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.