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article imageNFL: Rodgers leads Packers to Super Bowl victory 31 – 25

By Kristofor Molson     Feb 8, 2011 in Sports
Arlington - The Packers came into the Super Bowl looking to bring the Lombardi trophy back to Green Bay. Coach McCarthy gave them a spark getting the team fitted for their rings the day before an Rodgers also gave them a spark with his arm throwing no interceptions.
Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers (10-6) had an outstanding game in Super Bowl XLV being named Super Bowl MVP going 24/39 for 304 yards and 3 touchdowns which could have been a lot more if his receivers did not drop so many passes. Rodgers used his laser arm to carve up the Steelers defense as he took down the Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4). With key players like tight end Jermichael Finley on injured reserve, and the lost one of his key receiver Donald Driver (2 rec. 28 yds) in the second quarter Rodgers kept his poise and led the Packers to victory.
The Packers had injury after injury and all of them came in the first half. The first to go down was Sam Shields who later on returned and then Donald Driver went down with a knee injury that he already had before the game started, and did not return at all. Nick Collins went out to before the half but returned in the second half to give the Packers the help they needed to win. The biggest injury of the night was Charles Woodson going down with a broken collier bone right before the half trying to stretch out and catch an interception.
The Packers got the ball first and went 6 plays before having to punt after Nelson let a ball slip through his arms that would have extended the drive. The Steelers then got the ball but could not do much with it going three plays and out punting as well.
The second time the Packers got the ball they did their damage driving 80 yards on a nine play drive. Rodgers led the Packers down the field moving the ball with the run and the pass until Rogers hit Jordy Nelson (9 rec. 140 yds, 1 TD) for a 29 yard touchdown pass for the game’s first touchdown. The touchdown put the Packers up 7 – 0 with 3:34 left in the first quarter.
The Steelers got the ball back and on the first play of the drive Ben Roethlisberger (25/40, 263 yds, 2 TD's, 2 INT's) dropped back to throw a pass intended for Mike Wallace (9 rec, 89, 1TD) only to have Nick Collins come over and intercept the ball out of the air. Collins then took the ball 37 yards weaving in and out of the through the Steelers offense to dive into the end zone for the Packers second touchdown of the game, leading 14 – 0. Collins got an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for an excessive celebration after he fell to his knees in the end zone and lifted his hands above his head. The two touchdowns came in less than .20 seconds of each other which is the fastest a team has scored two touchdowns in Super Bowl history.
Roethlisberger got another chance to lead the Steelers to a touchdown starting the drive in the first quarter going right into the second. On their 7:12 drive the Steelers went 49 yards in 13 plays before settling for a field goal making the score 14 – 3. The injury bug also hit the Steelers on this drive with Emmanuel Sanders (2 rec, 17 yds) going to the sideline in anger with a foot injury and did not return the rest of the game.
At one point it looked like the Steelers were going to have to put Byron Leftwich in after Roethlisberger tried to plant but had his knee buckle under him. Later on he also took a big shoot from Packers' B.J. Raji, which made Ben have to take his helmet off and shake his head.
Rodgers returned to the field to try and move the Packers down the field but fell short going three plays and out having to punt the ball back to the Steelers. When the Steelers got the ball back, Rashard Mendenhall (14 car, 63 yds, 1 TD) and Mewelde Moore (3 car, 13 yds) moved them down the field. Roethlisberger then hit Antwaan Randle El (2 rec, 50 yds) for a key first down and a nice gain. Roethlisberger tried to hit Wallace again, but Jarrett Bush jumped the route to pick the ball off giving Roethlisberger his second interception of the half.
You could see the anguish on Steelers' Troy Polamalu’s face as the defense had to take the field again after only being able to rest for five minutes.
The Packers took advantage moving the ball 53 yards in 2:04 on four plays. The drive ended with Rodgers hitting Greg Jennings (4 rec, 64 yds, 2 TD’s) over the middle for a 21 yard touchdown pass. The pass was a laser going right over the outstretched hand of Steelers Ryan Clark to put the Packers up 21 to 3 with 2:24 left in the half.
The Steelers had time left on the clock and began to run their two minute offense. Roethlisberger tried to hit Wallace again but Woodson was with him all the way and stretched out to try and intercept the all but came up with a limp shoulder.
The Packers called a timeout to check on Woodson’s status, but he came back in the game for another snap before going to the locker room and not returning to the field till after halftime with his arm in a sling.
