The Vince Lombardi Trophy is returning to Title Town. The most injured team in the NFL this season is ironically the team that stands alone at the end. In a game where they lost cornerback Charles Woodson and wide receiver Donald Driver of the second half, the Green Bay Packers once again proved to be the most resilient team in the NFL. Led by a 304-yard and three-touchdown performance by MVP Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers outlasted the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win Super Bowl XLV.
The Packers jumped out to a fast start in the first quarter. On the team’s second drive, Rodgers connected with wide receiver Jordy Nelson three times, including a 29-yard strike for a touchdown to put the Pack up seven early in the game. The following possession lasted just one play for the Steelers when Ben Roethlisberger threw an ill-advised pass into coverage, resulting in an interception by safety Nick Collins for a touchdown. The quarter ended with Green Bay holding on to a commanding 14-0 lead.
Pittsburgh finally got on the board early in the second quarter when kicker Shaun Suisham connected on a 33-yard field goal. Defense would take over a majority of the quarter, including another interception thrown by Roethlisberger, this one picked off by cornerback Jarrett Bush. Taking advantage of another forced turnover, Aaron Rodgers located wide receiver Greg Jennings down the middle for a 21-yard touchdown pass with a little over two minutes to play. The time left on the clock proved to be too much for Roethlisberger, who authored Pittsburgh’s first touchdown drive of the day, finding Hines Ward for an eight-yard touchdown before the half. Had momentum been seized by the Steelers?
That appeared to be the case, as things tipped in favor of the Steelers in the third quarter. Charles Woodson and Donald Driver were lost for the game with injuries, and Pittsburgh returned to the smashmouth football they’re known for. On their first possession of the second half, they used six straight run and scramble plays, capped off with an eight-yard touchdown trot by Rashard Mendenhall. Both defenses held steady for the rest of the quarter, leaving Pittsburgh with possession and a four-point deficit heading into the fourth and final quarter.
Just when we thought Pittsburgh was ready to take control of the game, Green Bay forced another crucial turnover. With the ball on the Packers’ 33, Clay Matthews put a helmet on a running Mendenhall, causing him to fumble. Once again, the Packers made the best out of their opportunity. Rodgers capped off a 55-yard drive by finding Jennings for this second touchdown of the day. The Packers created a little breathing room, but it was quickly erased by a 66-yard touchdown drive by the Steelers, Mike Wallace finding the endzone this time around. Receiver Antwaan Randle-El also converted the two-point attempt, pulling Pittsburgh within a field goal.
Green Bay answered the Pittsburgh drive with a score of their own. Kicker Mason Crosby completed a 75-yard drive with a 23-yard field goal, putting the Packers up by six points. More importantly, they milked 5:27 off of the clock, leaving Roethlisberger just enough time to attempt another Super Bowl game-winning drive. Things looked good early for Pittsburgh, as Ben found tight end Heath Miller for 15 yards and a first down. He followed up with a five-yard pass to Hines Ward, but failed to connect on his next two. With fourth and five, and the Super Bowl on the line, Roethlisberger looked to connect with Mike Wallace downfield, but the pass was broken up and Green Bay was able to kneel out the clock for the win.
Take a look at what some of the participants of Super Bowl XLV were wearing on the field for the big game. You can purchase all of The Packers’ Super Bowl Locker Room gear at Eastbay now.
The Nike Speed TD 3/4 is the shoe Aaron Rodgers won to win his first Super Bowl.
Ben Roethlisberger signals a play in the Nike Air Zoom Super Bad II.
Steelers receiver Antwaan Randle El celebrates in the Reebok NFL Molded Burner Speed.
Donald Driver reacts to a first down catch in the Nike Super Speed TD.
Chris Kemoeatu tries to make a touchdown-saving tackle in the Nike Air Zoom Merciless D.
Troy Polamalu expresses disappointment in the Nike Super Speed D.
Nick Collins returned an interception for a touchdown in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly.
Brett Keisel tackles James Starks wearing a Steelers colorway of the newly released Nike Air Zoom Alpha Talon.
Hines Ward scores a touchdown in his trusty Nike Throwback TD Player Exclusive.
Jordy Nelson tries to make a catch in his Reebok cleats.
Mike Wallace is off to the races in the Nike Zoom Vapor Carbon Fly.
Greg Jennings helps seal the game wearing Nike’s Super Speed D 3/4.
Charles Woodson holds up the Lombardi Trophy while wearing the new Reebok Super Bowl Locker Room Hat.
Clay Matthews and Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers embrace being champions in the Official Locker Room T-Shirt and Hat by Reebok.
images via Yahoo