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Super Bowl XLV: Heartbreak in Dallas as Steelers Stumble in 31-25 Loss


In the end, Super Bowl XLV came down to a formula that was as simple as that.

The Steelers turned the ball over three times, and Green Bay scored 17 points off them as the season came to a heartbreaking end in a 31-25 setback.

Down 21-3 at the half, the Steelers rallied twice to make it a game. First they got a score from Rashard Mendenhall to make it 21-17 with 10:19 to play in the third quarter.

Then after a Mendenhall fumble and Aaron Rodgers to Greg Jennings 8-yard score to make it 28-17, the Steelers rallied with Ben Roethlisberger hitting Mike Wallace for a 25-yard score to make it 28-25 after they got the two-point conversion with 7:34 left.

Green Bay was able to put together a drive that ended with a Mason Crosby 23-yard field goal with 2:07 left, leaving it up to the offense for one last shot.

That last chance was hurt badly on a terrible personal foul on Keyaron Fox on the kickoff, and the Steelers started on their own 13-yard line.

Trying to duplicate the miracle of two years ago in Tampa, the Steelers did get a first down on a pass to Heath Miller to the 28. From there, a five-yard pass to Hines Ward and three incomplete passes ended the season.

Pittsburgh outgained the Packers 387 to 338, and held the ball for 33:25 to 26:35.

Roethlisberger was 25-for-40 for 263 yards with two TD’s and two picks. Rodgers was 24-for-39 for 304 yards with three scores.

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. mark

    February 6, 2011 at 11:15 pm

    Could not overcome 3 turnovers and some dumb play calling. Steelers never really looked in sync and the Packers took advantage of it. Hats off to them for doing what they had to do. As for the Steeler secondary, thats another story. They all just played on their heels. The Steelers needed a play from one of their stars and they did NOT get it.Polamalu? Woodley? Farrior? Mendenhalls fumble was a killer, and Tomlin trying a 52 yard FG when he did was asanine and bush-league. Im dissappointed with the way the Steelers played, they were not sharp at all throughout this game. You have to take your hats off to the Packers for making plays when they had to. That bullet on 3rd down with about 4 minutes to go was clutch. If the Steelers need to look at what is needed in the draft, look no further than Rodgers game numbers. The finality of this is: when you get to a Super Bowl, you have to win it. You never know when you can get back. Just ask Dan Marino. To lose because you were sloppy is a tough pill.

  2. Jay

    February 6, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    Jay says:
    February 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm
    I totally recant on what I have said in the past on this team needing another first round offensive lineman! That bunch of rag tags fought valiantly and hard and I give the offense plenty of credit for fighting back time and time again! This secondary is GARBAGE!!!! Even Troy didn’t show up today because he’s too busy guessing wrong and baby sitting the other suck secondary players! If this team doesn’t shore up its fucking secondary through the draft, then we don’t deserve to be back here; can’t believe a secondary this bad was even in the super bowl! Three reasons we lost this game, secondary sucked, Mendenhall’s fumble and ARIANS calling a 9 route to Wallace from their own seven yard line(!?!!?) which was subsequently picked for a TD! Seriously, I am glad we were in this game but the things we saw which plagued us against high powered offenses crept up again and we couldn’t get a stop. Yeah, Rodgers threaded the needle on a couple of passes but it just looked like we were overmatched in the secondary; even Timmons was out of position numerous times. Three turnovers and we were still in a position to win (Thanks suckass Keyaron, hope you don’t come back!)! Ben also was off target and offensively it seemed like we couldn’t decide if we were gonna run or pass the ball…Flozell was blowing people up in the ground game, shoulda stuck with it more! Bottom line is if these clumsy, injury prone awkwardish offensive linemen can stay healthy next year and we sign Colon, the offense should improve….That goddamn defensive backfield, Trou included, is just plain bad, man…Yeah, we got here but YOU ALWAYS END UP PLAYING AGAINST TOP TIER QB’S IN THE SB SO IT’S TIME TO ADDRESS THAT AND NOT BY BRINGING BACK A WASHED UP McFADDEN OR RELYING ON A NICKEL BACK (gay) WHO WASN’T EVEN ON THE DRAFT GURU’S (mayock) BOARDS A FEW YEARS AGO!!!!!

