The Norway international notched his first-ever Premier League goal for the Canaries with a fearsome first-time volley from outside the box to secure a much-needed 2-0 victory against the Black Cats.
Chris Hughton's side now have a seven-point cushion over the bottom three as they battle to retain their top-flight status for another season.
But any hopes Tettey had of taking the headlines for the best goal of the weekend were dashed when Rooney fired home from just inside the West Ham half later in the day with an effort which brought back memories of David Beckham's famous goal against Wimbledon in 1996.
"It was a good strike on the ball by me and a good goal but it is not goal of the season," Tettey joked with reporters.
"It is not even goal of the day. I saw Wayne Rooney scored from almost the halfway line against West Ham. That was even better.
"I don't mind because it is Wayne and United are my favourite team.
"I don't know where my goal came from - it went in beautifully so I was pleased with that.
"The goal counted for more because as a team we went on to get the result."