Weeks before Super Bowl XLIII took place, many sports pundits had already chosen the Pittsburgh Steelers to win; they have already won five Super Bowl Championships. The Opening Ceremonies were extremely moving with Kurt Warner winning the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger and the crew of Flight 1549 were introduced which brought rousing applause from all in attendance.
The Arizona Cardinals won the toss and elected to receive. Right away the Steelers put the pressure on by scoring a field goal after being denied a Roethlisberger touchdown. For their part, the Cardinals could not do anything due to the outstanding Steelers defense, which was number one in the league throughout the season. Now, the ball was once again in the Steelers possession. After another strong and determined effort, Roethlisberger guided his team to a touchdown making the score 10-0 in favor of the Steelers.
The ball was again in the Cardinals possession. Kurt Warner was making his third start in a Super Bowl and stated he may retire after this game. On an 83 yard rush, Warner took his team down the field and threw a pass to Tight End Ben Patrick for the Cardinals first touchdown.
With two minutes left in the second quarter, Arizona intercepted a Steelers pass and within a short time was on the goal line. With a touchdown imminent, Harrison of the Steelers intercepted a Warner pass and went 100 yards for a touchdown. The Cardinals should have had the lead, but this play seemed to cement the outcome for the Steelers.
The hard-fought third quarter found only three points scored with a field goal from the Steelers making the score 20-7 in Pittsburgh’s favor. With 3:57 left in the quarter, Warner threw the ball to Fitzgerald in the end zone for a touchdown. The score was 20-14. With 2:58 remaining in the game, holding in the end zone was called and a safety was declared enabling Arizona to gain two points. Arizona took control of the ball and from the 35 yard line Warner threw a pass to Fitzgerald who ran for his life to the end zone – touchdown Cardinals! The score at this point was 23-20 with Arizona on top.
The Steelers came back and took the ball all the way to the 10 yard line where Roethlisberger passed to Holmes for a touchdown to make the score 27-23 with 35 seconds remaining in the game. Could the Cardinals come back with two times outs and score again? They gave it a valiant effort, but unfortunately it was not meant to be. The final score was 27-23 in favor of Pittsburgh.