Mistakes cost Steelers title
Pittsburgh rue errors as Green Bay claim Superbowl
Talk of a Pittsburgh Steelers dynasty disappeared in a series of costly turnovers as the Green Bay Packers turned errors into points and a 31-25 Super Bowl victory last night.
For a brief moment it looked like the battling Steelers might produce the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
They trailed 21-3 in the second quarter but had left themselves too much work as the Packers turned three mistakes into scores, including a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown by Nick Collins in the second quarter.
Hines Ward said he was "shocked" to lose, saying he thought the Steelers would come from behind to win like they did two years ago in a 27-23 Super Bowl victory over Arizona.
"I had a feeling we were going to do it again," said the Steelers receiver. "We've been in these situations before. But we should have never been in that situation. That's the discouraging part.
"We turned the ball over, you can't beat a great team like the Packers turning the ball over."
Playing in their third Super Bowl in six years, the Steelers were supposed to be the team with the experience but appeared unsteady on the sport's biggest stage.
Ben Roethlisberger tossed two interceptions to go along with his two touchdown passes, while running back Rashard Mendenhall had a fumble to offset an eight-yard touchdown run.
"It's a disappointing loss, for me it's even more disappointing because you feel like you let a lot of people down that stood up today to fight," Roethlisberger said.
"I feel like I let a lot of people down."
Despite their miscues, the gritty Steelers remained in a position to win and cut the Packers' advantage to 28-25 with over seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
However, a 23-yard field goal from Mason Crosby with just over two minutes left gave the Packers some breathing space.
The Steelers had one more chance but, unlike so many times before, Roethlisberger, a two-time Super Bowl winner, was unable to produce the big play when it matter the most.
"Toughest (loss) I've ever had in my life," said Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, who was named NFL defensive player of the year earlier in the week.
"This is not a game to us, it's a lifestyle. It is important for us to rebound and take something from this loss.
"It's very humbling but somehow we will benefit from this loss."