Aaron Rodgers can now erase the number 4 from the back of his mind and bring number to the forefront. That is how many championships and Super Bowl MVPs he has to his credit. As the sole heir to the Green Bay dynasty, he was always compared to his mentor Brett Favre even after number 4 was long gone. But after edging the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in the 45th Super Bowl, Aaron Rodgers proved that he is one of the best, if not the best, quarterback in the NFL.
Super Bowl MVP, Aaron Rodgers, took his 6 seed Green Bay Packers on a spectacular ride throughout the playoffs to become the second 6 seed to win the Super Bowl. How ironic is it that the 2005 Steelers was the other team to do that feat? Talk about getting a taste of your own medicine! After a 14 year drought, the Lombardi Trophy is finally back at home where it began with the Packers winning the 1st two super bowls with the trophy’s namesake and legendary coach, Vince Lombardi at the helm.
Rodgers’ spectacular postseason performance should erase any lingering questions, comparisons, and the abrupt dismissal of legendary and for sure Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre as the team’s franchise signal caller. After being Favre’s primary backup for 3 long years, Rodgers took over in 2008 and within 3 years he has just as many titles and 1 more Super Bowl MVP than Favre by bringing Green Bay its record 13th NFL title (9 before the Super Bowl Era).
Unbelievable to Steeler Nation and what they saw as blatant disrespect, the young and upstart Packers were favored in this game by 2.5 points after the game opened as a pick. That didn’t last that long. Many experts sited that Aaron Rodger’s was finding his stride at the right time and that he had more weapons on offense that would prove to be the difference. And clearly that showed at key moments in the game although his receivers dropped a whopping 6 open targets, which two were shown to be clear paths to the end zone. But Aaron Rodgers kept the team together and Coach McCarthy showed how much he trusts his star quarterback by keeping the ball in his hands. And that proved to be the right choice in determining the final outcome in one of the better super bowls in recent memory. The Packers ran the ball for a total of 50 miniscule yards, which is the second lowest total by a team to win the super bowl. Who needs a run game when Aaron Rodgers is your quarterback.
”You can stop it now,” veteran receiver Donald Driver said. ”Aaron’s proved that he’s one of the best, if not the best, quarterback in this game today.”
Rodgers threw for 304 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson, who had nine catches for 140 yards to make up for three of those six drops the receivers allowed in the game. Rodgers found Jennings twice, normally his favorite target, for 21- and 8-yard scores.
The night just was not in the stars for the six time champion Steelers. Not even the decidedly black and gold crowd waving their terrible towels could help the uncharacteristic turnover prone Steelers. Trying to overcome 2 interceptions and a fumble by Rashard Mendenhall proved to need more heroics than Ben Roethlisberger could muster up. Green Bay was barely able survive a valiant comeback by “Big Ben” but it ended with the two time Super Bowl champion standing on the sideline with his head down experiencing something he had never experienced, defeat in the Super Bowl.
”I feel like I let the city of Pittsburgh down, the fans, my coaches and my teammates and it’s not a good feeling,” said Roethlisberger, who later buried his head in a towel and wept.
Their two biggest defensive stars – Defensive Player of the Year safety Troy Polamalu and outside linebacker James Harrison – were nonexistent. The offense didn’t seem to miss outstanding rookie center Maurkice Pouncey, who was out with an ankle injury, but Roethlisberger only occasionally made his usual third down conversions that he has become famous for.
The big plays came from Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, and Nick Collison who intercepted Ben Roethlisberger and returned it for a 37-yard touchdown. It was all green and gold. When it was all said and done, the Packers gave Mike McCarthy his first Super Bowl win against the team he rooted for when he was a young fan. He became just the third coach besides Mike Holmgren and Vince Lombardi to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in Green Bay history.
It has been told that Coach McCarthy had the team fitted for their rings the day before the game. Normally, the team that wins gets fitted after the game, but McCarthy said that he knew they were going to win the game. Thanks to Aaron Rodgers and his band of injured soldiers their coach was right on target.
”That was just a vote of confidence for us,” Woodson said. ”Get fitted for your ring. I don’t know when we’ll get them, but it’ll fit.”