The 2005 Steelers under head coach Bill Cowher finished with a regular season record of 11-5 and a Super Bowl victory against the Seattle Seahawks after finishing second in the AFC North, beating the Bengals in the Wild Card game and the Broncos in the AFC Championship.
Back then, Russ Grimm was the assistant head coach and the offensive coordinator was Ken Whisenhunt. Bruce Arians was the wide receivers coach at that time. Ben Roethlisberger was in his second year, Heath Miller was a rookie, and Jerome Bettis was entering his final NFL season. Joey Porter was still on the team, and 2005 was the breakout year for James Harrison who at 27 would have at least a decade left in his career.
The Chargers took on the Steelers that season in San Diego on October 10, a Monday night.
One of the most athletic moments of the game was when then-unproven James Harrison hurdled LaDainian Tomlinson. Harrison had an interception for 25 yards that evening. What is difficult to fathom is this wouldn't be Harrison's greatest interception return, but would be second without a doubt.
In 2005, Ben Roethlisberger's second season in the NFL, the offense was without Jerome Bettis for the first three games, but his return came on this particular Monday night. It would be needed as Ben Roethlisberger would leave the game with a knee injury when Luis Castillo would hit him low late in the 4th quarter of the game after completing a pass to Antwaan Randle El.
Charlie Batch would enter the game to hand the ball off to Bettis 3 times and move the team into field goal range. Reed's last second field goal would win the game for the Steelers, but Roethlisberger's injury would knock him out of the lineup for the next 4 weeks.
Ben was able to play in the majority of the game against the Chargers in October 2005. He completed 17 of 26 attempts for 225 yards with one passing touchdown and one rushing touch down. Hines Ward had six completions for 83 yards; Jerome Bettis had one for 16 yards and a touchdown; Antwaan Randle El had three completions for 50 yards; and, then-rookie Miller had 4 catches for 36 yards and the games lone touchdown reception. Jeff Reed made all three extra points and a field goal.
How long ago was 2005? Drew Brees was still the quarterback for San Diego. His stats were similar to Roethlisberger's, completing 20 out of 35 attempts for 219 yards and one touchdown to Antonio Gates.
The 2005 24-22 victory is good to remember for a few reasons:
1) The 2015 Steelers also face off against the Chargers on an October Monday night in San Diego.
2) Ben Roethlisberger's knee is hurt. He won't be able to play on Monday night, but 2005 was a year he missed four games due to a knee injury.
3) Ben had a rushing touchdown in 2005. Michael Vick is a mobile quarterback. Will he take one into the end-zone himself?
4) Roethlisberger, Harrison, Miller, and long snapper Greg Warren were all members of the 2005 squad. Porter was a player, but he is still with the team as a coach.
5) The Steelers won a Super Bowl in 2005.