Super Bowl XLIII Recap

The Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers played in one of the greatest Super Bowls of all time. The game is already an instant classic, and will be remembered for some time.

The Cardinals were playing in their first Super Bowl. The Steelers were looking to become the first team to win six of them, with their most recent triumph coming three years ago.The Cardinals were looking to shock the world against the favored Steelers.

A pair of people in heaven were staring down on the players. Fallen hero Pat Tillman was cheering on his Cardinals. Chomping on a cigar rooting for the Steelers was the legendary team founder Art Rooney.

The game got off to an odd start when the Cardinals won the toss and elected to defer. Rather than let their potent offense start the game, they chose to receive the second half kickoff instead.

Pittsburgh took over on their own 28. On 2nd and 8 from the 30, Ben Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for a 38 yard gain to the Arizona 32. From the 22, Roethlisberger hit Heath Miller for a 21 yard gain, setting up 1st and goal at the one. Russell was blown up in the backfield for a 4 yard loss, and on 2nd down Pittsburgh got the 4 yards back. On 3rd and goal from the 1, Roethlisberger scrambled and was ruled to have broken the plane of the goal for the touchdown. Ken WHisenhunt challenged the call, and on further review, the call was reversed. On 4th and goal from the 1, Mike Tomlin decided not to gamble. Jeff Reed hit the 18 yard field goal to put the Steelers up 3-0 just over 5 minutes into the game.

The Cardinals punted, and the Steelers took over at their own 31. Roethlisberger quickly hit Santonio Holmes for a 25 yard gain to the Arizona 44. On 3rd and 10, Roethlisberger hit Holmes for 11 yards down to the 33. Another 11 yarder to Holmes moved Pittsburgh closer as the game entered the second quarter. After 11 plays and 7 minutes, the Steelers again faced 3rd and goal at the 1. This time Russell broke through, and the Steelers led 10-0.

The Cardinals took over at their own 17, and finally got going. Kurt Warner hit Edgerrin James for 10 yards. Completion to James for 5 and 11 yards were sandwiched around a 7 yard toss to Steve Breaston. On 1st and 20 from the Arizona 41, Warner hit Breaston for 13 yards down to the Pittsburgh 46. On the next play Warner went deep to Anquon Boldin for a 45 yard gain down to the one yard line. Warner hit Patrick on the next play to cap off the 5 1/2 minute, 83 yard drive that got the Cardinals to within 10-7 midway through the second quarter.

Pittsburgh had to punt, and Stever Beaston returned the punt 34 yards to the Pittsburgh 43 with 4:16 left in the half. A personal foul chop block penalty and a pair of sacks led to the Cardinals wasting the opportunity. The Cardinals punted, And the Steelers took over at their own 16 with 2:46 left in the half. Two plays later, Roethlisberger had a pass tipped and intercepted. At the 2 minute warning, the Cardinals had another golden opportunity from the Pittsburgh 34.

On 3rd and 10, Warner hit Tim Hightower for 10 yards and a 1st down. A 12 yard toss to Larry Fitzgerald had the Cardinals at the Pittsburgh 12 yard line. Tosses of 7 and 4 yards to Anquon Boldin had the Cardinals facing 1st and goal at the 1 with 18 seconds left in the half. At this point the game was turned upside down.

Even if the Cardinals did not take the lead, a gift field goal would have tied the game. Instead, Warner was intercepted at the goal line. Both of these quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl Championship, and both of them had been picked off once in this game. Yet Warner’s turnover was deadly, as James Harrison returned it 100 yards for a touchdown the other way as the half expired. It was the longest play in Super Bowl history, and Harrison needed help from every blocker to eventually score. Fitzgerald actually came all the way back and caught him, and it looked like Fitzgerald brought him down short of the goal. However, replays correctly showed that Harrison landed on Fitzgerald’s leg and rolled off of him into the end zone, never hitting the ground. The stunner had the Steelers up 17-7 at intermission.

The decision to defer the opening kickoff seemed to backfire on the Cardinals as the Steelers controlled the tempo in the first half. The Cardinals began the second half at their own 24, but after moving the ball just past midfield, the drive stalled and Arizona punted. Pittsburgh took over at their own 18. Roethlisberger then led a staggering 16 play, 8 1/2 minute drive that was helped along by penalties on the Arizona defense that looked like a complete meltdown.

On 2nd and 13 from the 15, a short pass was aided by a facemask penalty on Rogers-Cromartie that moved the ball to the Pittsburgh 36. On 3rd and 1 from the 45, Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for 5 yards to midfield. A very questionable roughing the passer penalty on Dansby moved the ball to the Arizona 35. It appeared Roethlisberger got away with intentional grounding on the play. On 2nd and 11, Roethlisberger hit Holmes for a 15 yard gain down to the Arizona 21. On 2nd and 9, Willie Parker ran 15 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 5. The Cardinals stiffened, and on 4th and goal from the 9, another field goal had the Steelers up 20-7. Defensive holding on the kick gave the STeelers 1st and goal at the 4. Yet as badly as the Cardinals had blundered, they prevented Pittsburgh from turning out the lights. Again, the short field goal was good, and the 20-7 lead stood entering the final quarter.

