Thirteen championships, four Super Bowls and one Lombardi Trophy later, the Green Bay Packers became the world champions Sunday night after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super bowl XLV.
In what many believed would be a close game, fought defensively between the two best defenses in the NFL, this Super bowl almost came down to the wire as the Packers won by six points.
Green Bay’s quarterback and the SuperBowl MVP, Aaron Rogers, had a stellar game with a passer rating of 24-39, and was the fourth QB in Superbowl history to have 300+ yards, three TD’s and zero interceptions (Jake Delhomme, Steve Young and Joe Montana were the other three).
Rogers was the difference maker in this game as both defenses pounded hard against the line, but the Steelers QB, Ben Roethlisberger, couldn’t keep up with Rogers almost flawless performance, as Roethlisberger was 25-40 in pass completions, threw for 263 yards, had two TD’s and two interceptions.
The Packers also took advantage of the three turnovers by the Steelers and converted them into points each time. This was the third straight Superbowl with a pick-6 as well.
The game proved to be a tough one from the beginning, as the Steelers went 3-and-out on their first possession and no one getting far down field until the Packers second possession, where Jordy Nelson made a small gain but big catch to get Green Bay down the field, and then right after caught a 30-yarder for first touchdown of the game.
The Steelers came back out strong, but within seconds, Nick Collins got a pick-6 and put the Packers up 14-0.
Roethlisberger wasn’t ready to let that happen again and despite a hard fall on his knee and having trouble getting up, right after ran for a gain of 18-yards when Green Bay’s defensive line went in for the sack but made the one error defense never wants to make with the mobile Big Ben—giving him the open pocket to run.
This would lead to a 33-yard field goal attempt to make the score 14-3.
But the Packers defense gave Big Ben more trouble as they scored once more after Bush intercepted the ball, leading to a TD pass to Greg Jennings.
The score going into the half would end up 21-10 after Roethlisberger finally found his receiver, Hines Ward, in the end zone with 39-seconds left in the half.
The Steelers, with 28 players with Superbowl experience, came out of the locker room in the second half (after a pretty atrocious half time show) ready to prove why they have six SuperBowl rings.
Rashard Mendenhall ran into the endzone, dragging a defensive player as he pounded his way in, and the Pittsburgh defense held the Packers back, allowing only one first down since the score had been 21-3.
The Packers seemed to be getting a little lose at the edges at the end of the third quarter with the score 21-17 (and were in luck after Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham missed a 52-yard FG attempt).
Clay Matthews, the big man on defense for Green Bay, wasn’t ready to let this game slip through his teams’ fingers. He forced a big cough up when he caused Mendenhall to fumble and the Packers recovered on their 45.
Rogers, without veteran WR Donald Driver (ankle), who had been sidelined in the first half, was looking up to Jordy Nelson, who had four dropped passes and James Jones who couldn’t seem to get it together after dropping perfect throws.
But when Rogers anticipated the blitz from Pittsburgh and quickly found Nelson–who redeemed himself for those dropped passes—and he ran the ball down to the 1-yard line. Jennings caught the big pass in the end zone from Rogers just under 12 minutes to go in the fourth quarter bumping the score to 28-17.
Roethlisberger led his team down the field, and found Mike Wallace, who had a 25-yard running catch into the endzone, and the Steelers went for the two-point conversion, tossing the ball to Antwaan Randle El to get the Steelers to 25 and trail the Packers by three.
Former Buffalo kicker Crosby would hit a 23-yard field goal right after to put the Packers up 31-25, where the score would remain after the Steelers wasted the last two minutes of the game and couldn’t get the first down as the Packers defense held strong…and would take the rings and trophy.
“It’s a great day to be Green Bay,” receiver Jennings yelled out at the end of the game with a big smile on his face.
And he couldn’t be more right. The Lombardi trophy is now back in Green Bay and the Packers gave America’s cheese head fans a reason to celebrate their new world champions.