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My team hasn't won a Super Bowl in my lifetime but I imagine the post-Super Bowl parade is one of the best possible feelings for a fan. The Green Bay Packers, after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, aren't having a traditional parade.
Instead, they'll be celebrating at Lambeau Field with their fans. The Packers, who returned home on Monday, are scheduled to host a victory celebration on Tuesday between 5:00-6:00 p.m. (ET) at Lambeau Field. Tickets for the event, which are five dollars apiece, went on sale Monday morning and can be bought through Ticketmaster outlets only.
My first thought was, 'They're making you pay for the victory celebration?' But it's not like that. All proceeds will go to the Packers Foundation charities. Parking at the event will be free.
SB Nation's Acme Packing Company, like most Packers fans, thinks it's a great idea (though I imagine just about anything is great 48 hours after your team wins the Super Bowl).
Having a giant open celebration sounds like a great idea. And the kids will be able to attend because their school day was shortened so they could get there with plenty of time to spare. The only negative is that the weather isn't great with the temperature below freezing and a chance of snow. Luckily there should be so many people there that they can celebrate together for warmth.
Anyone else who isn't a Packers fan wishing they were one right now? I know I am.
Check out Acme Packing Company for more on the event.
Shortly after the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 Super Bowl, I sat in Cowboys Stadium next to Brandon, our blogger from Acme Packing Company, discussing the chances of a repeat. Brandon noted that repeating happens rarely in the NFL but the Packers are built for continued success.
They have several important ingredients that make them ripe for a repeat.
First, they're one of the youngest teams in the NFL. This wasn't a team looking at their final chance at a Super Bowl run. From Clay Matthews to Tramon Williams to Greg Jennings, this team has youth and a lot of talent. Age won't be a factor at the majority of the important positions on the team.
Second, they have their quarterback. Most NFL teams go only as far as their quarterback will take them. For the Packers, that's a good thing. QB Aaron Rodgers is hitting, or hasn't yet hit, his peak. His incredible run through the 2011 playoffs shows he can come up big in big games. He and Kurt Warner are the only two quarterbacks to throw for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in the playoffs. And Rodgers did it all on the road. That's impressive.
Third, their defense may be the strength of the team. We talk about Rodgers, the receivers and the Green Bay offense, but this was one of the best defenses (statistically, they were the second best defense) in the NFL last year. Arguably the most important part of a defense is how you rush the quarterback and the Packers have the best young pass rusher in the game in LB Clay Matthews.
Those are the reasons Packers fans should feel good about the future. Perhaps the biggest reason they should feel optimistic is the presence of GM Ted Thompson. He helped build this team and he's not going anywhere, which means Packers fans can hopefully expect more of the same in the future.
Apparently Vegas agrees that the Packers can win it all again next year as they currently have the best odds (7/1) of winning the 2012 Super Bowl.
More people watched the 2011 Super Bowl than any TV program in history. FOX, who televised the Green Bay Packers 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, just announced the TV ratings for Sunday's game. As many of us figured, they set a new record:
Super Bowl XLV on FOX averaged 111 million viewers and 162.9 total viewers to become the most-watched program in TV history.
The news doesn't come as a surprise for a couple of reasons.
First, consider the teams. The Packers and Steelers are two of the most storied franchises, two of the most popular and have fan bases that go beyond Green Bay and Pittsburgh.
Second, consider the popularity of the NFL. The 2010 Super Bowl beat the M*A*S*H* finale as the most watched show in American TV history. According to the NFL, that game had a total of 153.4 million viewers and we saw that number jump to 162.9 million this year.
Since they're the most popular team in the country today, check out our Packers blog at Acme Packing Company.
The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV Sunday night, taking home the Lombardi Trophy to Titletown, USA for the fourth time in the franchise's history. Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers' three touchdowns was obviously a big reason why the Packers are champions and the Pittsburgh Steelers are left wondering what could have been after mounting a second half rally. Another factor contributing to Green Bay's success? Head coach Mike McCarthy's pregame motivation.
In speaking at the traditional Monday morning Super Bowl press conference (featuring McCarthy, Rodgers and Commissioner Roger Goodell), the head coach talked about how he had his team measured for their championship rings Saturday night.
"I wish I'd have made a bigger deal out of it. I just told them that we're going to get measured for rings tonight, at snack. I felt it was the right time to do it. I talked to Sean Payton about some of the things he did from a scheduling standpoint. Scheduling is so important during the course of the week, and you want to do certain things at certain times, and I felt that was the appropriate time. I thought it would be special. I thought it would give us a boost of confidence to do it the night before the game. But that's about as far as I took it."
It certainly provided a boost to the Packers' confidence levels, but from the sounds of it, they didn't need much help: "We felt we were a better team than Pittsburgh," McCarthy said. "No disrespect for them ... but we felt we were a better football team coming in here ... That's why we were so confident."
And if you're wondering, no, McCarthy did not sleep with the Lombardi Trophy.
"My wife is too good looking not to sleep with her. I didn't sleep with the trophy. The trophy is with our director of security, Doug Collins. I don't know if he slept with it. You'll have to ask him."
