February 2, 2009
The Steelers are now the only NFL team to win six Super Bowls.
The game was pretty much as expected for much of the first three quarters, with a better defense and a better team winning. Pittsburgh had their boot heels on the necks of the Cardinals but were unable to provide the crushing blow. By the end it was a heart-racing classic.
The defining play of the first half came with Arizona on the verge of taking the lead. Kurt Warner had the Cards moving but was intercepted by linebacker James Harrison who returned it 100 yards. Instead of leading or tied, Arizona found themselves trailing 17-7.
The Steelers played the possession game throughout the third quarter. John Madden said it best when he said that the Steelers would do what they do, "Run and play defense." Pitt stretched the lead to 20-7 and this looked like another bad Super Bowl reminiscent of those from the 70's and 80's.
Then Kurt Warner (31-43 for 377) found his magic.
Arizona made it a game in the fourth quarter with a four-minute, 87-yard drive capped by a Larry Fitzgerald touchdown. Warner completed 10 in a row across two drives, and with about five minutes to go, it seemed momentum had changed in favor of the Cardinals.
The second drive stalled but Arizona pinned the Steelers on the one yard line. On second down the Cards nearly pinned Willie Parker for a safety. On the next play Roethlisberger connected with Santonio Holmes for twenty yards and a first down—but holding in the end zone negated the play, and Arizona was awarded the two points.
Arizona ball with just about three minutes to go and 65 yards between them and the Lombardi trophy. Warner hit Larry Fitzgerald again for a 64 yard touchdown, and suddenly incredibly the Cardinals had the lead 23-20.
With 2:37 it was time to see if the Steelers were champions or not. Big Ben held tough, converting a crucial 3rd-and-6 under the pressure of a blitz. The Ben & Holmes show took over (4 for 73 on the final drive), and Roethlisberger found Santonio in the corner of the end zone with :35 to go and immortality.
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