Packers pull away from Steelers 31-25 to win Super Bowl XLV

Amplify’d from www.usatoday.com

Led by an MVP performance from quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to win Super Bowl XLV Sunday at Cowboys Stadium and bring the NFL championship back to Green Bay.

Rodgers, who threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, helped the Packers hold off a second-half charge by the Steelers to win the franchise’s first title since the team beat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI in 1997 with another young, gun-slinging quarterback under center in Brett Favre.

The Packers beat the Steelers at their own game, taking care of the ball (no turnovers) and taking advantage of several turnovers by the Steelers. Green Bay turned three Pittsburgh miscues into 21 points on the scoreboard.

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger struggled in his attempt to win a third Super Bowl ring, throwing two first-half interceptions, one of which was returned 37 yards by the Packers’ Nick Collins for a Green Bay touchdown.

The Packers continued to capitalize, turning Roethlisberger‘s second first-half interception into points as well. Four plays after Jarrett Bush intercepted Roethlisberger on the Packers’ 47-yard line, Rodgers connected on a 21-yard scoring strike to Greg Jennings to give Green Bay a 21-3 lead in the second quarter.

But Roethlisberger wouldn’t back down. On the first play of the Steelers’ next drive, he connected with wideout Antwaan Randle El for a 37-yard gain. Six plays later, Roethlisberger found Hines Ward in the back corner of the end zone for a 8-yard scoring strike with 47 seconds left in the first half.

The Steelers continued to charge, scoring again on an 8-yard touchdown run by Rashard Mendenhall with 10:25 left in the third quarter. That tally cut the Packers’ lead to 21-17 and it looked as if the Steelers were ready to take control. But the Packers responded, thanks to a key play by their defense.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, with Pittsburgh facing a 2nd-and-2 at the Green Bay 33-yard line, Mendenhall fumbled after taking a hard hit from the Packers’ Clay Matthews. The Packers’ Desmond Bishop returned the fumble to the Green Bay 45-yard line.

Eight plays later, the Packers hit pay dirt again as Rodgers connected with Jennings a second time for an 8-yard score and a 28-17 lead with 12:03 remaining in the game.

Again, the Steelers responded. Roethlisberger quickly engineered a seven-play drive that ended with a 25-yard touchdown to Mike Wallace. After a successful 2-point conversion, the Steelers trailed just 28-25.

But the Packers’ answered right back, going on a 10-play drive that ate up over five minutes of clock and ended in a 23-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to extend Green Bay’s lead to 31-25.

The Steelers’ last-ditch effort was thwarted when the Packers denied Roethlisberger and the Steelers on 4th-and-5 from their own 33-yard line.

Read more at www.usatoday.com

 

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