Well as predicted last week, the Steelers put an end to Arizona’s amazing cinderella run through the postseason with a thrilling 27-23 victory in last night’s Super Bowl. While having picked Pittsburgh to emerge as the victors in this contest, I was silently hoping the Arizona would somehow find a find a way to prove me wrong but it didn’t quite work out that way. The first half was close for the most part until an Arizona turnover in the redzone that was returned for a touchdown, helped put the Steelers up 17-7 at halftime. Before the ball was snapped, I was thinking to myself that they should just go for the field goal to tie because they were getting the ball back next quarter so why risk turning the ball over with only 18 seconds left in the half. However, the one thing that an offense doesn’t want to happen did happen and Warner’s pass was intercepted by James Harrison who somehow managed to rumble it back for 100 yards while somehow eluding several Cardinal tacklers along the way. I believe that was the turning point of the game and it definitely shifted the momentum over to Pittsburg going into the half.
It seemed that the momentum was still in the Steelers’ favor into the second half as the they had the ball for most of the 3rd quarter while the Cardinals would commit several silly penalties helping to keep their oppoents’ drives alive and as a result, would trail 20-7 going into the final quarter. With only half of the half of the final 15 minutes remaining, the Cardinals managed their second scoring drive of the game on a Warner pass to Larry Fitzgerald (who had only 1 catch for 12 yards in the 1st half), that pulled Arizona within 20-14. With Pittsburgh deep in their own territory, a holding penalty in their end zone would result in a safety and a free kick and the Cardinals were back in business 20-16. It was hard to tell if it would matter though as the Steelers had pretty much eliminated the deep down the field routes that had helped the Cardinals arrive at this point. However, the Cardinals were able to take advantage of the Steelers’ defensive backs playing deep as Warner went underneath to Fitzgerald who in turn went 64 yards for a touchdown giving the Cardinals their first and only lead of the game 23-20. It was a feel-good moment for a second but it didn’t last long because having the ball with 2:37 left is a lifetime in the NFL and how many teams have we seen march down the field in similar situations. Needless to say the Steelers were able to do just that and their last scoring drive was capped off by an amazing catch by Santonio Holmes in the far right side of the endzone between 3 cardinal defenders while managing to stay in bounds to put the Steelers up for good 27-23 and cement their place in history being the only NFL franchise to win 6 Super Bowl titles. The victory would be one for the record books for the Steelers and their faithful while Arizona is left to think about what might have been as they missed several opportunities to sack Roethlisberger and committed a lot of penalties at key moments (11 totaling 106 yards). All in all, it was a great game to watch so much in fact that I am already looking forward to next season to see what other team(s) will make an unlikely run to and through the playoffs.
**PLEASE NOTE ABOVE STATS/TIMELINES PROVIDED BY CHICAGO SUN-TIMES NEWSPAPER.**