Steelers shutout Seahawks, 21-0

The only complaints coming out of Seattle this time should be about how poorly the Seahawks played.

Despite playing without four starters, the Pittsburgh Steelers dominated the Seahawks, limiting them to 144 total yards and handing Seattle its first shutout loss since the 2000 season – a span of 115 games – in a 21-0 victory here at Heinz Field.

The game – a rematch of the Steelers' 21-10 victory over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL – was never really in doubt despite the fact Pittsburgh came into the contest without strong safety Troy Polamalu, nose tackle Casey Hampton and wide receiver Hines Ward. And things only got worse for the Steelers during warmups, when wide receiver Santonio Holmes went down with a hamstring strain, leaving Pittsburgh without both of its starting receivers.

But the defense was dominating, only once allowing Seattle inside the Pittsburgh 20, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was particularly sharp despite having just three healthy wide receivers to throw to as the Steelers improved to 4-1.

With so many starters out, the Steelers needed others to step into more prominent roles. And several players did just that.

Roethlisberger completed 18 of 22 passes – including 13 in a row to close out the game – for 208 yards and a touchdown.

Backup running back Najeh Davenport sparked the offense with a 45-yard run in the second quarter and added a pair of short touchdown runs to go along with four receptions for 38 yards.

Cornerback Ike Taylor had five tackles, four pass defenses and an interception on the final play of the first half that ended Seattle's lone excursion deep into Pittsburgh territory.

And linebacker James Farrior recorded five tackles and a career-best 2.5 sacks.

It all added up to a dominating victory for the Steelers over a Seattle team that was left wondering what happened.

Pittsburgh held a commanding 40:45 to 19:15 advantage in time of possession in the game, including 24:53 to 5:07 in the decisive second half.

The game was an exhibition in punting for much of the first half until Davenport broke of a 45-yard run on second-and-17 with 4:04 remaining in the second quarter.

That put the ball at the Seattle 20 and three plays later, Roethlisberger found tight end Heath Miller wide open on a post route for a 13-yard touchdown pass that put Pittsburgh ahead 7-0.

Seattle seemed in no particular hurry to score when it got the ball with 1:52 remaining in the half until quarterback Matt Hasselbeck connected on passes of 30 yards to Ben Obomanu and 22 yards to Marcus Pollard. Despite having all three timeouts remaining, the Seahawks did not call one during the possession and allowed the time to get down to seven seconds when Hasselbeck attempted a throw into the end zone for Obomanu that Taylor intercepted to end the first half.

That would be as close to scoring as the Seahawks didn't get the ball back again until there was 4:47 remaining in the third quarter.

The Steelers took the opening possession of the second half and drove 80 yards on 17 plays – converting three third-and-long plays – to score on a one-yard plunge by Davenport.

Pittsburgh overcame three holding penalties during the possession, picking up 110 yards of offense during the drive.

Seattle failed to convert a first down on its ensuing possession and the Steelers again went on a long drive, this time going 85 yards on 13 plays and eating up just over eight minutes off the clock to score on a five-yard TD run by Davenport.

That was more than the defense would need as Seattle failed to convert a single first down in the second half and managed just 33 total yards in the final two quarters.

Hasselbeck finished with just 116 yards passing, while running back Shaun Alexander had 11 carries for 25 yards. Willie Parker had 102 yards rushing on 28 carries for the Steelers.

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