Aaron Rodgers was the clear and obvious Super Bowl MVP after leading the Green Bay Packers to the team's first Super Bowl win since 1997. Rodgers garnered 17.5 votes out of a possible 20 for the award, with Jordy Nelson receiving two and Clay Matthews receiving 0.5.
It was the cherry on top and the realization of a dream for Rodgers, who was unflappable in his first Super Bowl.
"It's a dream come true," Rodgers said after the game. "It's what I dreamt about as a little kid watching Joe Montana and Steve Young, and we just won the Super Bowl."
Rodgers was nearly-perfect throughout the game, overcoming drops by his receivers and an offense that looked to be stuck at neutral at times. Yet every time it looked like the Steelers were ready to break through, Rodgers was there to stem the tide.
Celebrating like he has all season, Rodgers strapped the belt on one more time on-stage at Cowboys Stadium, but this time he could truly say it was the championship belt while holding the Lombardi Trophy.
A worthy award for Rodgers after an impressive season and Super Bowl.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium as part of Monday morning's post-Super Bowl XLV press conferences and proclaimed that the preliminary ratings are indicating that the 2011 Super Bowl will be the highest rated television show in history.
The early overnight numbers are beginning to roll in, and they're reflecting Goodell's prediction: 47.9/71, which ties the highest Super Bowl overnight ever (Super Bowl XXI in 1987). It also marks a three percent increase of last year's Super Bowl (46.4/68).
In New York, the game averaged nearly 43 percent of homes, the highest ratings for a Super Bowl not involving a New York team in 28 years. Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh and Milwaukee tied for top local ratings spot, at 59.7.
For the record, the highest rated TV show ever is the series finale of M*A*S*H, which drew a 77 percent share while appearing in more than 50 million households (60.2 percent).
Jordy Nelson was hit-or-miss at times for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl 45, but came through when it mattered most. Plagued by three crippling drops, it was beginning to look like Nelson would be the goat of Super Bowl XLV as the Pittsburgh Steelers crawled back into the game. His last drop loomed large in the fourth quarter -- a second and 10 mistake that left the Packers in third and long with the Steelers down by just four.
Instead of shying away from Nelson, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers kept throwing. With Donald Driver out of the game, he had little choice, but also had the trust to know Nelson would make the play the next time. He did just that on third and 10, snaring a Rodgers toss and scampering for 38 yards to the Pittsburgh two-yard-line. Two plays later, Rodgers hit Greg Jennings for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown.
Nelson was far-and-away Rodgers' favorite target in the Super Bowl. Rodgers threw Nelson's way 15 times in the game, more than doubling Greg Jennings second-best seven targets. It was Nelson's nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown that made the difference -- a needed boost in production with Driver on the sidelines.
For his efforts, Nelson received 2.5 MVP votes, more symbolic than anything with Rodgers the clear winner. But it was Nelson's clutch catch and run, along with his overall performance, that played a big role in the Packers' win. It seems the Super Bowl always brings out big games from the players out of nowhere and Nelson was no exception. And boy are the Packers glad he stepped up in a big way when he was needed most.
Fore more on the game, check out our 2011 Super Bowl StoryStream.
DALLAS -- Sitting at the podium wearing a Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV champions shirt, QB Aaron Rodgers was what you would expect a Super Bowl MVP to be like 20 minutes after a world championship. Elated. Shock. Nearly crying -- but the good kind of tears.
As he walked to the podium, the crowd of reporters mobbed his area. Pieces of confetti dropped from his shirt as he made his way to the stand and plopped up there. He said things like, "Great group of men" and "It was just a fun night" as he described the Packers 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Packers are your Super Bowl winners and Rodgers is your MVP.
After the Super Bowl, I thought this truly became Rodgers' team, if it wasn't already. He tore through the playoffs becoming just the second player in history to throw for over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in a playoff run. The Packers rushed the ball just 13 times tying a Super Bowl record-low meaning the pressure was on Rodgers to deliver all game. And he became an MVP in the biggest game of his life without one of the cornerstones of the Packers franchise the last decade in WR Donald Driver, who left with an injury.
Not even QB Brett Favre has a Super Bowl MVP in his trophy room. If Green Bay ever needed the validation that they made the right move choosing Rodgers over Favre three years ago, this was it.
"I've never felt like there's been a monkey on my back," Rodgers said after the game when asked about Favre. "The organization stood behind me, believed in me. That's what I did on the podium; I thanked Ted [Thompson] and Mark [Murphy] and Mike [McCarthy] really for believing in me and giving me an opportunity. I told Ted back in 2005 he wouldn't be sorry with this pick. I told him in '08 that I was going to repay their trust and get us this opportunity."
Following the game, players from both teams talked about Rodgers:
Pittsburgh DE Brett Keisel: "I have a lot of respect for him. He is the reason they won. He is a phenomenal guy."
Green Bay NT B.J. Raji: "To be honest, I didn't expect anything less from A-Rod. He's been doing this the whole season and throughout the playoffs. He's emerged as our leader and I believe the best is yet to come."
