XLV Game Recap Pittsburgh Steelers VS Green Bay Packers
the first three drives of the game ended with punts, Green Bay opened
Aaron Rodgers' 29-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, who managed
to pull slightly ahead of cornerback William Gay enough to make a
leaping catch and fall into the end zone. Then on the first play
after the ensuing kickoff, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was hit
by Howard Green as he threw a pass, causing the ball to go well short
of his intended target near the left sideline where it was intercepted
by Nick Collins and returned 37 yards for a touchdown, giving Green
Bay a 14–0 lead. This score continued the streak of Super Bowl
victories recorded by teams scoring on an interception runback. They
are now 11–0 in such games. Also it was the third consecutive
Super Bowl with an interception return for a touchdown, as well as
the eighth such score in the last ten Super Bowls.
This time Pittsburgh managed to respond, driving 49 yards in 13
plays including Roethlisberger's 18-yard run on 3rd down and 9. Shaun
Suisham finished the drive with a 33-yard field goal to cut the score
to 14–3. Then after forcing a punt, the Steelers drove to midfield,
but turned the ball over again when Roethlisberger's pass was intercepted
by defensive back Jarrett Bush at the 47. Then Rodgers led the Packers
to another score, completing two passes for 20 yards before James
Starks' 12-yard run moved the ball to the 21-yard line. On the next
play, Green Bay increased their lead to 21–3 with Rodgers'
21-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. Taking the ball back with
2:24 left in the second quarter, Roethlisberger made a 37-yard completion
to Antwaan Randle El on their first play. After that, receiver Hines
Ward caught 3 passes for 39 yards on the drive, the last one an 8-yard
touchdown catch with 37 seconds left in the half, making the score
21–10 at halftime. This was the fourth time in their four 2011
postseason games that the Packers finished the first half with a
lead of at least 11 points. The first half had taken a heavy toll
on both teams. The Steelers lost receiver Emmanuel Sanders to injury,
while the Packers lost receiver Donald Driver along with defensive
backs Charles Woodson and Sam Shields. Shields would be the only
player among them who would return.
Pittsburgh's defense forced Green Bay to punt on the first drive
of the second half, and got the ball at midfield after a facemask
call on Tom Crabtree while tackling Antonio Brown on the punt return.
The offense then scored in five plays (all runs). First Rashard Mendenhall
broke free along with right sideline for a 17-yard run, then Isaac
Redman rushed for 3 yards, and Roethlisberger ran for 6, bringing
up third down and 1. On the next play, Redman tried to run up the
middle, but was held up at the line, so he backed away and ran to
the outside for a 16-yard gain to the 8-yard line. Then Mendenhall
scored an 8-yard touchdown run on the next play, making the score
21–17. After forcing a punt, Pittsburgh mounted a drive to
the Packers 29-yard line, but Green Bay's defense made a stand. First
Roethlisberger's pass was batted down behind the line by linebacker
Clay Matthews, then Roethlisberger tried a screen pass to tight end
Heath Miller, but Desmond Bishop tackled him for a 3-yard loss. Then
on third down Frank Zombo sacked Roethlisberger on the 34, and Suisham's
ensuing 52-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Steelers lost their
third turnover of the game when Mendenhall fumbled the ball while
being tackled behind the line by Matthews. Bishop recovered the ball
and returned it 7 yards to the Packers 45. Five plays later on third
down and 10, Rodgers completed a 38-yard pass to Nelson at the Steelers
2-yard line. Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley sacked Rodgers
for a 6-yard loss on the next play, but Rodgers threw an 8-yard touchdown
pass to Jennings after that, increasing the Packers lead to 28–17.
Roethlisberger led the Steelers right back with 6 of 7 completions.
After a 9-yard pass to tight end Matt Spaeth, he threw three completions
to receiver Mike Wallace for 27 yards to the Green Bay 40-yard line.
Then after a 15-yard completion to Ward, he finished the drive with
a 25-yard touchdown pass to Wallace. On the two-point conversion
play, Roethlisberger faked a handoff to Mendenhall and ran up to
the line before pitching the ball to Randle El, who scored on an
outside sweep, cutting the Steelers deficit to 3 points at 28–25.
Green Bay took the ball back with just over 7 minutes left, and
found themselves facing third down and 10 after two plays, but Rodgers
kept the drive going with a 31-yard completion to Jennings over the
middle. Starks then ran 14 yards to the Steelers 30. Two plays later,
James Jones caught a 21-yard pass at the 8. The Steelers defense
kept Green Bay out of the end zone, causing them to settle for Mason
Crosby's 23-yard field goal that gave Green Bay a 31–25 lead
with 2:07 left in regulation.
Pittsburgh got the ball back on their own 13-yard line following
a penalty on the kickoff. On their first play, Roethlisberger completed
a 15-yard pass to Miller. But after a 5-yard reception by Ward, his
next three passes were incomplete, turning the ball over and allowing
the Packers to run out the rest of the clock.
Nelson was the top receiver of the game with 9 receptions for 140
yards (both career highs) and a touchdown, while also gaining
19 more yards on a kick return, all despite 3 dropped passes. Jennings
added 64 yards and 2 touchdowns. Roethlisberger completed 25 of 40
passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns, with 2 interceptions, and
ran for 31 yards. His top target was Wallace, who caught 9 passes
for 89 yards and a score. Mendenhall was the top rusher of the game
with 64 yards and a touchdown.
Super Bowl XLV Statistics
GRB– Nelson 29 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers. GRB 7–0
GRB –37 yeard iinterception returned for TD by Collins. GRB
PIT – 33 yard field goal by Suisham. GRB 14-3
GRB – Jennings 21 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers. GRB 21-3
PIT – Ward 8 yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger. GRB 21–10
PIT– Mendenhall 8 yard touchdown run. GRB
GRB– Jennings 8 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers.
PIT– Wallace 25 yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger. GRB
PIT - 2 point conversion on run by Randle El. GRB 28-25
GRB– 23 yard field goal by Crosby. GRB 31-25
Pittsburgh Steelers - 25
Green Bay Packers - 31
Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named Super Bowl MVP, completing
24 of 39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns.