Ben blames himself

Just for the record, Ben Roethlisberger got hit on what became a 37-yard pick-six that gave the Green Bay Packers a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on the way to a 31-25 triumph over the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

Not that the blow to the shoulder from nose tackle Howard Green upon delivery of what became a badly-underthrown deep ball to wide receiver Mike Wallace mattered from Roethlisberger’s perspective.

It didn’t matter to him when it happened in the pocket, nor did it matter when he was asked about it as he sat at a podium deep in the bowels of Cowboys Stadium.

"I don’t make excuses," Roethlisberger said of the play in which safety Nick Collins was able to give the Packers a 14-0 lead with 3:20 left in the first quarter.

"We turned the ball over. That’s my fault."

Roethlisberger was picked off again on a subsequent throw for Wallace into double-coverage in the second quarter, this time by Jarrett Bush. The Packers turned that turnover at the Green Bay 47-yard line into a touchdown that bloated their lead to 21-3.

The Steelers suffered a third turnover when running back Rashard Mendenhall fumbled at the Green Bay 36-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter with the Packers ahead, 21-17.

Green Bay didn’t turn the ball over, and just as significantly the Packers turned all three of the Steelers’ giveaways into touchdowns.

Roethlisberger finished 25 of 40 passing for 263 yards, with two touchdowns, two interceptions and a passer rating of 77.4.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers took home Super Bowl MVP honors by completing 24 of 39 throws for 304 yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 111.5.

"Tough game," Roethlisberger said. "There are probably a lot of ‘what ifs?’ There are a lot of throws I’d like to have back.

"I don’t put the blame on anybody except myself. I feel like I let the city of Pittsburgh down, the fans, my coaches, my teammates, and it’s not a good feeling."

One of those throws Roethlisberger likely would love to have back was an overthrow to a wide-open Wallace on first-and-10 from the Green Bay 44-yard line midway through the third quarter.

The play could have easily gone for a touchdown.

The Steelers wound up settling for a 52-yard Shaun Suisham field goal attempt that went wide left and failed to cut into Green Bay’s 21-17 lead.

"You know me, I hate to lose," Roethlisberger said. "Especially when you feel like you’re letting down guys who really stepped up in a big way.

"It’s really hard.

Despite Roethlisberger’s uneven performance the Steelers still had a chance to drive against time, the Packers defense and Super Bowl history for the touchdown that would win the game, just as they had against Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII.

They took possession at their 13-yard line following a kickoff with 1:59 remaining but one were able to advance the ball 20 yards before turning it over on downs.

"I just told ’em, ‘I believe in you guys, and we can do this,’" Roethlisberger said.

Just not, as it turned out, this time.

"We’re a team of fighters," Roethlisberger said. "We don’t quit, we believe in each other and we were going to fight all the way to the last second, which I think we did.

"If I would have played a little bit better, I feel like we would have had a better chance to win the game."

Source: 2/7/11

Turnovers kill bid for 7th title

Steelers’ record in Super Bowls: 6-2
Packers’ record in Super Bowls: 4-1
Series record (including playoffs): Packers lead, 22-14

The NFL was founded in a Hupmobile showroom in Canton, Ohio, a town located thousands of miles from Dallas with Super Bowl XLV being staged at a venue at the complete other end of the spectrum from a car dealer’s showroom. But the participants in this Super Bowl are two of the storied franchises in the history of a league founded in 1920. The Steelers (six) and the Packers (12) have combined for 18 league championships, and the teams now have made a combined 13 appearances in the Super Bowl. And at their core, the Steelers and Packers franchises represent what is special about the National Football League – both have been extremely successful without the advantages of being in a major market, and while the Steelers have been family-owned throughout their existence the Packers are the only team in the league that’s community-owned.

The Steelers had closed to 21-17 and they had the ball at the Green Bay 41-yard line after a re-kick of a punt following a penalty. After an 8-yard run on first down, Rashard Mendenhall lost a fumble that Desmond Bishop recovered. Eight plays later, the Packers had re-built their lead to 28-17 with just less than 12 minutes remaining in the game.

Green Bay has scored first in all five of its Super Bowl appearances.

