Sunday, February 6, 2011

Green Bay Packers: America's Team and Super Bowl Champions

As a lifelong Green Bay Packer fan, there is no sweeter moment in my life than to watch the victory formation and see the seconds tick off the clock as the Packers claimed their 4th Super Bowl win.

The Green Bay Packers are truly America's Team. This was shown immediately when the clock ran out, the NFL Shop website, nflshop.com, was flooded by fans to the point that the Website CRASHED! For almost one half-hour, there were so many people trying to get their Championship gear that the website was down, unable to handle the fan's desires of Super Bowl XLV apparel.

Enough about the fans, let's get to the game...

This started out like a typical boxing match, with both teams trying to feel the other out. There were a few punts for both teams as the sparring at the beginning of the bout continued for the first series for both teams. Eventual Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers had some problems with control early on. Clearly the nerves had to be getting to him the first few drives but he would eventually settle down and throw a near-perfect pass to Jordy Nelson to take an early 7-0 lead. On the impending kickoff, a correctly called "block in the back" penalty backed up the Steelers inside their own 10 yardline. Howard Green brought pressure up the middle and forced a poor throw by Ben Roethlisberger that was intercepted by Pro Bowl Safety Nick Collins and was returned for 37 yards to the house taking a 14-0 lead. However, on the celebration, he went to the ground which is a 15 yard Unsportsmanlike Conduct for Excessive Celebration. Due to this, the Steelers got fantastic field position and was turned into a 33 yard Shaun Suisham field goal making it 14-3. The Packers didn't do anything with the ball until Green Bay's 5th string Cornerback and Special Teams standout Jarrett Bush came up with a huge interception as the Steelers were driving once again. Aaron Rodgers turned this into another touchdown, this one to Greg Jennings bringing it to 21-3. It looked like it was going to be smooth sailing until some key injuries broke the rhythm of this well oiled machine. Green Bay's all-time leading receiver, Donald Driver, left in the 2nd Quarter as well as future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson and Sam Shields (2 INTs in the NFC Championship). After these injuries, Big Ben drove down and punched in a TD to close out the half 21-10.

The only thing I will say about the Half Time show, Usher saved it. The Black Eyed Peas were horrible. Moving right along...

The injuries looked to be devastating when the first Green Bay possession had two penalties and gained five yards. The Steelers came out with a vengeance as their offense was clicking, led by some great throws by Roethlisberger and an 8 yard run by Rashard Mendenhall inching Pittsburgh ever closer, 21-17. Again, the Packers did nothing with the ball, but their defense came up big again. Clay Matthews was told before this next series by the Green Bay linebackers coach, Kevin Greene (a former great linebacker himself), "It is time..." The Claymaker responded by forcing a fumble of Mendenhall that was recovered by Desmond Bishop. What did Rodgers do? He drove the Pack down for another touchdown pass by fooling Troy Polamalu on the route and throwing a great pass to Greg Jennings. But the Steelers would not go away easily even being down 28-17. In four minutes, the Pittsburgh Steelers closed the lead to 3 with another great throw by Big Ben to Mike Wallace and the sequential Two Point Conversion to Antwaan Randle El bringing it to 28-25. After terrible drops by his receivers all game, Rodgers yet again drove his team down for a Mason Crosby field goal that was set up by a conversion on 3rd down and 10 on their own 25 yardline with a 31 yard pass to Greg Jennings. This gave the Pack a 31-25 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, a terrible mental mistake by the experienced Steelers with an Unnecessary Roughness call brought back a great return. The Packers forced a 4th and 5 that was defended perfectly by Tramon Williams. Taking a knee, Aaron Rodgers clinched the victory once an for all to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to its rightful home in Green Bay, WI.

This was the 2nd Youngest Team in football this year. They put 15 Players on IR. They lost 3 starters in the first half of the Super Bowl. But this was the best TEAM this year, they always had an answer for all the injuries, and why not have the Super Bowl be any different than the rest of the year. They were the Road Warriors through the playoffs, but they looked like a #1 Seed tonight.

By the way...
Super Bowl Win Count: Rodgers=1. Favre=1.
Super Bowl MVP Count: Rodgers=1. Favre=0.

Think of who they get back next year, HEALTHY, without even making any trades or going to the draft that didn't play (or not very much) in the Super Bowl: Charles Woodson, Donald Driver, Sam Shields, Ryan Grant, JerMichael Finley, and many more.

This could be the beginning of many more Championships in the years to come... But until then...

GO PACK!



2 comments:

Jill said...

Awesome article, Tim. And I am not biased. ;)

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