Tuesday, February 8, 2011

the bowl was super.

On Sunday, the happiest moment of the sporting year for Americans occurred: the Super Bowl. And although the two teams were in the top three ranked defenses in the National Football League, the game still turned out to be relatively exciting.

Aaron Rodgers completed the transformation of the Green Bay Packers into his team. The days of Brett Favre are completely over with this victory, and it probably couldn't have come at a better time for the Packers or their fans. As Favre played out his (hopefully) last season in Minnesota, there were signs practically every day of burning out as opposed to fading away. Forget the off-field drama, just look at the production of Favre versus the young gun who used to back him up.

The Packers piled on the Steelers in the first half, capitalizing every chance they could. They went up 14-0 in the first quarter alone. At that point, it looked like it would be another boring Super Bowl. The second quarter didn't bode well, either, when the Steelers were stymied in their drive for a touchdown and had to settle for a field goal.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, haven't gone to three Super Bowls in six years for no reason. After the third quarter ended, the Packers were up only 21-17 and the tide seemed to be turning. Mike Tomlin had done his job, had fired up his troops, and Ben Roethlisberger was ready to seal his legacy at the young age of 28.

The Cheeseheads grabbed the momentum, though, with an 8-play, 55-yard drive that resulted in a touchdown. Rodgers was in full command of the game, with a 111.5 passer rating, compared to Roethlisberger's 77.4. Roethlisberger has been in (and won) 2 Super Bowls already. He was supposed to bring the savvy, and the all-important Super Bowl experience. Instead, he was eclipsed by Rodgers, who's ready to shine his championship acumen for a few more years.

When the Steelers scored with 7:34 left in the 4th and commanded their defensive unit on the field to make a stand, things seemed headed for a Hollywood-comeback-ending. But the first word in the game (and this post) is defense, and the Packers dug in. With 2:07 left in the game, and only one timeout, Roethlisberger completed two passes, and then threw three incompletes in a row. The Steelers turned over the ball, Rodgers knelt on it, and the transformation of backup quarterback to new big man in Green Bay was complete.

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