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Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl recap

Roberto Ruiz-Maki

So this is what it feels like.
The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV by beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in an injury filled, scintillating football game. The Packers outplayed the Steelers for three of the four quarters, and that turned out to be just enough. Making star defensive players Troy Polamulu and James Harrison nearly invisible for the entire game, Green Bay sliced through the Steelers' vaunted defense for three offensive touchdowns; all three touchdowns were thrown by Aaron Rodgers.
The game started out well for the Packers, with Rodgers throwing a beautiful touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson, and Nick Collins returning an interception for a touchdown and a quick 14-0 lead. As they have so often this season, though, the Steelers roared back to within four points in the third, even getting as close as three in the fourth. In a game that the more experienced Steelers never led, they did show resolve by keeping it close even while committing three turnovers that resulted in 21 points for the Packers.
There are so many options for the play of the game: you have Jordy Nelson's touchdown, either of Greg Jennings' touchdowns, Collins' pick-six, and Clay Matthews' forced fumble at a key point in the game. The reason I am choosing Matthews' forced fumble is not only because it came at a time when Pittsburgh was driving to take the lead late in the game, but because of what transpired before that. Kevin Greene, linebackers coach for the Packers, was seen talking to Matthews before that Pittsburgh drive. Greene was telling him that now was the time to make a play, and Matthews nodded with approval and agreed. After that little pep talk from Greene, Matthews went out and swung the momentum back into Green Bay's favor after Packers fans' stomachs were beginning to turn.
The player of the game was Rodgers, mostly because he threw for over 300 yards and had three touchdowns. He is also the MVP of the game, in my opinion, because he could be seen changing plays and adjusting at the line of scrimmage; often calling plays that resulted in big gains (such as Jennings' key third down catch on their final drive). Though Rodgers did not have a perfect game like many (foolishly) expected, he did show that Packers fans should hold out hope for the seasons to come; we have an elite quarterback who can win the big games.
One tidbit that I found interesting was that the Packers had to overcome so many key injuries during the season, and this game was a mirror of that. Charles Woodson, Donald Driver, and Sam Shields all left the game in second quarter, with only Shields returning to the field in the second half. Funny how things tend to repeat themselves.
I must say, watching your favorite team win a Super Bowl is quite an experience. Though Packers fans should not get used to this experience, it is not unfair to dream.

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