Pittsburgh S Troy Polamalu: "Is he the MVP tonight? He deserved it."
Pittsburgh WR Hines Ward: "For Rodgers to take it down and score on our defense, that's the sign of a great coming out party for him. I think this was a big game for him against our defense."
Green Bay G Daryn Colledge: "He's probably one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, so we feel in the huddle that all we've got to do is protect him and he'll make things happen."
Green Bay WR Donald Driver: "One thing, that guy is a true leader. He goes out week in and week out and proves people wrong. He proved it once again and he can now say that he is one of the best quarterbacks in this game."
Green Bay GM Ted Thompson: "I think people are going to write stories about him 10 years from now; he's pretty special. Even though he's done so much, he's still just kind of getting started."
Despite packing fans into standing areas, temporary seating, areas outside the stadium and including credentialed personnel, the official tally for Super Bowl XLV was 103,219, which misses the record by a scant 766. The previous record of 103,985 came at Super Bowl XIV between the Steelers and Rams at the Rose Bowl in 1980.
It was still the second largest total for a Super Bowl and second largest for an NFL game in Cowboys Stadium.
Attendance hopes were marred early on when it was announced that 400 ticket-bearing fans would not be able to stay inside and watch the game. 800 other fans were relocated when temporary seating wasn't completed in time. Ultimately, it didn't matter.
Falling short of the record is the latest bummer in a week full of them for the city and the stadium. Between the weather, the canceled flights, the ice that fell from the roof of the stadium and now this, things could have gone a lot better for Jerry Jones and Cowboys Stadium.
It was the Aaron Rodgers show in Super Bowl XLV as the Green Bay Packers became Super Bowl winners for the second time thanks to the quarterback's 300-yard, three touchdown performance in Green Bay's 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rodgers spread the ball around, finding eight different receivers with his 24 completions. Jordy Nelson led the way with nine catches for 140 yards and a touchdown. Greg Jennings came through in the clutch, catching four passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns, the last of which was the difference in the game.
Mike Wallace led the way for the Steelers, catching nine passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. Hines Ward was close behind, adding 78 yards and a score on seven catches.The two combined to catch 16 of Roethlisberger's 25 completions, with Wallace emerging as his favorite target by far.
While Rodgers was near-perfect, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled, putting the Steelers into a hole that they struggled to dig out of. In the first quarter, on the next play from scrimmage after Green Bay drew first blood, Roethlisberger threw a horrific pass that Nick Collins picked off and ran back 37 yards for the score, turning a seven-point deficit into a 14-point deficit in a matter of moments. After two first half interceptions, Roethlisberger recovered, though, finishing with 263 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
As expected, the Packers struggled on the ground, rushing for just 50 net yards as a team. James Starks led the way, carrying 11 times for 52 yards. It was clear from the start that it was up to Rodgers, and as the Packers abandoned the run game Rodgers stepped up and carried the team.
Pittsburgh was productive on the ground, led by Rashard Mendenhall's 63 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. His third quarter score was the only rushing touchdown in Super Bowl XLV. Roethlisberger showed off his mobile side at times, carrying four times for 31 yards on scrambles. Isaac Redman and Mewelde Moore rounded on the four-headed rushing attack, combining for 32 yards.
Finally, on the defensive side of the ball, Green Bay was a turnover-forcing machine. Nick Collins and Jarrett Bush each had interceptions, with Collins' taking his back to the house. Tramon Williams continued to impress, as well, forcing a fumble which Desmond Bishop recovered. The Packers scored 21 points off the three turnovers as the offense took advantage of the defenses' big plays.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named Super Bowl XLV MVP Sunday night, and for good reason -- he threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns and completed 24 passes without an interception. And of course, he led Green Bay to a win in Super Bowl XLV. Rodgers was certainly an apparent and deserving choice for the game's MVP, but with two of his touchdown passes finding Greg Jennings, the wide receiver just as easily could have taken home the honors, writes our Packers blog, Acme Packing Company (especially after Jordy Nelson and James Jones got a case of the drops).
When Roger Goodell was preparing to hand out the award, I mentioned to my friend that it should go to Jennings. Of course the cliche thought of the quarterback winning the award seemed to come win in the end.
No, don't go throwing Rodgers under the bus here, because he deserves it -- after all, silencing the buzzing bee of Brett Favre is no easy task. But would the Packers be basking in the glow of their fourth Super Bowl trophy if it wasn't for Jennings in the long run?
Jennings finished with four receptions for 64 yards and the two scores. But more importantly, he became Rodgers' go-to receiver after Donald Driver had to leave the game with an injury. And his experience proved valuable, especially on his first TD, which put the Packers up 21-3 in the second quarter.
"The first touchdown was just a bee line. It was pretty much like the 31-yard catch at the end of the game. They played cover two and I was able to slip LaMarr Woodley and get in between Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. The second was a corner route, and Polamalu kind of dropped me. He was looking at the backfield for something else and let me just run right by him".