    Also, Troy’s best years are behind him and his days of being an impactful, difference maker are over! Offenses have, much like what they’ve done with Ed Reed, figured out his tendencies and have been able to simply stay away form him while at the same time garnering success! I know the experts will point to the 3 turnovers and rightfully so to a point. But does Arians or any play caller for that matter HAVE ANY RIGHT calling a nine route from inside your own ten?!? We shut em down on that last drive and get the ball back and probably win but the defense is just, overrated in my opinion.

    • The Tony

      February 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

      Didn’t Troy win MVP?

      • Literate

        February 7, 2011 at 9:44 am


  3. dberardo

    February 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    3 turnovers; unsportsmanlike penalty on the final kick off return; 52 yard field goal attempt; nothing but a disappointment…time to re-visit the roster and decide who deserves to stay and who deserves to go. The commentary of the game painted Green Bay as an awesome force..the truth is the Steelers failed to show up…nothing but a disappointment.

  4. George H

    February 6, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    look at tonights game and what stood out… the secondary was awful and the o-line didnt play too bad. So what should we draft? SECONDARY.

    oh and Arians has to go

  5. DrGeorge

    February 6, 2011 at 11:27 pm

    The better team did not win this game. Taking nothing from Green Bay, they did not win the game, the Steelers handed it to them with:
    a. Tomlin’s boneheaded 52 yd field goal attempt that sacrificed field position, momentum, and points.
    b. Two interceptions (Ben) and a fumble (Mendy) that turned into points.
    c. Three penalties (Fox, Kemoeatu, and Adams) at crucial moments.
    d. A QB and WRs that were often not on the same page (did Ben suffer a concussion when his head hit the ground hard early)?.
    e. Arians play calling in the red zone; his failure to keep running the ball when the ground game was working; and his failure to run Redman more, the only power runner the Steelers have.
    f. A defense that surrendered 31 points. Although offensive mistakes compromised the defensive performance greatly in terms of time on the field and field position, this was not a stalwart defense.

    I do not begrudge Green Bay the trophy. They played as well as they could. The Steelers, on the other hand, played almost as badly as they have all year. I predicted before the game that the team that ran the ball most effectively would win. The Steelers did. But the rushing game is only a weapon if the offensive coordinator uses it strategically and commits to it. Arians didn’t.

    Our many holes on defense — CB, DE, Safety, ILB — were very evident tonight. Surely those positions will be an emphasis for the free agent signings and the draft this spring (assuming the labor contract is worked out). On offense, we need a first tier OT and a power running back.

    But first the Rooneys are going to sit down, review some tape, and consider whether they got fair value from their $100 million QB and their pass happy OC. Tonight, they didn’t.

    • Jay

      February 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

      I have to disagree on ALL the needs you pointed out…CB-Yes, S-Yes…ILB…Not sure that’s a need with farrior having played well this year, Worilds (hopefully) in the mix to be an OLB and perhaps move harrison to ILB and also having a young Sylvester as well….I believe getting Starks back and healthy as well as Colon only improves an offensive line which got to a flippin super bowl with suck Jonathan Scott at LT?! I mean are you kidding me!? Redman is the power running back and will hopefully be complemented by Dwyer next year. Arians, again I can’t believe the play to throw deep from your own seven…Much like against the jets when Taylor got Moore on a safety with the guard pulling…Please leave the element of surprise out of the equation when you’re backed up..I’m no expert but I never see teams throw deep from their five yard line!!!! Not even New England! Big needs in the secondary, that I’l agree with…Look at it like this: Arizona let Rolle walk and coulda kept B-Mac at a relatively reasonable price but left him walk and rolled the dice on ascertaining a CB in the draft which they did…a fourth rounder named Greg Toler who started towards the end of the year…so a fourth round rook is better than B-Mac! The Steelers got little production out of Keenan lewis and Crezdon Butler and had to rely on William gay who never was on a single draft board! Troy has been freelancing so long that he has ironically enough, become predictable and only a factor when he guesses correctly. Taylor is solid but on any effective, super bowl secondary he would eb the number two CB, not the number one—and if the number one there would be another highly effective FS next to Troy which there isn’t…Clark is a SS playing FS…too slow, can’t cover! I have all the confidence in the world in our front seven if we upgrade the secondary…If Aaron Smith comes back, I say we renegotiate his contract because he has only been able to be on the field 25% of the time the last four years! I say develop the hell out of worilds and sylvester and ween harrison inside next to timmons, who also didn’t show up today. Try and sign a midrange DL like alan branch or someone who will be less expensive than a top tier DL and who also will rotate in nicely because he’s big and young. Let some of these older guys like Hoke and eason walk. This defense is the problem, not the offense. I was talking to Mark about it and said I’d ratehr have our offense on the field with two minutes than the defense and we will never know the second half of that equation as Fox lost his head and put us in a hole. BB was on just enough to possibly get us a win but off just enough to not allow for the in because it was there for the taking—GB’s D was good but not great and after they lost Woodson, we needed to exploit that with either the run or the pass and Arians seemed to veer away from the run with GB’s best run stopper in their secondary (woodson) out! With five left in teh 1st half and leading up to the horrid decision by tomlin to kick a 52 yarder, Arians never ran the ball once which I thought woulda taken some of the air out the ball, kept Rodgers off the field and moved us closer to fg range to close the half at the very least.

