51 for LI: Lombardi Goes Home In Super Bowl XLV
[lead align=”default”]With just 45 days until Super Bowl LI in Houston, we look back at Super Bowl XLV, which brought together two elite franchises.[/lead]
This game set the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Green Bay Packers for the whole proverbial enchilada. In spite of the fact that these are two successful teams, Super Bowl XLV was the first time they met in the championship game. When they did, the fans were treated to a close contest.
Super Bowl XLV: How They Got There
In several ways, the 2010 Green Bay Packers season was reminiscent of the 2007 New York Giants (and after that, the 2011 Giants). Like right now, actually, this team was 8-6 and struggling for a playoff bid. They beat the Giants and then the Bears to go 10-6 and snatch the six seed. Once they did, it was off to the races. A hot Aaron Rodgers and company beat Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Chicago on the road to advance to the Super Bowl.
As for the Steelers, they expected to be there. This was a 12-4 team with one of the best defenses in the NFL that year, if not the best. From Troy Polamalu to James Harrison, Dick LeBeau’s defense was stacked.
Nevertheless, they fought their way through the playoffs in a few tough games. Their divisional rivals, the Baltimore Ravens, gave them a 31-24 scare in the divisional round, and the New York Jets made it even closer at 24-19. Pittsburgh made the Super Bowl as the AFC’s two seed. Had the Jets won, it would have been two six seeds for the first time ever.
Super Bowl XLV: The Game
Green Bay came out swinging, taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, thanks in part to a Nick Collins pick six. This lead grew to 21-3 before Pittsburgh cut it to 21-10 at the half.
Rashard Mendenhall made it a four-point game right after the half, but early in the fourth, Green Bay got a big touchdown pass from Rodgers to Greg Jennings. The score at 28-17, Pittsburgh got a fourth-quarter touchdown plus two on a pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace. Green Bay’s insurance score was a short field goal with two minutes to go. Pittsburgh got the ball back with time down six, but the Steelers didn’t get very far, and the Packers took a knee for their fourth Super Bowl championship.
The Vince Lombardi Trophy went back where some may have felt it belonged: Green Bay, with his beloved Packers.