Super Bowl XLV is in the books. The Green Bay Packers are your Super Bowl winners defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas on Sunday night. The game was memorable for a lot of reasons from Aaron Rodgers' getting the Brett Favre monkey off his back to the Packers overcoming even more injuries to win.
One memory from the game -- and not a good one for Steelers fans -- was the lack of impact from S Troy Polamalu. Asked after the game about Polamalu's lack of impact, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said, "He was on the field. They made plays."
Polamalu told reporters after the game that this loss was the toughest of his life. "I don't know, I had some opportunities to make plays, I was just off a step here or there." Replays showed Polamalu went left and the Packers went right on one touchdown to Greg Jennings. He just didn't seem to make any sort of impact which is unusual.
"Those penalties hurt us," he said. "Big plays hurt us. A lot of things did."
Then he said: "This is not a game to us. This is our lifestyle." He called the loss a "humbling experience" and a "good spiritual lesson".
The Packers ability to create turnovers was obviously a major impact on this game but their ability to take Polamalu out of the game can not be discounted. That's one of the most impressive accomplishments from Mike McCarthy's offense.
"Hard fought. Obviously we're disappointed. For me, it's even more disappointing because I felt like I left a lot of people down."
Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was denied his third career world championship losing to the Green Bay Packers, 31-25, in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday night.
He said he felt bad not only for himself but for his teammates. "You know me, I hate to lose, especially when you feel like you're letting down guys that really stepped up in a big way, so it's really hard."
Roethlisberger sat at the podium, his eyes red from tears, staring straight ahead with lightbulbs flashing and answering questions.
So many of us thought the Steelers would do it when Roethlisberger got the ball late in the fourth quarter. We've seen this script before and a 32-31 Steelers victory seemed to be in the making. Roethlisberger said he told his guys in the huddle before the final drive, "'I believe in you guys and we can do this.' I think we all really felt like we could."
He took a share of the blame for the loss and the stats may agree with two interceptions to his name. "We're a team of fighters. We don't quit. We believe in each other. We were going to fight all the way to the last second, which I think we did. If I had played a little better, I feel like we would have had a better chance to win the game."
You can tell he was hurting. Even from my perspective, who didn't lose anything, it was hard to watch. He referenced several times letting his teammates down and that his own performance likely cost his team the game.
"It's not fun. I hate to lose."
The Green Bay Packers are 2011 Super Bowl champions defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Dallas, Texas. The feeling in the postgame media sessions was what you thought it would be -- pure joy. Several Packers noted how special this was for a guy like WR Donald Driver.
Driver, 36, celebrated a birthday on Wednesday and four days later celebrated a Super Bowl title.
The game didn't go as he planned when he left with an injury in the second quarter. "I couldn't jump on it anymore and [the doctor] told me I was done even though I felt like I could still go. He said no good. Sometimes you have to follow what the doctor says."
Despite exiting the game, he was still able to make himself useful. Several Packers said Driver gave a speech at halftime after he learned he wouldn't be able to return and that was part of their motivation to go into the second half and maintain their lead.
"The crazy part is those guys came in there and saw my eyes, they told me, "We can cry because you're crying right now." So I told them to go out and there and win it all."
Jennings jokingly said Driver has been in Green Bay "for what seems like 45 years" -- it's actually since 1999 -- and that it felt special to get a victory for him.
Like Driver, CB Charles Woodson was hurt and didn't return in the second half. "It's been an unbelievable journey for this team all season long. All season long we had to fight through a lot of things and today was no different. Driver goes down. I go down. Just like all season, somebody stepped in and they stepped up."
Woodson said he talked to the young players before they went back out for the second half. "I told the guys, before they went back out, they understand how much I wanted it. I was pretty emotional so I didn't get a whole lot out, but just to tell them to get it done and they did."
It's fitting that, in a year where the dominating story line was the number of injuries in Green Bay, the Packers came out in the second half without two of their biggest stars and go on to win the game, and the Super Bowl.
After throwing for 304 yards and three touchdowns, Aaron Rodgers got what was coming to him if the Packers pulled out Super Bowl XLV: a selection as the Super Bowl XLV MVP.
Rodgers joins Bart Starr (Super Bowls I and II) and Desmond Howard (Super Bowl XXXI) as Packers to have won the Super Bowl MVP, and his offense helped the Packers keep up a streak that dates back to the first "Big Game": Green Bay's 31 points in this win means the Packers have scored 30-plus points in all of their Super Bowl victories.
The six-point margin of victory, however, means that the Packers' streak of double-digit margins of victory in Super Bowl wins is over.
Oh, and about that shadow of Brett Favre? Rodgers just equaled Favre in number of Super Bowl rings, threw for more yardage and touchdowns than Favre did in either of his Super Bowl appearances, and earned an MVP award that Favre couldn't. If that shadow hasn't been banished forever, Rodgers at least burned it off under the bright Super Bowl lights tonight.
Down by six with two minutes to go in Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a chance to put together one of the best drives in NFL history. A penalty on the kickoff return put the Steelers in a hole, with a long way between them and the end zone.
