The incredible journey of the 2010 Packers culminated with a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers before 103,219 fans inside and outside Cowboys Stadium to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy home to Titletown for the 4th time in franchise history. The biggest game in over a decade didn't seem to phase Mike McCarthy's club even as they lost the emotional leaders on both sides of the ball before halftime. First Donald Driver went out with a sprained ankle and just before intermission, Charles Woodson broke his collarbone making a diving deflection near the goaline. When you finish the season with 15 players on injured reserve, the team knows a little something about the adage of "next up, step up." They did. Led by Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers and an opportunistic defense, the Packers increased their NFL leading championship total to 13. Unphased by an early drop on a sideline route from Jordy Nelson, Rodgers went back tohim on their second posession and the third and one sideline completion covered 29 yards for the game's first points. The Steelers brought back the next kickoff beyond the 40 only to have a penalty push their drive start to the 7. On the series first snap, Howard Green hit Ben Roethlisberger's arm on release and the go route up the sideline fluttered into the hands of Nick Collins who weaved his way 37 yards for a score that gave the Packers a stunning 14-0 lead. The Steelers drove 49 yards for a Shaun Suisham 33 yard field goal to get on the board. The next Packers posession ended when Driver gained only 4 on third and 5 but when he was twisted to the ground, his night would be over. Jarrett Bush jumped a short Mike Wallace route for an interception at midfield and the Packers needed only 4 snaps to increase the lead. Rodgers rifled a perfect ball to Greg Jennings, just past the outstretched hand of Ryan Clark and Jennings hung on despite a big hit from Troy Polamalu to m ake it 21-3. In the two minute drill Roethlisberger moved the Steelers into Packers territory with a 37 yard catch and run from Antwan Randle-El. On the next play, Wallace ran up the left sideline only to have a diving Woodson knock it away but Charles landed on his shoulder and x-rays at halftime found a broken collarbone. Hines Ward got behind Jarrett Bush for an 8 yard score making it 21-10 Pack at the half. The Steelers built momentum in the third when Rashard Mendenhall smashed in from 8 yards out to make it 21-17 and the Packers failed to move on their next two posessions. With Pittsburgh at midfield to open the 4th quarter, Ryan Pickett and Clay Matthews converged on Mendenhall to knock the ball out and Desmond Bishop covered up the fumble. On 2nd and ten, Nelson dropped an easy pass over the middle but Rodgers went right back to him on third, as Jordy crossed the field for a huge 38 yard gain. Two snaps later Rodgers found Jennings alone in the right corner of the end zone easily breaking free from Polamalu for an 8 yard touchdown that made it 28-17. The Steelers answered, Roethlisberger found Wallace behind Sam Shields for a 25 yard scoring pass. Ben then ran the option pitching to Randle El for a two point try that made it a three point game. Rodgers converted another huge third and 10 with a perfect strike to Jennings for 21. The drive stalled inside the 10 and Mason Crosby punched through a 23 yard field goal to make it 31-25 with 2:07 to play. The Steelers gained 20 yards on two plays but on 4th and 5, Roethlisberger tried to hit Wallace and Tramon Williams defelected the ball away, sealing the Pack's 4th Super Bowl title and extending their league record to 13 championships. That they did it would Woodson and Driver speaks volumes about the depth acquired by General Manager Ted Thompson. Rodger finished 24 of 39 for 304 yards and three scores, a passer rating of 111.5 to earn the game's MVP getting him the keys to a brand new, candy apple red, Camaro.
The locker room was a madhouse of tears and cheers. Some tears were shed at halftime. While the Black Eyed Peas were entertaining the world with a terrific halftime show, Woodson was in the locker roonm urging his teammates to forge on without him. Nearly every player said his emotional speech galvanized the effort to make sure both Woodson and Driver would get a ring.
The Steelers outgained the Pack 387-338 but Rodgers was far better than Roethlisberger, who turned it over twice and Green Bay finished +3 on the night.
The confetti and streamers rained down on the team as they accepted the hardware, prepared to party all night and return to Green Bay Monday afternoon before Tuesday's big celebration inside Lambeau Field. What a week for the Super Bowl champs!