The Green Bay Packers Win Super Bowl XLV! Who Knew?
When the smoke cleared at Super Bowl XLV, it would be the Green Bay Packers standing tall and hoisting up the hardware.
But how many of you really picked the Packers at the beginning of the year? Better yet, how many of you stuck with that pick amidst all of the turmoil throughout the season?
You have to admit, the Packers overcame a great deal of adversity in order to win their 13th NFL titles. It all started with their star running back Ryan Grant going down in the first game of the season and being put on injured reserve. A dagger in the hearts of Green Bay fans had casual Packer fans jumping off the bandwagon. But it would get worse.
Aaron Rodgers suffered two concussions—one of which put him out for a week 15 game to the Detroit Lions—and again the Pack’s playoff chances appeared to dim.
Thanks to Philadelphia Eagles‘ Desean Jackson‘s miraculous punt return touchdown against the New York Giants and Rodgers guiding his team to week 16 and 17 wins against the Giants and Bears (respectively), the Packers managed to secure the #6 seed in the NFC playoffs. Even then, most weren’t too sure the Packers would be able to hold up in the playoffs.
But after upending the Philadelphia Eagles and shocking the Atlanta Falcons, a Super Bowl berth was within arms reach. Although they were up early, Da Bears gave the Packers all they could handle in the NFC championship game as they rode the arm of third string QB Caleb Hanie. Nonetheless, the Packers won and were heading to Dallas to face the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As the first ever #6 seed in the NFC to make the Super Bowl, the Packers came into the Super Bowl as a 3.5 point favorite and held up their end of the bargain by cruising to a 14-0 lead early, heading into the half with a 21-10 edge. But just as the Lombardi trophy seemed to be in arms reach, Ben Rothlisberger and Co. mounted a furious comeback to close the gap to 28-25 in the fourth quarter. As fate would have it, the Packers wouldn’t let the Steelers and their Super Bowl experience intimidate them as they marched downfield and Mason Crosby chipped in a late field goal to push the lead to 31-25. And just as the Packers defense have done all year, they closed the deal and saved the Packers from what appeared to be defeat.
In the end, the Green Bay Packers won their first Super Bowl title in the Aaron Rodgers era. For those who picked (and stayed) with the Packers from the beginning of the year, congratulations. An amazing season capped off with a Super Bowl victory is certainly satisfying. But with Ryan Grant coming back and what they hope will be the return of a solid core, the Packers will look toward the 2011 season and winning another title.
Will you ride with Green & Yellow next season?