QB Ben Roethlisberger started it off with a first down completion, immediately ordering the team into hurry-up mode. With about a minute to go, he overthrew WR Mike Wallace deep down the field. On fourth down, the Steelers backfield cleared out, Roethlisberger threw a very catchable pass to Wallace, which the receiver dropped after what appeared to be contact with CB Tramon Williams.
The Green Bay Packers have just locked up their fourth Super Bowl title. QB Aaron Rodgers is an all-but lock to win the MVP award, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns and turning the ball over zero times. WR Jordy Nelson turned in 140 yards and a score, Greg Jennings added two touchdowns, and Clay Matthews forced a fumble and nearly picked off another pass, but this is Rodgers’ team, and this was Rodgers’ game.
Congratulations to the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers' offense has done nearly everything it can do to win Super Bowl XLV. Now, it'll be on the Packers' defense to shut down the Steelers and preserve a lead.
Aaron Rodgers led the Packers down the field again, throwing one dart to Greg Jennings for the drive's biggest gain, but couldn't finish it off, with a pass to Jordy Nelson in the end zone falling through the receiver's hands. Mason Crosby converted the short field goal, and the Packers lead, 31-25.
Rodgers has thrown for 304 yards and three touchdowns despite a slew of drops by his receivers. Again: if the Packers win Super Bowl XLV, Rodgers is almost assuredly your Super Bowl MVP.
Down 11 in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers needed a score to make up for the touchdown Aaron Rodgers threw on the previous drive. They got a couple of them, with Ben Roethlisberger throwing a 25-yard over-the-shoulder touchdown to WR Mike Wallace, following it up with a two-point conversion.
If you didn’t see the play, brace yourself for the description of it.
Roethlisberger ran the option with Antwaan Randle El for the two-point conversion, with Randel El successfully running it in to cut the lead to three. That’s right — Ben Roethlisberger ran the option in the Super Bowl.
With about seven minutes left, the Green Bay Packers have a chance to either put the game away or make this one very interesting. Either way, this Super Bowl looks to be about as good as expected.
After the Packers forced a Rashard Mendenhall fumble on the first play of the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLV, their offense went back to work after a miserable third period. And things worked again.
Aaron Rodgers used his feet to set up one third down conversion, on a tough catch by James Jones; Jordy Nelson got another by racing across the middle of the field after snaring a Rodgers laser. And then Rodgers went up top to Greg Jennings down near the goal line for an eight-yard touchdown that gave the Packers a double-digit lead once again. Mason Crosby hit the extra point to make the score 28-17 in Green Bay's favor.
Rodgers has now thrown for 240 yards and three touchdowns. If you're looking for a Super Bowl XLV MVP in the case of a Packers win, you probably won't have to look past Rodgers.
The Pittsburgh Steelers got the ball back near midfield with a chance to take their first lead over the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. They would’ve gotten the ball on their own 40, but an illegal man downfield penalty on the Packers led to a re-punt that gave Pittsburgh an extra 20 or so yards of field position.
At the end of the third quarter, down 21-17, the Steelers faced second-and-two with all the momentum. LB Clay Matthews did something about all that, forcing a Rashard Mendenhall fumble with a big hit in the backfield.
That’s three turnovers for Green Bay’s defense, none for Pittsburgh’s The Steelers hold a 74-yard offensive advantage, but coughing up the ball
Another third down in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLV, another Packers failure.
Aaron Rodgers found Brett Swain across the first down marker with less than a minute left in the third quarter, but Swain couldn't hang onto the ball while being hit, and the play was ruled an incomplete pass on the field.
And to make matters worse, Mike McCarthy challenged the play and lost, costing the Packers a timeout.
In the third quarter, the Packers have gone 0-for-4 on third down, and Rodgers has thrown three incompletions and been sacked.
Finally, the Packers had a chance to made some headway against the rugged Pittsburgh defense in the second half of Super Bowl XLV. But another third down stand forced another Green Bay punt.
The Packers had just crossed midfield when Aaron Rodgers was forced to throw on third down, and zipped a laser just past the outstretched hands of Brett Swain.
Troy Aikman explained that Rodgers made the right throw, but Swain failed to separate from the coverage.
Oh, and Swain's only playing because Donald Driver is out for the rest of this game with an unknown injury. Good times for Packers fans!
In the third quarter of Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers followed another Green Bay Packers three-and-out with a mostly successful drive that lost steam at the end. Shaun Suisham attempted a long field goal that sailed wide left, his first miss of the game.
Pittsburgh’s losses on the offensive line may be taking a toll. Not only did Roethlisberger bobble a snap from backup center Doug Legursky, but the Packers are starting to get serious pressure into the Pittsburgh pocket. LB Clay Matthews nearly batted a Roethlisberger pass to himself, and on the next play LB Frank Zombo brought down the passer to force a field goal.
WR Hines Ward was again a big part of the drive, converting one second down with a 15-yard catch over the middle that involved a few more moves than you’d expect from a player his age.