Nick Collins’ 36-yard interception return for a touchdown was the 13th in Super Bowl history. Teams that return an interception for a touchdown in the Super Bowl are now 11-0.

The Steelers were penalized four times for 32 yards in the first half, while the Packers were flagged only for an illegal celebration by Nick Collins following his 36-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Hines Ward’s touchdown catch was his 10th postseason touchdown. He is the sixth player in NFL history to accomplish that.

The Steelers were minus-three in turnover ratio

* The Steelers’ best offense of the first half came in the final 1:45 of the first half. On the seven-play, 77-yard touchdown drive, Ben Roethlisberger completed 5-of-7 for 72 yards, including the 8-yard throw to Hines Ward in the back of the end zone that brought the Steelers to 21-10 at halftime.

* As a balance to the Steelers having to play the entire second half without receiver Emmanuel Sanders (foot), the Packers had to go without Charles Woodson (collarbone).

* In the first five minutes of the second half, the Steelers got exactly what they needed – a stop by their defense and a touchdown by their offense. William Gay just got a hand on a third-down pass intended for James Jones, and then the offense drove 50-yards in five plays, with Rashard Mendenhall getting into the end zone.

* On the series after Mendenhall’s touchdown, the Steelers got off the field with a third-down sack by James Harrison.

* A huge flip in field position late in the third quarter. On a fourth down from the Steelers 21-yard line, Jeremy Kapinos got off a 54-yard punt, and then when Tramon Williams was flagged for unnecessary roughness the Packers started their offensive possession at the 13-yard line.

* On a third-and-2 from the Packers 25-yard line, defensive coordinator Dom Capers got aggressive with a blitz, and Roethlisberger got the ball to Mike Wallace behind the coverage for a touchdown. With the Steelers trailing, 28-23, Mike Tomlin opted for a two-point conversion attempt. Roethlisberger took the shotgun snap, faked the ball to Mendenhall and started running to his left. At the last instant, he pitched the ball to Antwaan Randle El who got into the end zone to make it, 28-25, midway through the fourth quarter.

* The defense allowed the Packers to convert a third-and-10 with a 31-yard pass to Greg Jennings that moved the ball to the Steelers 44-yard line. But after Green Bay moved down to a first-and-goal, the Steelers defense stiffened and forced a field goal that kept the margin within a touchdown and an extra point, 31-25.

* The Steelers second possession began nicely. After a Green Bay punt went for a touchback, Rashard Mendenhall went for 15 yards on first down and then he rushed for 9 more to set up the Steelers with a second-and-1 from the Pittsburgh 44-yard line. But David Johnson committed a false start on that play, and it became a second-and-6. A quick pass to Mike Wallace gained 5 yards, but Ben Roethlisberger threw high to Heath Miller on third-and-1, and the Steelers had to punt.

* After the Packers took a 7-0 lead, Antonio Brown returned the kickoff 45 yards, but the Steelers offense ended up with the ball at their own 7-yard line after Ryan Mundy was flagged for an illegal block in the back.

* On the first offensive play following Mundy’s penalty. Roethlisberger’s deep pass for Mike Wallace was severely underthrown, and Nick Collins intercepted the ball and returned it 36 yards for a touchdown and a 14-0 Packers lead. It appeared Roethlisberger may have altered his delivery a bit because of pressure from Green Bay’s Howard Green.

* Roethlisberger’s second interception came on an attempted slant to Mike Wallace. Jarrett Bush came off his man and beat Wallace to the spot for the interception that the Packers turned into a 21-3 lead four plays later on a 21-yard pass to Greg Jennings from Aaron Rodgers.

* When Shaun Suisham was wide left with a 52-yard field goal attempt with 4:29 left in the third quarter, it meant the Packers started their offensive possession at their own 42-yard line.

* After the kickoff following the field goal that gave the Packers a 31-25 lead, Keyaron Fox was penalized for unnecessary roughness, which mean the Steelers had to start their offensive possession at the 13-yard line, with 1:59 to play and one timeout remaining.

Source: 2/6/11

Martino's on Vine Steelers' babe, and occasional guest bartender, Super Bowl Prediction: Steelers 27 Packers 24


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