In a game that could have been greater if a couple of key injuries had not taken the buzz out of the game, the Green Bay Packers still held things together en route to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV and come away with the Lombardi trophy.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers got off to a hot start, jumping out to a quick 14-0 lead after a touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson and a Nick Collins pick six on Ben Roethlisberger. After the Steelers tacked on a field goal to make it 14-3, the Packers added another touchdown off of a Roethlisberger turnover, with Rodgers hooking up with Greg Jennings in the end zone.
Up 21-3, that is when the injuries started piling up for the Packers in the secondary: Charles Woodson, Sam Shields, and Nick Collins all left just before halftime (Shields and Collins would return). The Steelers took advantage as Roethlisberger got into rhythm with a couple of key passes to Hines Ward, including a touchdown to make it 21-10 at the half.
Pittsburgh continued rolling at the start of the second half. They ran the football successfully with Rashard Mendenhall, as the young back punched it in for six to make it 21-17. Pittsburgh seemed to have all of the momentum as Green Bay's receivers had trouble holding onto Rodgers' bullets. The Steelers got the ball back with great field position, but Mendenhall fumbled after a hit by Clay Matthews. Green Bay recovered, and a little while later, Rodgers hooked up with Jennings again for the pair's second touchdown connection of the game to make it 28-17 Packers.
The Steelers weren't done. They moved the ball through the air at the start of the fourth quarter, and Roethlisberger hit the speedy Mike Wallace in stride for a well-timed touchdown. Pittsburgh went for two points and were able to score on an option flip from Roethlisberger to Antwan Randle-El to make it a three point game at 28-25.
Rodgers then drove down the field like a surgeon, but Green Bay was only able to tack on a field goal to make it 31-25 with two minutes to play. Could Roethlisberger engineer one more game-winning Super Bowl drive? The answer was, "no." His fourth-down pass to Wallace fell incomplete, and after two kneeldowns, the Lombardi trophy returned home to Green Bay.
Most importantly, the Steelers lost. Browns fans around the world can celebrate this one all night long.