And now it's the Packers' offense that can't do anything right in Super Bowl XLV.
Dealing with a hampered Donald Driver and a Steelers defense that has found its footing — plus a crowd that sounds like it's at least two-thirds Terrible Towel-wavers — the Packers couldn't do anything on their second drive in the second half, going three and out.
Aaron Rodgers tried to escape the pocket to make a third down throw and move the chains, but was tripped up from behind. Rodgers has made plays all year with his mobility, and has been especially effective while moving around in the playoffs, but that hasn't been the case at all against the fast Steelers defense in this Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XLV is now a ballgame — Joe Buck even raised his voice at the Pittsburgh Steelers latest score. RB Rashard Mendenhall is having a strong game, running for 55 yards on 10 carries, and banged in an eight-yard score to put the Steelers within four points. They now trail the Green Bay Packers, 21-17, in the third quarter.
Pittsburgh’s defense bowed up on the first possession of the half, forcing a three-and-out. Whether the long string of injuries to Green Bay’s secondary is going to become a major issue, or the Packers will be able to overcome them (since that’s kind of their thing) remains to be seen.
The Steelers have outgained the Pack by 50 yards, but those two turnovers have made the difference. Ben Roethlisberger has completed 13 of 21 for 143 yards.
The Packers' offense couldn't quite get things started at the beginning of the third quarter of Super Bowl XLV. As has been the case in previous Packers games this year, a James Jones drop is to blame.
Aaron Rodgers hit Jones between the numbers on a post route on third down, and Jones had nothing but the green turf of Cowboys Stadium before him — but the ball bounced off his chest and through his hands, forcing the Packers to punt.
With the Packers' defense banged up — Charles Woodson is out for the rest of the Super Bowl with a collarbone injury — the Steelers' offense may be able to get something going in the second half. And if that happens, it's likely that the Packers' receiving corps will need to make the sorts of catches Jones just failed to make to keep their lead.
Here is a brief recap of all of the injuries in the first half of Super Bowl XLV:
Bryant McFadden left the game early with a shoulder injury. He was replaced with William Gay, who allowed a touchdown to Jordy Nelson. McFadden has since returned to the sideline.
Flozell Adams went down hard on Nick Collins' interception return for a touchdown.
Ben Roethlisberger got up slowly after a hard hit and was limping, but ran for a first down on the next play and never left the game.
Donald Driver left the game after getting his legs caught under him while being tackled. He limped to the sideline, then to the locker room.
Sam Shields left the game and went to the locker room after going down hard making a tackle.
Charles Woodson left the game and went to the locker room with an apparent shoulder injury after breaking up a pass.
Nick Collins went to the locker room early after the Steelers' touchdown drive at the end of the second quarter. It is unclear whether he was injured.
Nice argument for an 18-game NFL season, huh?
More: Super Bowl 2012 coverage.
Deep in a 21-3 hole at Super Bowl XLV, the Pittsburgh Steelers had some serious ground to make up on the Green Bay Packers, especially with the end of the first half approaching. They responded with their biggest play of the night, a 37-yard catch-and-run by WR Antwaan Randle-El on a pass from WR Ben Roethlisberger.
The play sent Packers safety Sam Shields out of the game with a left arm injury. He’s replaced by Jarrett Bush, who has one interception. On the next play, CB Charles Woodson left with an injury. Green Bay’s secondary solution appears to be to let the linebackers do it — LB A.J. Hawk dropped a sure interception over the middle.
With that depleted pass defense, WR Hines Ward went to work. Ward caught multiple passes within the final minute, including a wide-open eight-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger. Ward made a great move to shake his coverage as the ball was in the air, giving the Steelers their first touchdown of the night.
The Packers' offense is living up to the hype and dominating the big stage at Cowboys Stadium. The Steelers might want to remind their defense that Super Bowl XLV has started.
After a Jarrett Bush interception set the Packers up at midfield, Aaron Rodgers aerated the Steelers secondary, throwing frozen ropes and hitting Greg Jennings over the middle for a drive-ending touchdown pass. A Mason Crosby extra point pushed the Packers' lead to 21-3.
Jennings' catch was an excellent one: he leaped into the air for a high throw from Rodgers, then held on after being rattled by a huge hit from Troy Polamalu.
If the Steelers don't start competing either on offense or defense, and quickly, this Super Bowl could be a blowout. If they don't start competing with both units, Green Bay might win this one by 50.
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense forced a Green Bay Packers punt, setting up an opportunity for the Steelers to draw within a score. Pittsburgh moved the ball well, but QB Ben Roethlisberger threw his second pick to end the drive. It wasn’t entirely his fault — he threw the ball into traffic, but it bounced between various players before Jarrett Bush came up with it.
Sticking with the running game, the Steelers gave RB Rashard Mendenhall his eighth carry of the night, but a holding call on TE Heath Miller set Pittsburgh’s drive back. Miller hasn’t had a game Steelers fans will treasure, so far at least, with a pass bouncing off his fingertips and ending a first quarter drive.
