Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh's Steel Curtain Fails to Rise to The Occasion

Luke Carlton@lukecarlton6Contributor IIIFebruary 7, 2011

Troy Polamalu can only watch as Greg Jennings catches his second Touchdown of the day
Troy Polamalu can only watch as Greg Jennings catches his second Touchdown of the dayDoug Pensinger/Getty Images

We've seen it so many times before.

When a play needs to be made, the Pittsburgh Steelers' defense is one of the best in the league at making the play. Polamalu's sack and forced fumble against the Ravens in week 13. Ryan Clark forcing a rare Ray Rice fumble in the Divisional Championship Game.

However, on the biggest stage of them all, nothing.



Diddly Squat.

And that was from a team who had 21 Interceptions and forced 24 fumbles in the regular season.

The whole concept of Dick LeBeau's 3-4 Zone blitz scheme is to rush the Quarterback into hesitating under the pressure and misreading the coverage, leading to either a sack or Interception.

They didn't realize that Aaron Rodgers would dissect the Packers defense with Surgeon-like precision.

The reason he had the time is thanks to the Packers offensive line as they held up wonderfully, showing a near complete transition from the a line that gave up 50 sacks last year to a modest 38 this year.

No pressure means no hesitation. And no hesitation leads to Aaron Rodgers putting on a master-class, finishing with 24 of 39 for 304 yards and 3 Touchdowns and finally distancing him from Brett Favre and returning the Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay.

The Steelers got just two sacks in the game, one for LaMarr Woodley and the other went to the most fined player in the 2010 season, James Harrison. But even without stalwart Donald Driver, the Packers seemed to glide up and down the field after a rusty start.

It wasn't that Pittsburgh weren't good enough, far from it actually. You can put it down to excellent game planning or intense film study, but the Packers were just that one step ahead of them.

They picked up the blitzes, read the coverage and executed when they needed to. They knew where to attack and played to their strengths.

They wisely chose to not to run the ball against the Steelers' #1 defense, running only 11 times for 52 yards, despite James Starks' emergence in the postseason. They attacked the seams in the Steelers' defense and attacked them often. And the Steelers couldn't find the answer for it.

As a 'been there, done that' team, you kind of expected one of the play makers to step up and get that turnover.

Whether that be James Harrison, who scored the longest play in Super bowl History in their last Super Bowl outing, or AP Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu.

Heck, even Brett Keisel might have been hiding something under that Caveman beard of his.

A Forced Fumble. An Interception. Even a Blocked Field Goal. Anything to give the offense good field position.

But nobody showed up.

It was almost like they were depending on the next man to make the play. And they were waiting on the next man and so on. The man who arrives in the nick of time must missed the plane to North Texas and was left stranded in Western Pennsylvania.

They say that turnovers are a huge factors as to who wins the game.

In Super Bowl XLV, It was evidently clear that turnovers, or a lack of them, won the game for the Packers.