Super Bowl: Packers overcome injuries to take home hardware
Whenver one Green Bay Packer went down, another stepped up. In a game in which several Green Bay playmakers suffered game-ending injuries, the Packers still found a way to get the job done.
Coach Mike McCarthy had a very sound game plan, and his team executed it very well. In the first half, the Packers made few mistakes and forced the Steelers into them
Green Bay neeed to keep the pressure off Aaron Rodgers and spread the field to make it difficult for Troy Polamalu to freelance and roam. The Packers didn't shoot themselves in the foot with penalties, at least in the first half, and they avoided turnovers. However the receivers dropped catchable passes, including one that appeared to be an easy touchdown if the ball was caught.
On defense the Packers needed to be able to stop the run which and contain Ben Roethlisberger in the passing game.
Ultimately penalties and turnovers are what cost the Steelers. In my opinion, a key injury for the Steelers was to cornerback Bryant McFadden, who left the game with a hip pointer. Afterward, I felt defensive coordinator Dick Labeau was more conservative in his blitzes and coverages, and Green Bay took advantage of McFadden's replacement, William Gay, most of the game.
The Packers were able to pressure Roethlisberger enough to make him uncomfortable and force him to make mistakes. He threw two interceptions and one was returned for a TD. If a team is going to beat the Steelers, confusing Roethlisberger is a key.
Both team's marquee defenders -- the Steelers' James Harrison and Troy Polamalu and the Packers' Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews -- were mostly silent in this game, but with time winding down and the Packers clinging to a three-point lead, Matthews struck big, causing Rashard Mendenhall to fumble.
I'm sure after the Steelers coaching staff will watch the film and lament all of the costly mistakes. But make no mistake: The Green Bay Packers had 15 men on injury reserve and had three key injuries in the Super Bowl alone and still were able to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Congratulations to the Packers and McCarthy, a Pittsburgh native who was able to lead the Packers over his hometown team.
| February 7, 2011; 11:12 AM ET
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Posted by: wynnebs | February 7, 2011 12:43 PM | Report abuse