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Packers Outlast Steelers in Super Bowl XLV

Super Bowl XLV Recap


Super Bowl XLV
National Football League
There were times during the 2010 season when it appeared the Green Bay Packers might not even make it into the playoffs. In fact, it took a win over the division-rival Chicago Bears in the final week of the regular season to secure a spot in the postseason. Injuries played a big part in the inconsistencies that nearly led to the Packers sitting at home in January. So it's fitting that in a season marked by an inordinate amount of injuries to key players, the Packers would overcome the loss of veteran cornerback Charles Woodson in the first half of Super Bowl XLV to come away with a 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Despite the heavy injuries during the season, the Packers seemed to really come together as they entered the playoffs. They rode their stellar play all the way to the championship game, and they kept that momentum rolling as they bounced out to a 21-3 first-half lead over Pittsburgh behind a pair of Aaron Rodgers touchdown passes and a Nick Collins interception for a touchdown on the defensive side of the ball.

The Steelers, though, eventually showed signs of life as they scored a touchdown on an 8-yard Ben Roethlisberger pass to wide receiver Hines Ward late in the first half to draw to within 11 points.

The Steelers defense stepped up early in the second half, stifling quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense throughout the third quarter. And Pittsburgh appeared to have all the momentum when they capitalized on some excellent field position on their opening drive of the half to score on an 8-yard Rashard Mendenhall run, tightening the score to 21-17 in the third quarter.

All that momentum, however, seemed to evaporate on the first play of the fourth quarter. With Pittsburgh again the beneficiary of great field position and on the verge of perhaps taking their first lead in the game, Mendenhall fumbled, turning the ball over to the Packers on Green Bay's 36-yard line.

Ultimately, it was the turnovers that cost the Steelers a shot at their third ring in six years. Time after time Pittsburgh shot themselves in the foot by not protecting the ball. Meanwhile, the Packers capitalized on those mistake by scoring 21 points off Pittsburgh's three turnovers, including a touchdown pass from Rodgers to wide receiver Greg Jennings just eight plays following Mendenhall's fumble. The score put Green Bay back firmly in control of the game.

Although they really hurt their chances by not protecting the ball better, the Steelers found themselves with one last chance to pull things out late in the game. A Pittsburgh touchdown followed by a Green Bay field goal left the Steelers facing a six-point deficit with time running out. Needing to move the ball 87 yards in the final 1:59 with just one timeout left, Roethlisberger and the offense failed to get across midfield before turning the ball over on downs, ending any chance Pittsburgh had of pulling it out.

Rodgers, who was 24-for-39 for 304 yards and three touchdowns, took home the Super Bowl MVP honors.

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