RB Mewelde Moore got his first carry of the game, forcing his way up the middle for seven yards and a first down.
The Steelers game plan now seems to be keeping the ball in the center of the field as much as possible, neutralizing their speed disadvantage somewhat. Roethlisberger completed a number of passes straight down the middle on the drive, including a 13-yard rope to Antwaan Randle-El.
The Steelers finally put points on the board in the second quarter of Super Bowl XLV. And now, they've gotten a stop on defense that might contribute to a momentum swing, too.
The Packers are still struggling on first down, and another short pass on second down forced Green Bay to throw on third down in an attempt to move the chains. Aaron Rodgers' pass to Donald Driver was complete, but Driver was tackled just short of the first down marker, necessitating a Tim Masthay punt.
After making the third down catch, Driver limped to the sideline. His legs were caught underneath him on the tackle by James Harrison and James Farrior.
Nick Collins' interception return for a touchdown is definitely the biggest play of Super Bowl XLV so far. But might it have actually ensured his Packers will win Super Bowl rings?
Thanks to pressure up the middle by Howard Green, Ben Roethlisberger's throw appears to get altered; the resulting throw is woefully short of the covered Steelers receiver Roethlisberger was likely aiming for, and Collins pulls it out of the air like a centerfielder with a pop fly.
Collins' nifty footwork up the sideline and judicious use of his blockers made the route to six points fairly simple, save for that leap at the goal line.
And if the Packers go on to win this game, they'll be confirming one of the better statistical trends in Super Bowl history: no team has ever lost the Super Bowl after scoring a touchdown on an interception return, according to ESPN research.
The Pittsburgh Steelers followed Green Bay Packers safety Nick Collins’ pick six by finally getting a drive going, for the first time in Super Bowl XLV. The 13-play, 49-yard drive took up over seven minutes, but only resulted in a 33-yard Shaun Suisham field goal after Green Bay’s secondary stopped WR Mike Wallace short of a red zone first down.
Ben Roethlisberger took a shot (from nobody!) to his left knee near midfield, but stayed in to convert a third and nine with a long scramble to the sideline. Not sure what happened, but Roethlisberger curled up on the ground after an awkward throw. His knee is probably OK.
Green Bay’s defense looks very fast, a few big plays aside. Minus WR Bryant McFadden, the Steelers don’t have an overwhelming assortment of fast weaponry.
Uh-oh for the Pittsburgh Steelers. CB Bryant McFadden suffered a hip injury in the first quarter of the 2011 Super Bowl against the Green Bay Packers and his return is officially questionable. CB William Gay will likely step into his role and the secondary will need to do some shifting.
The Packers have shown early on they like playing with multiple receiver sets -- they opened the game with five-wide -- so McFadden's injury could potentially be a significant one. Pittsburgh's secondary would take a hit if McFadden were to miss extended time.
Green Bay is already showing the importance of a solid secondary when S Nick Collins picked off a QB Ben Roethlisberger pass and took it back for a touchdown.
So not much, if anything, is going right for Steelers fans right now. Steelers fans should remember three weeks ago in the AFC divisional playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens game when they were down 21-7 at halftime.
Aaron Rodgers' touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson wasn't all that special, but it's a thing of beauty in its execution.
Rodgers sets up the deep throw with a perfunctory play action to the running back, but then loads up and throws over cornerback William Gay to Nelson, who hauls in a leaping catch. It's safe to say that Nelson atoned for his failure to bring down a pass that sailed through his hands on the first drive with this play.
The educated Steelers fan will note that Gay is not the Steelers' starting cornerback on that side; Bryant McFadden left the game with a shoulder injury early, and has since returned to the Steelers' sideline.
After the Green Bay Packers scored the first points of Super Bowl XLV on a long pass from QB Aaron Rodgers to WR Jordy Nelson, Pittsburgh Steelers KR Antonio Brown brought back his second big kick return of the day. But it was called back by a penalty, erasing a 44-yard head start for Pittsburgh.
The Steelers tried to get it back all at once, with QB Ben Roethlisberger bombing deep to WR Mike Wallace, but Packers safety Nick Collins made a break on the ball, picking it off. He then made one of the best touchdown returns in NFL history, vaulting over a bundle of Packers at the goal line to put the Packers up by two touchdowns early.
Neither team was supposed to have a major special teams advantage, especially since they’re both depleted by injuries to one degree, but the Steelers at least have the kick returns thing going for them.
More: Super Bowl 2012 coverage.
And we have the first score in Super Bowl XLV. Aaron Rodgers found Jordy Nelson for a touchdown on a go route up the right sideline late in the first quarter, and Mason Crosby gave the Packers a 7-0 lead with his extra point.
The Packers got things rolling with a strike from Rodgers to Nelson and a run right by James Starks to move the chains on a third and inches, then got their first yardage on first down all night with a quick slant to Nelson.
The Packers chewed up more ground with their short passing game, then connected on the deep throw to Nelson from a third and one at the Steelers 30.
