Jerome Bettis, forgotten last week in one of Pittsburgh's worst losses under Bill Cowher, got the Steelers back to what they do best by running for 138 yards in a defense-dominated 13-10 victory Sunday over the Seattle Seahawks.
Seattle, one of the NFL's surprise teams, couldn't overcome Bettis' big game, four turnovers or a suddenly ineffective running game as it was denied the first 4-0 start in franchise history.
Cowher stuck to his promise to get the ball more to Bettis, and the Steelers re-emphasized their strengths--a big running back and a big-play defense--even as quarterback Kordell Stewart had another off game.
"We found our identity again," said linebacker Levon Kirkland, who helped limit the AFC's top-rated rushing offense to 61 yards--and only 47 by Ricky Watters. "We played tough, physical defense and we pounded the ball. We played like a Pittsburgh team is supposed to play."
But the Seahawks didn't lack opportunities, twice getting the ball back in the final seven minutes with a chance to tie or win.
Todd Peterson missed a potential tying 52-yard field goal into a swirling wind following a high snap with 4:38 left. And Warren Moon, 41, who made his first start against Pittsburgh 14 years ago, overthrew an open Joey Galloway twice on deep passes.
Moon, throwing consistently under a heavy rush, was 14 for 27 for 183 yards with his first interception in four games. Galloway had seven catches for 139 yards.
The Seahawks countered by pressuring Stewart, who was sacked two times and threw for only 108 yards.