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Senior Staff Writer
Since the teams were determined for Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, Jan. 23, the matchup of the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Green Bay Packers had been analyzed from every conceivable angle.
Finally, the clock was striking 5:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Sunday, Feb. 6. I, like the reported 162.9 million other home viewers, was armed with a plate full of tasty food with no nutritional value ready for the kick off of the game.
Although I was not wearing black and yellow, I was rooting for the Steelers to win in a close game.
11:05 first quarter: Steelers won the coin toss, but as expected, neither scored on their opening drives. These two defenses were too good to give up points early and I would have been surprised to see any trick plays by the offenses.
5:56 first quarter: Packers offense in Steeler’s territory. Looks like they might score first. Cameras show Alex Rodriguez chilling in his suite with his date. He is the man. I wish Cameron Diaz was feeding me at the Super Bowl. Probably make these wings taste even better.
3:44 first quarter: The Packers score first. Jordy Nelson catches a 29-yard touchdown to cap off a nine play, 80-yard drive.
3:22 first quarter: The Steelers make the first turnover of the game. The Packers’ lead jumps to 14-0. Nick Collins intercepts Roethlisberger’s pass, dashes 37 yards and dives into the end zone.
End of the first quarter: Big Ben converts a first down. One second he looks hurt, the next, he is scrambling for the first down. The Steelers are down, but not out.
11:08 second quarter: The Packers’ defense clamps down and the Steelers are forced to settle for a field goal. The score is 14-3 and I along with many Steelers fans are starting to lose our appetite.
4:28 second quarter: Roethlisberger threw another interception. Plenty of time left in the half for Green Bay to increase their lead.
2:24 second quarter: Aaron Rodgers makes his second touchdown pass to Greg Jennings.
I can not believe the Steelers are down 21-3. Now I am not hungry, but the spicy wings give me an excuse for the tears.
0:39 second quarter: Finally, something to cheer about. Roethlisberger and Hines Ward almost single-handedly drive 77 yards to score before halftime.
Ward flashes his infamous smile, but his team is still behind 21-10. Plus, Packers get the ball to start the second half.
Halftime: Two turnovers are the reason the Packers are leading 21-10. Charles Woodson was out for the game with a broken collarbone. Maybe the Steelers offense can take advantage of his absence. However, it won’t matter if the defense does not stop Rodgers.
10:19 third quarter: These are the Steelers I expected to see. The defense makes the stop. Then the offense runs the ball. Mendenhall and Moore ran over the Packers defense. Mendenhall makes the last 8-yard run to the end zone to bring the Steelers within four points, 17-21.
9:00 third quarter: The Steelers are gaining momentum. The defense made another stop and gave the offense a chance to take the lead.
4:29 third quarter: Green Bay defense stops Steelers at the edge of field goal range. Suisham missed the 52-yard field goal attempt. The Packers hold on to the lead and keep everyone on the edge of their seats.
End of the third quarter: One quarter of football left in Super Bowl XLV with only four points separating the two teams. Its time for clutch players to make clutch plays.
Also last chance for a break. Go to the bathroom, refill the cup and grab the last chicken wing.
14:50 fourth quarter: Clay Matthews forces a Mendenhall fumble. The Packers recover with good field position. That may have been the play of the game.
11:57 fourth quarter: It only took three minutes before Rodgers throws his third touchdown, an eight-yard bullet to Jennings. Packers go back up by two scores, 28-17. Three Steeler turnovers turned into three Packer touchdowns.
7:34 fourth quarter: Break out the terrible towels. Roethlisberger threads a needle 25 yards to Mike Wallace for a touchdown.
Then a great play call to make the two-point conversion. It is a three-point game. At this point everyone had their excuse to miss work on Monday, Feb. 7, ready.
2:07 fourth quarter: Packers forced to settle for a 23-yard field goal. The stage was set. After the kickoff, the Steelers started a drive on their own 13 yard line behind by six points (25-31), with one timeout and less than two minutes remaining in the game. This is why people love football.
0:56 fourth quarter: Roethlisberger receives the snap in the shotgun formation on fourth down and five. He throws to Mike Wallace and the ball falls incomplete. The Steelers’ chance at the Lombardi trophy falls incomplete as well. A single chip falls to the ground unheard as cheers erupt from Green Bay fans around the world.
The Packers defeated the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, 31-25. Rodgers was named MVP. He completed 24-of-39 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns. TAS