Panthers lost key running back DeShaun Foster to a broken ankle in the third quarter, the team managed to hold off the Bears.

The Panthers got the ball first and scored quickly. Jamal Robertson returned the opening kickoff 34 yards to the 40-yard line, and one play later, Delhomme threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Smith. Later on, Smith's 46-yard reception set up a 20-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter, increasing their lead to 10-0. On their next drive, Carolina had a chance to increase their lead even more after Delhomme completed passes to Drew Carter for gains of 14 and 29 yards, moving the ball to the Bears 23-yard line. But linebacker Brian Urlacher ended the drive by intercepting a pass from Delhomme at the 10. However, the Pathers forced another punt and scored with a second field goal from Kasay. Bears quarterback Rex Grossman completed 5 passes for 62 yards on a 67-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown run by Adrian Peterson cutting the score to 13-7. But Carolina stormed right back, driving 51 yards and scoring with Kasay's third field goal on the last play of the first half.

After the second half kickoff, a 24-yard run by Bears halfback Thomas Jones moved the ball to the Panthers 41-yard line. Then Grossman went to work, completing two passes to Bernard Berrian for 29 yards before finishing the drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Desmond Clark. But after an exchange of punts, Delhomme threw a 39-yard touchdown pass to Smith, and the Panthers retook their 9-point lead.

Early in the fourth quarter, Chicago's Jason McKie scored a 3-yard touchdown run to cut their deficit to 23-21. But Delhomme led the Panthers right back, completing five passes for 45 yards and scoring with a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kris Mangum. After an exchange of punts, the Bears drove into Carolina territory, but defensive back Ken Lucas put the game away by intercepting a pass from Grossman on the Panthers 22-yard line.

This was the first time since the 1989-90 playoffs that neither conference championship game took place in the Eastern or Central time zones. During that season, the Conference Championship Games were changed from the then-traditional starting times of 12:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST respectively. This was to accommodate the fact that the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers hosted the 1989-90 AFC and NFC championship games in the Mountain Standard Time Zone and Pacific Standard Time Zone, respectively — thus avoiding a locally played game at 9:30 a.m. PST / 10:30 a.m. MST, but also forcing the networks to change or move their prime time lineups in a moment's notice. When the league changed the traditional starting times for the 2002-03 playoffs to 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. EST, it eliminated the future possibility of having to reschedule.

The Steelers forced four turnovers and went into halftime with a 24–3 lead en route to advancing to their sixth Super Bowl appearance in team history. In doing so, Pittsburgh became the first #6 playoff seed (since the league expanded to a 12-team playoff format in 1990) to advance to the Super Bowl. Second-year quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, already in his fifth career playoff game, completed 21 of 29 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns (one each to Cedrick Wilson and Hines Ward) and ran for a third. Steelers running back Jerome Bettis rushed for the other touchdown.

Pittsburgh scored on their opening drive, moving the ball 62 yards in 12 plays and ending it with a Jeff Reed field goal. Three plays after the kickoff, Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer lost a fumble while being sacked by Joey Porter and Steelers lineman Casey Hampton recovered it at the Denver 39-yard line. Four plays later, Roethlisberger's 12-yard touchdown pass to Wilson increased the Steelers lead to 10-0 on the first play of the second quarter. The Broncos responded by driving 55 yards and scoring with a field goal from Jason Elam. But Pittsburgh stormed right back, marching 80 yards in 14 plays and scoring with Bettis' 3-yard touchdown run to take a 17-3 lead. Then on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, defensive back Ike Taylor intercepted a pass from Plummer on the Broncos 39-yard line. Four plays later, a Bettis touchdown run was called back because a penalty on Ward. But Ward made up for his mistake by catching a touchdown pass on the next play, giving the Steelers a 24-3 lead with 7 seconds left in the half.

In the third quarter, Plummer finally got the Broncos moving by completing four consecutive passes for 80 yards, the last one a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ashley Lelie. But Wilson caught 2 passes for 45 yards on Pittsburgh's next possession, setting up Reed's second field goal to make the score 27-10.

In the fourth quarter, a 38-yard reception by Lelie and a 22-yard pass interference penalty on Taylor set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Mike Anderson, cutting Denver's deficit to 27-17. But after a Steelers punt, defensive end Brett Keisel forced a fumble on fourth down from Plummer and his teammate Travis Kirschke recovered it at the Broncos 17-yard line. Four plays later, Roethlisberger ended any chance of a Denver comeback with a 4-yard touchdown run.

The Seahawks forced four turnovers, and allowed only 36 rushing yards and 14 points, as they advanced to their first Super Bowl trip in the team's 30-year history. Meanwhile, running back Shaun Alexander, coming off his divisional round injury, rushed for a franchise playoff record 134 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Midway through the first quarter, the Seahawks drove 57 yards in five plays, featuring a 28-yard reception by Seneca Wallace, and scored with quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's 17-yard touchdown pass to Jerramy Stevens. Then three plays after the ensuing kickoff, linebacker Lofa Tatupu intercepted a pass from Jake Delhomme and returned it 22 yards to the Panthers 20-yard line, setting up a field goal from Josh Brown. The next time Carolina got the ball, Delhomme was intercepted again, this time by Marquand Manuel, who returned it 32 yards to the Panthers 17-yard line, setting up Alexander's 1-yard touchdown run that increased Seattle's lead to 17-0 on the first play of the second quarter. The Panthers eventually cut the score to 17-7 on Steve Smith's 59-yard punt return for a touchdown with 9:56 left in the first half.

The Seahawks scored another 17 unanswered points. On their first drive after the punt return touchdown, that moved the ball 57 yards and scored with a 39-yard field goal from Brown. Brown missed a field goal on the Seahawks next possession, but on the first drive of the second half, they score with Hasslebeck's 20-yard touchdown pass Darrell Jackson. Then in the fourth quarter, they put the game completely out of reach with a 53-yard drive that ended with Alexander's second touchdown. Carolina responded with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Delhomme to receiver Drew Carter, cutting the score to 34-14, but by then there was only 5 minutes left in the game.

Pittsburgh Steelers (AFC) 21, Seattle Seahawks (NFC) 10 at Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan.

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Source : Wikipedia