  6. Jay

    February 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    I realize people will also point ot the lack of pressure but does anyone really think that the Packers would not be coached up on that? I thought we got ample pressure on Rodgers but could not cover to save a lick. He put up over 300 yards and his receivers had like five drops as well!!! I will not give Rodgers all the credit because he played agianst a suck secondary aNd even in his division the bears and the lions and the vikings all have suck secondaries so his numbers are inflated! Hats off to the pack coaching staff for not allowing thier team to be overwhelmed by the spotlight and I wish I could say that about our coaching staff! Whatever, I’m just pissed and now have to listen to the experts talk about Matthews’ great play to cause the fumble…There’s a goddamn hat put on the ball on just about every play for christ’s sake! You gotta hold onto that! pack get credit for the second int., that was an aggressive play by their secondary (bush)… but our mistakes, not their accolades killed us and Ben was seemingly off all game! Wow, I didn’t expect the Steelers to not show up in this fashion!

  7. mark

    February 6, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    DrGeorge, you cant honestly believe that the Rooney’s are going to sit down and discuss Ben’s talent or impact on this team negatively, do you? Question Arians WAY before you question Ben! Tonight, Ben was off and quite simply mediocre. But to say they can improve that position is insane. Is that what you mean by “fair Value”? That the QB position can be upgraded? WOW! Its the secondary, plain and simple. They are bad. They have been a liability for 3 seasons now. Or since the 4th quarter of SB43. Troy is older and is still asked to baby-sit our pathetic CB’s and Clark can be upgraded too. The talent pool in football favors offense. When a team can put 4 or 5 WR out there, you have to counter it by putting 4 or 5 solid DB on them. Tell me what team has that kind of defensive depth where they have 3 or 4 quality CB’s? Since Taylor is our best, it shows just how much we need secondary help. Brees,Brady,Rodgers,Manning,Rivers are all QB’s that would torture this secondary. The QB is not the issue its the secondary.

    • Jay

      February 7, 2011 at 12:00 am

      Even if Dr. George is microcosming the Ben performance and not indicting him as their franchise QB, it’s still rather silly to put any blame on him because he did put up or help put up 25 points against the league’s second best d! If you have a veteran RT as big as flozell who waxed and waned in big D his whole career and got nothing to show for it and then has one last chance to get a ring and is obviously blowing people up in the run game which he was, then keep going to him or at least more than we did! We couldn’t run left because Scott was over there but still… Arians panicked and down by only 8 in the first half, abandoned the run, drive stalled, absurd 52 yarder no good, good field position on the converse and then an 18 point lead…Down by only seven in the ist quarter and backed up inside their own ten, seems to either panic or do what he loves to do and try to catch a top ranked defense off guard and calls a nine route…pressure, int., pick six…not really ben’s fault on that.

