Super Bowl 2011: It's Over, So Who Do We Want To See Next Season?
NFL fans have been lucky enough to see eight straight Super Bowls that were within seven points at some point in the fourth quarter.
Recent Super Bowls have been instant classics, like in Super Bowl XLIII, when the Arizona Cardinals scored 16 fourth-quarter points to go ahead 23-20 with 2:37 left, only to have the Pittsburgh Steelers' Santonio Holmes make an incredible game-winning catch with 35 seconds to play.
Or, Super Bowl XLII, when Eli Manning of the New York Giants somehow scrambled to avoid being sacked, threw it for 32 yards to David Tyree, who made an amazing one-handed catch, and pinned the ball against his helmet to avoid the ground. Then, Manning aired it out to Plaxico Burress for a touchdown, to pull off a stunning upset and end the New England Patriots' attempt at the elusive perfect season.
Or, how about Super Bowl XLIV, when the New Orleans Saints put up 15 unanswered fourth-quarter points against Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts, uniting the city of New Orleans that had been through so much horror since Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.
This year, Super Bowl XLV lived up to the high standards set in the last few years. Ben Roethlisberger was trying to become just the fifth quarterback ever to win three Super Bowls, joining Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana, Tom Brady and Troy Aikman. Aaron Rodgers was trying to win his first Super Bowl, and in the process, step out of the Brett Favre shadow that still covered Green Bay.
The Packers jumped out to a big early lead of 21-3, but it was far from over. The Steelers roared back with two touchdowns to trail 21-17, and had the ball at Green Bay's 38-yard line to start the fourth quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall fumbled, and Desmond Bishop recovered for the Packers. Rodgers showed no nerves and marched the Packers down the field for a touchdown.
The Steelers answered back with a touchdown of their own less than five minutes later, and made the two-point conversion to trail just 28-25, with about seven minutes to play.
Rodgers once again looked calm, and moved the Packers to 1st-and-goal at the Steelers' 8-yard line, but couldn't get into the end zone. Mason Crosby made the 23-yard field goal, and Roethlisberger got the ball back, down six points, with 2:07 to play.
After a 15-yard completion on the first play, Roethlisberger couldn't make it happen, and the Packers claimed victory, with Rodgers earning MVP on the strength of 24-for-39 passing, 304 yards and three touchdowns.
Now that Super Bowl XLV is over, what matchup do we want to see for Super Bowl XLVI?
Super Bowl XLVI will be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, which leaves a very intriguing, and not unlikely, potential matchup between the hometown Colts and the very same Green Bay Packers who just won.
The story lines for an Indianapolis versus Green Bay Super Bowl would be virtually endless.
Can the Colts win the Super Bowl at home?
Can the Packers become the first team since the 2004 and 2005 New England Patriots to successfully defend their championship?
Will Peyton Manning's reputation as a playoff choker go away if he can win his second Super Bowl? Will he be considered the best ever if he wins a second Super Bowl?
Can Aaron Rodgers, the young superstar, get the best of Peyton Manning, perhaps the best quarterback ever?
Can Adam Vinatieri kick another Super Bowl-winning field goal?
These questions, among others, would make for one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever. Despite all the other potential matchups we could see in Super Bowl XLVI, Green Bay versus Indianapolis in Indianapolis would be the best.
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