Another NFL season has passed, and another Super Bowl is in the books as the Green Bay Packers were crowned the leagues best by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers. Aaron Rodgers had another great game, and in doing so, cemented himself as perhaps the league’s premiere quarterback. However, we already knew he was a great quarterback, and there was one more important thing we learned from this game.
The Packer defense has been near the top of the league in many categories over the last few seasons, yet they have never been considered among the league’s elite. That moniker has been bestowed on teams like Baltimore, San Diego, and of course the Steelers. It happened throughout the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl. We heard more than we ever wanted to about “Blitzburgh,” and Dick Lebeau, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison, etc.
The only Packer on the defensive side of the ball you ever heard about was Clay Matthews. He may as well have been on the field alone, as you never heard a word about anyone else. It may have been Aaron Rodgers who climbed out from under Brett Favre’s ghost and led the Pack to a 31-25 victory at Cowboys Stadium, but the Packer defensive players were the ones who brought the Lombardi Trophy back to its birthplace.
You may be one of the handfuls of people who missed this classic and attempted to catch up by just reading the box score. You probably looked and saw that your defense allowed 25 points and 387 yards of offense. Well, that doesn’t seem all that impressive, right? The Steelers may feel differently. The Packers employed a strategy that all winning teams do, bend but don’t break. They made every big play that they had to, and turned three Steeler turnovers into 21 points.
You could make the argument that the Steelers mistakes were their own fault, and that Ben Roethlisberger’s first quarter interception returned for a touchdown by Nick Collins is completely on Ben’s shoulders. That couldn’t be further from the truth. This was just one of many great plays made by the Green Bay defense on this day. This particular play was made possible when Howard Green steamrolled Chris Kemoeatu to force Roethlisberger into an ill-advised throw.
Roethlisberger did his best to recover
Ben tossed another pick before halftime that would lead the Packers to an 11 point lead at the half. However, give the Steelers credit as they made a game of it. The Black and Gold had the momentum on their side after Rashard Mendenhall trampled the Packer defense during an 8 yard touchdown scamper to cut the deficit to 21-17. Roethlisberger led the Steelers onto the Packer side of the field looking to take the lead, but Clay Matthews forced a Mendenhall fumble with a big hit to negate that opportunity.
Rodgers would then lead the Packers down the field and toss a touchdown to Greg Jennings to extend the lead. Even so, Pittsburgh climbed back to within six at the two minute warning, and it was setting up as another memorable Roethlisberger comeback. The Packers wouldn’t allow it though, as Tramon Williams knocked down a 4th and 5 pass to ignite the celebration across Packer nation. The day was owned by the Packer defense, and this was a fitting ending.
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- Three Brilliant Super Bowl Ads 2011 (mailamovie.info)
- The only things that are certain are death, taxes and NFL Coaching changes. (fryingpansports.com)