    • DrGeorge

      February 7, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      Mark, perhaps I didn’t express myself clearly with regard to Ben. I’m not suggesting the Rooneys will or should get rid of Ben. I am saying his cost to the team versus his performance ought to raise eyebrows. The solution is not necessarily to find another QB, but to find another OC who will use the talent better. It is up to Tomlin and Arians to put Ben in a position to make that investment pay off. Ben did not play like a $100 million dollar QB this season. And he didn’t look like one last night.

      In fact, Ben has played well below par in all three of his Super Bowl appearances. Is it not obvious by now that the more the team relies on the pass, the worse Ben performs? Arians’ offense is completely dependent on Ben’s arm. It is not a balanced offense, and that is not good for Ben or the defense. Ben is much more effective in a structured (disciplined) offense. I know he hates structure and discipline, but that is what he needs. Instead, Arians caters over-much to Ben, over-emphasizes the passing game, and asks Ben to do too much. Arians consistent abandonment of the running game, even when it is working well, is the other side of the same coin; that has been part of the problem all season long. When Ben or the WRs are injured or the passing game is not working, the running game must be able to carry the load. Under Arians, that isn’t going to happen.

      My comment above boils down to this: If this is the best Ben and the offense can do under Arians, the Rooneys should find someone else who can maximize the investment. With the right OC, Ben has all the tools necessary to be a tier 1 QB and the offense ought to perform much better than it did last night. I have no idea what changes the Rooneys plan for the offense in the off-season, but if it were my team, Arians would be the first to go.

  8. Bart

    February 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    DrGeorge is right. This gane was lost by poor play calling. The best team did not win. Tomlin must go.

  9. louieyak

    February 7, 2011 at 12:32 am

    In a time like this, there’s not much left to do but laugh.

    “Packer Fans Are Gay”

  10. Joe

    February 7, 2011 at 5:43 am

    Not a Steelers fan, but in my opinion, more than half of the fans in this league would love to have a team like your Steelers. Are you guys nuts? Disband your team? You guys almost won the f’n game! You guys were 21-3 down! Lucky interceptions (both of them were lucky), the fumble, unsportsmanlike penalty at the end…nah, you guys have a great team. When the 2pt conversion was good, cheese head fans where getting scared. I’d rather call this…someone had to win this game, and this time it was GB.

    • Jay

      February 7, 2011 at 7:10 am

      Joe, where on here does anyone talk about disbanding the team?!?

  11. Mike

    February 7, 2011 at 6:51 am

    Definitely disappointed in the defense. No one made a play. But, to question the “fair value” of Ben and to suggest Tomlin “must go” is being bush league Steeler fans. We simply chose the wrong day to play a bad game. However, give the Packers credit. They maximized every Steeler mistake. Three turnovers equaled 21 points. BALLGAME!!! Also, execution on execution was bad.

  12. HP

    February 7, 2011 at 11:02 am

    What a crappy game for the Steelers. Big Ben threw high all game, they ran the ball pretty well, but horrible fumble…get two damn hands on the ball. Once again, the Steelers NEED a much better secondary! The entire secondary needs to go! Please, get some better defensive backs… The 15 yard unsmportsman like penalty….really, on the last drive..what a pin head. And why not attack more plays deep…GB lost 2 defensive back for the entire 2nd half…..horrible! And seriously, when Big Ben falls in love with a receiver, that’s all he throws to…4th and 5..Hines Ward maybe, Heath Miller maybe….come on!!!

  13. wardrules86

    February 7, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Polumalu lost the game for us PERIOD!!!!! He plays reckless and thinks of only himself on not the team. I think we should cut him!!!

    Also, what’s with the offense??? how about a flee flicker or something creative?

    • George H

      February 7, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      Again wardrules86 has another stupid comment

      • George H

        February 7, 2011 at 3:18 pm

        Troy won defensive player of the year.
        My guess is that he is still hurt so thats why you didnt see him up near the line much last night.
        Ike is a good cb but he would be much better as a number 2
        Besides them the rest of the secondary can go… including Clark

      • wardrules86

        February 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm


        You’re wrong again. Clay Matthews should have won the defensive player of the year award. Not mister “i can’t cover anybody to save my life.” He’s a saftey that can’t pass protect and doensn’t run protect anymore.

        I’m sorry, he was good for a while, but his best days are past him. We need to trade him or cut him to make room for the next guy.

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