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Print

Turnovers kill bid for 7th title

Posted Feb 6, 2011

PACKERS 31, STEELERS 25

Steelers’ record in Super Bowls: 6-2
Packers’ record in Super Bowls: 4-1
Series record (including playoffs): Packers lead, 22-14

STORYLINE
The NFL was founded in a Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio, a town located thousands of miles from Dallas with Super Bowl XLV being staged at a venue at the complete other end of the spectrum from a car dealer’s showroom. But the participants in this Super Bowl are two of the storied franchises in the history of a league founded in 1920. The Steelers (six) and the Packers (12) have combined for 18 league championships, and the teams now have made a combined 13 appearances in the Super Bowl. And at their core, the Steelers and Packers franchises represent what is special about the National Football League – both have been extremely successful without the advantages of being in a major market, and while the Steelers have been family-owned throughout their existence the Packers are the only team in the league that’s community-owned.

TURNING POINT
The Steelers had closed to 21-17 and they had the ball at the Green Bay 41-yard line after a re-kick of a punt following a penalty. After an 8-yard run on first down, Rashard Mendenhall lost a fumble that Desmond Bishop recovered. Eight plays later, the Packers had re-built their lead to 28-17 with just less than 12 minutes remaining in the game.

STATS THAT STAND OUT
Green Bay has scored first in all five of its Super Bowl appearances.

Nick Collins’ 36-yard interception return for a touchdown was the 13th in Super Bowl history. Teams that return an interception for a touchdown in the Super Bowl are now 11-0.

The Steelers were penalized four times for 32 yards in the first half, while the Packers were flagged only for an illegal celebration by Nick Collins following his 36-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Hines Ward’s touchdown catch was his 10th postseason touchdown. He is the sixth player in NFL history to accomplish that.

The Steelers were minus-three in turnover ratio

WHAT WENT RIGHT
* The Steelers’ best offense of the first half came in the final 1:45 of the first half. On the seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive, Ben Roethlisberger completed 5-of-7 for 72 yards, including the 8-yard throw to Hines Ward in the back of the end zone that brought the Steelers to 21-10 at halftime.

* As a balance to the Steelers having to play the entire second half without receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot), the Packers had to go without Charles Woodson (collarbone).

* In the first five minutes of the second half, the Steelers got exactly what they needed – a stop by their defense and a touchdown by their offense. William Gay just got a hand on a third-down pass intended for James Jones, and then the offense drove 50-yards in five plays, with Rashard Mendenhall getting into the end zone.

* On the series after Mendenhall’s touchdown, the Steelers got off the field with a third-down sack by James Harrison.

* A huge flip in field position late in the third quarter. On a fourth down from the Steelers 21-yard line, Jeremy Kapinos got off a 54-yard punt, and then when Tramon Williams was flagged for unnecessary roughness the Packers started their offensive possession at the 13-yard line.

* On a third-and-2 from the Packers 25-yard line, defensive coordinator Dom Capers got aggressive with a blitz, and Roethlisberger got the ball to Mike Wallace behind the coverage for a touchdown. With the Steelers trailing, 28-23, Mike Tomlin opted for a two-point conversion attempt. Roethlisberger took the shotgun snap, faked the ball to Mendenhall and started running to his left. At the last instant, he pitched the ball to Antwaan Randle El who got into the end zone to make it, 28-25, midway through the fourth quarter.

* The defense allowed the Packers to convert a third-and-10 with a 31-yard pass to Greg Jennings that moved the ball to the Steelers 44-yard line. But after Green Bay moved down to a first-and-goal, the Steelers defense stiffened and forced a field goal that kept the margin within a touchdown and an extra point, 31-25.

WHAT WENT WRONG
* The Steelers second possession began nicely. After a Green Bay punt went for a touchback, Rashard Mendenhall went for 15 yards on first down and then he rushed for 9 more to set up the Steelers with a second-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 44-yard line. But David Johnson committed a false start on that play, and it became a second-and-6. A quick pass to Mike Wallace gained 5 yards, but Ben Roethlisberger threw high to Heath Miller on third-and-1, and the Steelers had to punt.

* After the Packers took a 7-0 lead, Antonio Brown returned the kickoff 45 yards, but the Steelers offense ended up with the ball at their own 7-yard line after Ryan Mundy was flagged for an illegal block in the back.

* On the first offensive play following Mundy’s penalty. Roethlisberger’s deep pass for Mike Wallace was severely underthrown, and Nick Collins intercepted the ball and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Packers lead. It appeared Roethlisberger may have altered his delivery a bit because of pressure from Green Bay’s Howard Green.

* Roethlisberger’s second interception came on an attempted slant to Mike Wallace. Jarrett Bush came off his man and beat Wallace to the spot for the interception that the Packers turned into a 21-3 lead four plays later on a 21-yard pass to Greg Jennings from Aaron Rodgers.

* When Shaun Suisham was wide left with a 52-yard field goal attempt with 4:29 left in the third quarter, it meant the Packers started their offensive possession at their own 42-yard line.

* After the kickoff following the field goal that gave the Packers a 31-25 lead, Keyaron Fox was penalized for unnecessary roughness, which mean the Steelers had to start their offensive possession at the 13-yard line, with 1:59 to play and one timeout remaining.

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