Not the classic we had hoped for but in what was still an entertaining Super Bowl the Green Bay Packers just edged out the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 to take the Vince Lombardi Trophy back to its spiritual home for the first time since Super Bowl 31 way back in 1996.
We expected defenses to figure strongly here and surprisingly enough it was the beaten up Packers defense who too the honours forcing 3 turnovers all of which led to Touch downs. At one stage it looked like a blow out in the making as Green bay went 21-3 up, however the Steelers have shown they are nothing if not tenacious and like Packers fans everywhere we were fearing the worst when the 3rd quarter fight back came. At 21-17 the game looke anyones and Pittsburgh looked the more likely to score as Rodgers not helped by a string of tropped passes struggled to get any offence going.
Still commeth the moment cometh the man and with Pittsburgh driving at the Packers 33 yard line and looking likely to take the lead up stepped Clay Matthews to force a third turn over which proved to be pivotal. Matthews has ben one of the less sung heroes of the Packers season and although this ws probably one of his quietest games his efforts stopped Pittsburgh in their tracks. A few plays latter Rodgers hit Jennings for 8 yards to put them 28-17 up.
Pittsburgh were not done and in their next possession Ben Roethlisberger drove down the field and the resulting touch down and 2 point conversion left the scores delecately balanced at 28-25 with 7.34 to play.
Rodgers who played virtually all of the game out of the Shotgun was sacked on the first play of their next possession and then faced a crucial 3rd and 10 at his own 25. Things looked bleak but he somehow found a pass when needed hitting G.Jenning down the middle for 31 yards. A couple of runs and another nice pass finall gave the Packers the chance to seal the game, however they had to settle for a field goal leaving them with a 6 point lead and 2 minutes on the clock.
Roethlisberger managed a 1st down but then on 4th and 5 he failed to get the ball to Wallace allowing Green Bay to run out the clock to collect the trophy.
So its the Packers who were no 6 seed in the NFC who are crowned champions in a final which will not go down as a classic but one that finally showed that you dont need to run the ball to win the big one.
Arron Rodgers was MVP and the official attendance has been listed at 103,219, although its not clear if this included the thousands who coughed up $200 a piece to watch the final on the big screen in the car park!