Super Bowl XLIII
Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23
Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
February 1, 2009
Trailing by three points with only 2:30 left in the fourth quarter, QB Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers on an eight-play, 78-yard scoring drive, punctuated by a six-yard touchdown pass to WR Santonio Holmes to clinch their NFL-record sixth Lombardi Trophy with a 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
Pittsburgh, which led most of the evening, struck first after Arizona deferred the opening kick. K Jeff Reed booted an 18-yard field goal on the opening drive to make it 3-0.
RB Gary Russell increased that lead to 10-0 when he plunged in from one-yard out early in the second quarter. Arizona answered that score as QB Kurt Warner hit TE Ben Patrick in the back of the end zone on a one-yard scoring strike to cut the Pittsburgh lead to 10-7.
Arizona appeared as if they were going to take their first lead late in the first half, but LB William Gay intercepted Warner at the goal-line, raced 100 yards and dove into the end zone with two Cardinals on his back for the longest play in Super Bowl history, and a 17-7 advantage at the half.
A 21-yard field goal by Reed in the third quarter upped the lead to 20-7.
Arizona got back onto the scoreboard midway through the fourth quarter as Warner tossed another one-yard score, this time to WR Larry Fitzgerald, cutting the Steelers' lead to 20-14. A costly holding penalty in the end zone against Steelers' C Justin Hartwig gave the Cardinals a safety, further decreasing the Steelers' advantage to 20-16.
On the second play following the ensuing free kick, Warner found Fitzgerald on a 64-yard scoring strike through the middle of the Steelers' defense to give Arizona its first lead of the night, 23-20.
The Steelers were backed up to their own 12-yard line on the next drive, but Roethlisberger promptly completed our-of-six passes, three to Holmes, including a 40-yarder that moved the ball to the Arizona six. On second-and-goal, Roethlisberger threaded a perfect pass through three defenders and Holmes kept his toes in bounds for a six-yard touchdown reception and a 27-23 Steelers' lead with 35 seconds left.
Arizona had one more chance, but LB LaMarr Woodley sacked Warner, forcing a fumble to essentially end the game.
Holmes was named the game's MVP after catching nine passes for 131 yards (14.6 avg.) with one touchdown. Roethlisberger finished 21-of-30 for 256 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Defensively, Woodley recorded both Steelers' sacks, giving him two sacks in each of his four postseason games, an NFL record.