The Super Bowl was not exactly a back and forth game between the Steelers and Cardinals until the final minutes. For three and a half quarters, the Steelers looked to be well on their way to victory, until the Cardinals made them work for it more. Most of the game went the Steelers way until near the end, and the Super Bowl scores by quarter seemed to reflect that story. But although those scores suggest Steeler domination most of the game, in truth, the Steelers only dominated the first and third quarters.
There was absolutely no question that the Steelers dominated the first quarter, in tone if not by score. The Steelers were only up 3-0 after one quarter, but it should have been a lot worse. It would have been worse if the Cardinals didn’t get a Ben Roethlisberger rushing touchdown overturned, providing a much needed goal-line stop early in the game.
By the end of the first quarter, the Steelers almost had another touchdown, which they got to start the second. If not for some breaks, the Steelers could have won the first quarter by a score of 14-0.
The score of the second quarter suggests that the Steelers won that quarter as well, outscoring the Cardinals 14-7. But that score is misleading as well. The Steelers got that first touchdown as a result of a drive that mostly happened in the first quarter.
In truth, the Cardinals dominated the second quarter, getting back in the game and nearly taking the lead. It was only James Harrison’s 100-yard interception return that gave the Steelers a win in the second quarter.
The third quarter was again a misleading sign of what really happened. The stats say that the Steelers won the third quarter narrowly, outscoring the Cardinals 3-0. Like in the first quarter, it could have been and should have been worse.
The Cardinals had to stop the Steelers on six goal-line plays, thanks to bad penalties, and could have lost the game for good in the third quarter. Though the Steelers just outscored them 3-0 in the third, the gap was pretty wide between them.
It was only the fourth quarter that reflected reality in the Super Bowl, as the Cardinals won that quarter 16-7. This accurately reflected how the Cardinals made their furious comeback and almost had the game won.
If they did win it, the fourth quarter score would be 16-0 Cardinals, an unbelievable stat. Instead, the Cardinals won the fourth quarter 16-7, with that 7 the only score that really counted in the end.
So in the 2009 Super Bowl, the Steelers outscored the Cardinals by three quarters to one, which would seem to reflect a dominating win. Which it nearly was, until that fourth quarter. With that, the 2009 Super Bowl will be regarded as one of the tightest in history – regardless of how the scores by quarter look.
Yahoo Sports- “Pittsburgh Steelers/Arizona Cardinals Box Score” sports.yahoo.com/nfl/boxscore;_ylt=Aupju1wl5jCQ.a4LUV.gaPPdzYd4