After the timeout was over the Steelers moved the ball down the field hitting Hines Ward (7 rec, 78 yds, 1 TD) and a couple other receivers on a 77 yard drive that took just seven plays in 1:45. Roethlisberger hit Ward on a eight yard touchdown pass where he juke the cornerback to get open in the back of the end zone for the catch. That score put the Steelers down 21 – 10 going into the half after the Packers ran the clock out with a handoff to James Starks (11 car, 52 yds).
At halftime Green Bay’s Woodson tried his best to motivate his team to keep the pressure on the Steelers in the second half, but could not get all he wanted to say out with emotions taking over. Woodson said after the game I don’t think I cried that much since I was a little child.
With that said the Packers came out good defensively, but could not do much on the offensive end, not scoring a touchdown at all in the third quarter. The Packers could have scored on a couple of occasions but Rodgers receivers did not give him the help he needed with drop passes on key downs that could have kept drives going.
The first drive after halftime the Packers were trying to move the ball, and did getting a big run from Starks for a first down. Rodgers tried to James Jones (5 rec, 50 yds) on a short pass that he dropped that could have been a touchdown, but instead the Packers had to punt.
The Steelers scored a touchdown but missed a field goal in the third. On the touchdown the Steelers got a break with a 15 yard facemask penalty which was not the call. Tom Crabtree of the Packers grabbed Steelers Antonio Brown by the front of his jersey taking him down to the ground for a tackle then the ref threw the flag.
The penalty started the Steelers out on the Green Bay 50, and it took them five plays in 2:20 to score their second touchdown of the game. The Steelers moved the ball down the field using the legs of Mendenhall and this time Isaac Redman (2 car, 19 yds). The drive was capped off with a eight yard run by Mendenhall to make it a four point game at 21 – 17.
The fourth quarter began and the Steelers had the ball after a Green Bay punt. The Steelers started in good field position on the Packers 41 yard line, and after a eight yard run by Mendenhall it looked like the Steelers were going to drive down again and score. The next play Mendenhall took the handoff trying to break outside only to meet defensive player of the year runner up Clay Matthews who forced him to fumble and Desmond Bishop recovered it to give the Packer the ball back.
The Packers took full advantage of all the Steelers turnovers in the first half and this time was no different. The Packers marched 55 yards on 8 plays in 2:53 seconds for another touchdown. Rodgers threw the ball all the way down the field, and ended it with Jennings catching a eight yard touchdown pass to give the Packers a 28 to 17 lead.
The Steelers bounced back with a 66 yard drive that went seven plays and took 4:23 seconds off the clock to put them down 28 to 25. Roethlisberger hit Wallace for a 25 yard touchdown pass and then went for two so they can get the game closer. The Steelers pitched the ball to Randle El who got into the end zone to convert the two-point conversion.
The Packers got the ball back with a chance to seal the game with 7:34 left in the half. They did not change their game plan at all throwing the ball down the field. They only ran it twice with Starks and one was a big run for 14 yard and a first down. Once again in a key moment a receiver dropped a pass, but this time it was Nelson who dropped a wide open pass that would have gave them a first down. Rodgers came right back and hit him on the next play as the Steelers sent a all out blitz. Nelson made the catch and got down the field putting the Packers in scoring position on the Steelers eight yard line.
The Packers had four chances to score a touchdown but did not get in the end zone with Rodgers throwing short passes but none of them able to get lose and score. Rodgers had a chance to hit Nelson in the back of the end zone but overshoot him a by inches and had to settle for a field goal. The Packers went up 31 to 25 with 2:07 left in the game with the Steelers having to score a touchdown to win the game.
On the ensuing kickoff, Redman returned the ball to the Steelers 26 giving them decent field position, but Keyaron Fox got a unnecessary roughness penalty for hitting a Packer after the play was over. That put the Steelers on their own 13 yard line making it a bit harder for the Steelers to go the length of field. After that return the game hit the two-minute warning and the Steelers only had one timeout left.
Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller (2 rec, 21 yds) for a first down and then they went no huddle. Roethlisberger hit Ward on a five yard catch and then threw the ball deep to no receiver to make it third down and five. Roethlisberger tried to hit Wallace on a short pass but could not connect. With under a minute left the Steelers had one more chance to get a first down but could not convert with Wallace dropping another pass to turn the ball over on downs.
Greg Jennings ran down the sideline jumping up and down as the Packers offense went on the field to line up in victory formation with Rodgers taking to knees to give the Packers their first Super Bowl victory in 14 years. They reclaimed the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for their legendary coach who won the first two Super Bowls. The Packers will take the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay, Wisconsin, which has been deemed “Tittletown”.
Super Bowl XLV set a record for American television views. The Nielsens Company said a estimated 111 million people watched the game which was more than the 106.5 million that watched the game last year when the New Orleans Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.
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