ARLINGTON, Texas (KDKA) – Super Bowl XLV came down to the final drive, but in the end three turnovers were too much to overcome for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Super Bowl XLV featured the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. Both franchises have been in this position before and have claimed the Lombardi Trophy multiple times.
Pittsburgh was looking for their seventh title, while the Packers were looking for their fourth.
It was a matchup between two of the most storied franchises in the NFL and two of the most rabid fanbases in professional sports.
In the end, the Packers scored 21 points off turnovers that proved to be the difference in the game.
The Green Bay Packers won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. As a result, Pittsburgh got the ball first.
Pittsburgh started their first drive on their own 36-yard line, but the Packers forced them to go three-and-out.
Tramon Williams bobbled the ensuing punt, but Green Bay was able to come up with the ball to avoid an early disaster.
Despite a 24-yard gain on 3rd-and-9, Pittsburgh’s defense stepped up and forced Green Bay to punt three plays later.
The Steelers started their second offensive possession at their 20-yard line. Rashard Mendenhall opened the drive with a 15-yard run. He followed that with a nine-yard run, but a false start penalty on 2nd-and-1 proved to be a drive killer. An incomplete pass on 3rd-and-1 forced Pittsburgh to punt the ball away.
On the Packers’ second possession they marched right down the field and drew first blood in Super Bowl XLV.
Rodgers hooked up with Jordy Nelson for a 29-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-1 with 3:44 to play in the first quarter. The touchdown pass capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive.
Pittsburgh took over on their own seven-yard line after an illegal block in the back penalty during the return. On the first play of the drive, Ben Roethlisberger tried to take a shot downfield, but was picked off by Nick Collins.
Collins returned the ball 37 yards to the endzone to put the Packers up 14-0 with 3:20 to play in the first quarter.
Unphased, the Pittsburgh Steelers marched down the field on their next drive. However, the drive stalled out at the Green Bay 15-yard line.
Shaun Suisham connected on a 33-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3 with 11:08 to play in the first half. The field goal capped a 13-play, 49-yard drive.
With 4:35 to play in the second quarter, Roethlisberger
On 2nd-and-11 at the Green Bay 49-yard line, Roethlisberger watched as a collision downfield led to the second interception of the game. Jarrett Bush returned the interception for only a couple of yards.
The Packers started the drive at their own 47-yard line and wasted no time to extend the lead.
On the fourth play of the drive, Rodgers found Greg Jennings for a 21-yard touchdown to put Green Bay ahead 21-3 with 2:24 to play in the half.
That was more than enough time for Roethlisberger to get the Steelers back on track before the end of the first half.
While in the hurry-up offense, Roethlisberger orchestrated a seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive to cut the Packers’ lead to 21-10.
On 2nd-and-9, Big Ben found Hines Ward for 18 yards to set Pittsburgh up with a 1st-and-goal from the eight-yard line.
On the very next play, Roethlisberger went back to Ward and found him in the endzone for the score.
Green Bay started the second half with the ball. However, they will be without the services of star cornerback Charles Woodson for the remainder of the game. An incompletion on 3rd-and-5 forced the Packers to punt the ball away.
A 15-yard facemask penalty on Green Bay during the punt return set Pittsburgh up with great field position at midfield.
Five plays later, Mendenhall broke through the line to score from eight yards out to put Pittsburgh right back in the game. The touchdown cut the lead to 21-17 with 10:19 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing drive, James Harrison came up with a big sack on 3rd-and-7 to force another Green Bay punt.
On 3rd-and-13 from the Green Bay 32-yard line, Frank Zombo recorded the first sack of the game for the Packers.
Then, Suisham trotted out for a 52-yard field goal attempt. The failed kick started out left and kept going that way, which preserved the four-point lead for the Packers.
However, the Packers were unable to do anything with the good field position after the missed kick and were forced to punt the ball away again.
The Pittsburgh defense stepped up in the third quarter and forced Green Bay to punt on four occasions. The last came in the quarter’s final moments to set the stage for the final 15 minutes of regulation where a champion will be crowned.
The Steelers started the fourth quarter facing a 2nd-and-2 from the Green Bay 33-yard line. Mendenhall’s run turned into disaster when Clay Matthews forced a fumble, that was recovered by the Packers.
On 2nd-and-10 from the Pittsburgh 40-yard line, Nelson dropped a pass from Rodgers. On the next play, Rodgers went back to Nelson, who was knocked out of bounds at the two-yard line.
After a sack on 1st-and-goal, Rodgers connected with Greg Jennings for the second time in the game. This time, it was in the back of the endzone to extend the lead to 28-17 with 11:57 left in the game.
Once again, the Steelers answered and cut the lead to three points. Roethlisberger found Mike Wallace for a 25-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-3. The Steelers elected to go for two and Antwaan Randle El found the endzone on a shovel pass from Roethlisberger to reduce the deficit to 28-25 with 7:34 to play.
However, the Packers were not done putting points on the board. Green Bay drove the ball inside the Pittsburgh five-yard line, but the defense made one final stand to hold the Packers to a 23-yard field goal.
The stage was set for Roethlisberger to pull off a repeat performance of Super Bowl XLIII.
The drive started at their own 13-yard line with 1:59 to play. Facing a 4th-and-5 with 56 seconds to play from their own 32-yard line, Roethlisberger went to the air with the game hanging in the balance.
However, there would be no repeat as pass intended for Wallace was broken up.
Rodgers only had to kneel down twice to run out the clock to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay.
Rodgers threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns to earn MVP honors.