Steelers 21, Chicago Bears 9December 11, 2005
Heinz Field* *The Steelers hit a point in the season where a loss could mark the end of their playoff hopes. Coming off three straight losses, every game was a 'must-win' game.
And it all began on a snowy December day at Heinz Field.
In 2005 the Steelers defeated the Bears in a regular season game 21-9.
Willie Parker got the start, but it was Jerome Bettis who would finish with 17 carries for 101 yards and two touchdowns.
And it was that second touchdown that is still talked about today and was a testament to what Bettis meant to the team.
Were there other keys plays in the game? Absolutely. But nothing compared to Bettis' touchdown, one that highlight films are made of.
"Enough can't be said about Jerome Bettis," said Hines Ward. "He epitomizes what the Steelers are all about. People think he's down and out and he comes out and has a game like he had."
With snow falling and the conditions deteriorating, the Steelers called on Bettis and he answered.
"My role is to come in and spell Willie, but this game set up for me in terms of the conditions and the field," said Bettis. "I've always been known as a mudder and the field really played into my favor in terms of being able to run the ball."
No, he wasn't a starter any longer, but he was a force to be reckoned with. Just ask Brian Urlacher. In the third quarter Bettis barreled through the Bears' defense, leveling Urlacher as he tried to hold on to Bettis with no luck and he scored on a five-yard touchdown run. Urlacher, one of the top linebackers in the game, didn't stand a chance.
"I knew it was him," said Bettis. "I was able to bang off of him and use his leverage against him. I knew it was going to be a big hit. I just tried to play off of it and keep those legs churning. He didn't let go, but I've made a living off of carrying people – that's why they call me The Bus."
The Steelers closed out the regular season with three more wins, then won three playoff games on the road, before defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL.
Listen to the original radio broadcast of this game. Steelers Time Machine debuts on SNR each Wednesday at 1 p.m. Click here for more information.