A pass from QB Ben Roethlisberger off the tips of TE Heath Miller’s fingers spelled the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers second drive of Super Bowl XLV. Pittsburgh moved the ball slightly better than on their first drive, securing a first down, but still had to punt.
RB Rashard Mendenhall is now up to 20 yards on three carries, breaking a 15-yarder for the first down. Roethlisberger has completed two of his four passes for nine yards, finding WR Mike Wallace for four yards on this drive. The Steelers have amassed 29 yards in two drives, taking seven snaps and holding the ball for just over four minutes.
The punt sailed into Green Bay’s end zone for the touchback.
After the Green Bay Packers' first drive in Super Bowl XLV, the score is still 0-0, despite a play that could easily have led to points.
On the Packers' first play from scrimmage, LaMarr Woodley broke up a quick slant to Greg Jennings. Then, a draw to James Starks gained next to no yardage on second down.
Forced to try to pick up the first down on third and nine, the Packers came up huge, with an offsides penalty from Pittsburgh failing to generate any rush on Rodgers, who fired a strike to Donald Driver on a deep post.
Then that script almost repeated itself: Rodgers was pressured and airmailed Jordy Nelson in the left flat, then a draw to Starks gained just three yards. But on this set of downs, the Packers would not move the chains.
Standing tall against pressure from James Farrior, Rodgers found an open Nelson with a step on the defense, but Nelson couldn't make the catch, the ball sailing through his arms. If Nelson had managed to reel in the pass, the Packers would have been set up in the red zone, and poised to take an early lead on the Steelers.
Tim Masthay punted deep, and the ball went out the back of the end zone for a touchback.
The Packers drive was nearly scuttled before it began: miscommunication between Tramon Williams and Sam Shields led to a muffed punt that the Packers recovered.
The Pittsburgh Steelers opened Super Bowl XLV with a 38-yard kickoff return by Antonio Brown. The kick returner ran the 72-yard Green Bay Packers kick out from two yards deep in the end zone, if that’s relevant to your gambling interests in any way.
After a three-and-out, a punt near Green Bay’s 20 bounced off Tramon Williams as Sam Shields collided with him. A pileup resulted, with multiple Steelers claiming possession of the ball (the referees did not believe them!), but the Packers emerged with the ball.
On the first Pittsburgh drive, QB Ben Roethlisberger completed a four-yard pass to WR Hines Ward, which was negated by a four-yard loss on a run by RB Rashard Mendenhall. Roethlisberger also threw an incompletion in there.
The Packers defense looks fast and aggressive, but Pittsburgh hasn’t suffered mightily yet from the loss of Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey.
Here's your first major miscue of Super Bowl XLV: Cowboys Stadium didn't have enough seats prepared for all of the Super Bowl tickets sold.
The NFL Network's Jason La Canfora lays it out:
NFL relocated 850 ticket holders due to issues with safety of seats. 400 fans were not able to be moved and refunded triple the face value
The face value of those tickets? $900.
Sports Illustrated writer Jim Trotter tweets that those fans might still get seats.
NFL says it's relocating fans to unused seats in aux press box and giving displaced fans tix that were previously returned ... Also, the NFL says some Cowboys staff members have returned their tix, as have senior staff who had tix for family
But there's definitely a huge problem here: did fans who bought tickets and shelled out wads of cash really get turned away? Even if they worked things out, that initial refusal is a major, major blemish on Super Bowl XLV. And a weak week in North Texas didn't need more flaws.
Super Bowl XLV between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. For those unaware, NFL teams have 53 players on the active roster but only 45 of those players are available to play on game day. The inactives are those eight that are left out.
Among the important notes is that Packers LB Erik Walden is inactive and will not play as he worked through an injury all week.
Here are all the Packers inactives: QB Graham Harrell (3rd QB), RB Dimitri Nance, CB Brandon Underwood, CB Josh Gordy, FB Quinn Johnson, C/G Evan Dietrich-Smith, C/G Nick McDonald and Walden.
For the Steelers, there's aren't any major surprises. C Maurkice Pouncey has already been placed on IR so he's not included and DE Aaron Smith is also out, as reported.
Here are all the Steelers inactives: QB Charlie Batch (3rd QB), RB Jonathan Dwyer, CB Crezdon Butler, T Chris Scott, DT Steve McLendon, C/G Dorian Brooks, LB Jason Worilds and Smith.
Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers kicks off at 6:29 pm EST, whether there's room for anybody to actually sit in Cowboys Stadium or not. The Packers are expected to win in a low-scoring contest, as QB Aaron Rodgers is on a red-hot postseason tear.
For the Steelers, this is a chance to win Lombardi Trophy No. 7, and the third in the Ben Roethlisberger era. The Packers are gunning for their fourth Super Bowl title.
The Steelers will be without Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey and DE Aaron Smith, while the Packers will be at full strength with WR Donald Driver and OT Chad Clifton aboard. As full-strength as a team can be with almost two entire baseball lineups worth of players on Injured Reserve, of course.
We have more coverage all over our Super Bowl hub of pregame events, the halftime show, commercials, and much more, but this right here is your destination for live game coverage.
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