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How and Where Super Bowl XLV Went Wrong


From the moment the ball hit the ground on 4th and 5 with less than a minute to go, already Steeler coaches, players and fans were thinking the same thing – how did we get here?

How did a team that was able to overcome so much, find themselves on the short end in the biggest stage? How did a club that was supposed to be loose, confident and ready for anything find themselves the ones that seemed to be playing in their first Super Bowl in over a decade?

Bottom line – the fault lies all over the place. Turnovers, penalties at bad times, missed plays, and some rather odd play calls all combined for a 31-25 loss to the now champion Green Bay Packers.

Here’s just a short list of the mistakes that all resulted in a loss that will be remembered for a long time.

1. Turnovers – The most obvious choice as to why Super Bowl XLV was lost, three turnovers, all resulting in Packers points, could easily be the biggest reason the Steelers lost Sunday. The first turnover was a Nick Collins pick on a play where the Steelers were looking for a big play, and it was returned 37 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0. The last turnover, a Rashard Mendenhall fumble, came with the team down 21-17 and sitting at the Packers 33. It killed the teams momentum when it was all theirs, and ended up being a Packer TD which made it 28-17 and put the Steelers in panic mode.

2. Penalties – Keyaron Fox may find himself unemployed after the biggest bonehead penalty of the season. It was a unnecessary roughness call which came after the defense held the Packers to three points and gave the Steelers a shot at a possible game-winning drive with two minutes left. The penalty meant the Steelers had to start their offensive possession at the 13-yard line, with 1:59 to play and one timeout remaining. Just dumb. The other standout penalty was the one on Ryan Mundy on an Antonio Brown kickoff return that put the Steelers at their own 7-yard line. The next play – a Ben Roethlisberger pick that was taken back by Collins for a touchdown to make it 14-0.

3. Play Calls – Too often the Steelers got away from the run and became to pass happy. They had success rushing the ball all night, yet still never seemed committed to staying with it. There was a couple third and short situations where instead of pounding the run, despite it being successful most of the night, they threw. Then there was the odd call of having Shaun Suisham try a 52-yard field goal with 4:29 left in the third quarter. The kick was wide left, make that VERY wide left, and it gave the Packers their offensive possession at their own 42-yard line.

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.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. wardrules86

    February 7, 2011 at 11:50 am

    We just aren’t that good of a team. Big Ben is an average quarterback. He’s in-accurate and misses receivers constantly. “Captain bubble screen” is great at the end of the game in clutch moments, but where is he the rest of the game?

  2. Tim Yoder

    February 7, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I’m sorry but I think it’s time to cut ties with our o-cordinator Bruce…I was sitting a home and questioning some…no wait…ALL plays. The Steelers have 3 great wideouts and all they can come up with is this bubble crap screen! I know they are not a team of alot of trickery but maybe throw something in there to try to catch them off guard. Bottom line they got beat by a superior team.

    Cubs say it
    Red Sox say it
    Now the Steelers….Maybe next year!

    • wardrules86

      February 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      I agree. The coaching is horrible. Tomlin doesn’t have control of the team. All he does is pace up and down the sideline pumping his fist. He needs to go ASAP!!!!!

  3. Pingback: Steelers Mistakes Crush Hopes of Another Super Bowl Title · super bowl

  4. DrGeorge

    February 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Matt, there are admittedly many factors that contributed to this loss — Arians’ offensive gaffes, Ben’s interceptions,Mendy’s fumble, a slow and aging defense, and brain-lock penalties are among them. But we were in the game and had the momentum until the most glaring faux pas of the night — Tomlin’s decision to try a 52 yard field goal instead of punting and pinning the Packers deep.

    Suisham had already shown a tendency to pull left on his prior kicks; he almost missed the extra point minutes before. A missed FG gives the Pack excellent field position, a chance for a quick score, and an opportunity to recapture the momentum. And that’s what happened.

    The media has glossed over this ill-considered call by Tomlin, but it was in my mind the turning point of the game.

  5. Steeler & Cowboy Hater

    February 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    What a wonderful evening of football!! Watching the most over rated and dispised football club, the Steelers get their butts kicked. Dispite the obvious slant of the referees with the horrid calls for the Steelers and the offensive line holding on every play the Packers still destroyed the “Dynasty”??? ha ha ha As much as I am hearing the whinning about the turnovers, if the Packers catch 2 or 3 of the 6 passes they dropped the stupid STeelers lose by 20! Rogers and the Packer receivers slashed the Steeler defense like a Varsity team would do a JV team. Great day to celebrate and watch the obnoxious STeeler fans eat a big meal of Crow!!!!!

  6. Thomas Crowley

    February 8, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Agreed steeler and cowboy hater

  7. Pingback: The Super Bowl XLV Aftermath « Stupid Sideline Reporters

  8. STEELER4LIFE

    February 10, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    I AGREE WITH THE PLAY CALLING I DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHY WE WERE THROWING SO MUCH WHEN R. MENDENHALL WAS DOING A GREAT JOB RUNNING THE FOOTBALL. I WAS BEGGING TO EITHER GO FOR 4TH AND LONG OR PUNT AND TRY TO CHANGE FIELD POSITION. HECK HE WAS SHAKY THROUGH THE ENTIRE PLAYOFFS!! IT’S CERTAINLY NOT FAIR TO PUT IT ON MENDENHALL. YES IT WAS COSTLY BUT SO WAS BEN’S PICKS. BUT THE MAIN THING THAT HAS BOTHERED ME ALL YEAR THAT YOU WOULD NOT GET MORE THAN ONCE WITH COWHER IS THE SELFISH PERSONAL FOULS!!!! IT’S B.S. AND SELFISH AND IT WILL ALWAYS COST YOU. JUST ASK MUNDY AND FOX. AND I LOVE STEELER AND COWBOY HATER, IS THAT JUST A COINCIDENCE THAT YOU CAN CHANT WHO YOU DONT LIKE BUT MUST NOT BE TOO PROUD OF WHO YOU DO LIKE,IF YOU HAVE ONE. OVERRATED??? U MAY WANT TO LOOK THE DEFINITION UP TO CALL EITHER ONE OVERRATED!!!! BUT WHAT DO YOU EXPECT.

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