For three quarters, this game looked fairly typical, and expected. The better team with the suffocating defense was shutting down the team with the high powered offense. The game looked over. It was just getting started. After an exchange of punts, the Cardinals took over at their own 13 with 11:30 minutes remaining in the game.The Steelers had the lead, but the Cardinals had Warner. The 2 time NFL MVP and leader of the Greatest Show on Turf was not going to let the Greatest Show in the Desert go down without a fight.

Warner unleashed a flurry of passes. He hit Breaston for 13, Urban for 18 more, Fitzgerald for another 6 yards to midfield, 22 yards to JJ Arrington down to the Pittsburgh 28, and back to Fitzgerald for another 18 to set up 1st and goal at the 10. Warner kept firing, hitting Fitzgerald for 6, Hightower for 3 more, and on 3rd and goal at the 1, the touchdown toss to Fitzgerald. Warner went a straight 8 for 8 to cover 87 yards and pull the Cardinals to within 20-14 with 7 1/2 minutes left. The Cardinals were just getting started.

Pittsburgh went 3 and out, and the Cardinals took over at their own 25 with 5 1/2 minutes left. Warner hit Boldin for 11 yards, and an unnecessary roughness penalty on Taylor had the Cardinals just past midfield. Warner then hit Breaston for 23 yards. The Cardinals had 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 26 with 4 minutes remaining. A go ahead touchdown would have made this a thriller, but nobody in the audience could have prepared themselves for the amount of action that would take place over the final 4 minutes.

An offensive holding penalty on Gandy followed by 3 straight incomplete passes briefly cooled off the red hot Warner. On 4th and 20 from the Pittsburgh 36, Whisenhunt had a major decision to make. Would he go for it with 3 1/2 minutes left? A 53 yard field goal attempt seemed risky, although Neil Rackers has the leg. Whisenhunt made a mind boggling decision to punt the ball. It turned out to be a brilliant move, as the Cardinals downed the punt at the one yard line.

After an incomplete pass, Willie Parker almost got trapped on the ground for a safety. He barely got the ball past the plane of his own goal with an extra effort. On 3rd and 10 from their own 1, Tomlin decided to throw the ball. Yes, this seemed to be an insane decision, since an incomplete pass would stp the clock. Another safe run would force the Cardinals to burn a timeout. Tomlin initially looked like a genius when Roethlisberger hit Holmes for 19 yards. Yet despair and elation quickly switched sides when the Steelers were called for offensive holding. The penalty on Hartwig occurred in the end zone. Instead of a critical 1st down, the Cardinals had their safety. 3 minutes remained, and the Cardinals were within 20-16.

More importantly than the safety, the Cardinals then received the ball. Pittsburgh kicked off the free kick from the 20, and the Cardinals took over from their own 36. The Cardinals needed only 2 plays and 21 seconds to shock the entire stadium. After an incomplete pass, Warner went deep to all world receiver Fitzgerald. The 64 yard touchdown pass was Warner’s 3rd of the game. With 2:30 minutes left, the Cardinals had stormed back. 9 points in 30 seconds and 16 points in quarter had the Cardinals turn a 20-7 deficit into a 23-20 lead. They were on the verge of shocking the world. Yet the only problem was that they scored too early.

In an exact replica of last year, one team came back to take a late lead, only to see their defense give up huge chunks of yardage when it mattered most. Yet things started badly for the Steelers. They began at their own 22, and a holding penalty gave them 1st and 20 at their own 12. Roethlisberger hit Holmes for 14 yards. On 3rd and 6 from the 26, Big Ben hit Holmes again, for 13 yards and a 1st down at the Pittsburgh 39. Roethlisberger then hit Nate Washington for 11 yards to midfield with 1:33 left. With 1:02 left, the Steelers took their 2nd timeout. Facing 2nd and 6 from the Arizona 46, Big Ben hit Holmes on a swing pass. In a complete defensive collapse, Holmes took it 40 yards to set up 1st and goal at the 6. Pittsburgh took their final timeout with 48 seconds left.

On 2nd down, Roethlisberger lofted a pass to the far corner of the end zone. The ball was lobbed just over the outstretched fingertips of 3 defenders. Santonio Holmes leapt up, caught the ball, and got his toes down inbounds just before tumbling out of the end zone. The play was reviewed and upheld. For the second year in a row, a go ahead touchdown had been scored with 35 seconds remaining. The Cardinals trailed by 4 points, but they still were not done. Arizona took over at their own 23 with only 29 seconds left and 2 timeouts.

Warner hit Fitzgerald for 20 yards to the Arizona 43, as the Cardinals called their 2nd timeout with 22 seconds left. Warner then hit Arrington for 13 more yards. The Cardinals took their final timeout. With 15 seconds remaining, the Cardinals had 1st and 10 at the Pittsburgh 44, well within Wanrer’s hail mary reach. Warner then went back to pass for the attempted miracle. He was hit as he threw the ball, and the Steelers fell on it. While it appeared to have been an incomplete pass and not a fumble, for some reason it appeared that there was no booth review. Ending in controversy is not good, but the replays could have been argued either way. After the game, NFL Officiating Head Mike Perreira confirmed that there absolutely was a booth review, and the fumble call was upheld. The Steelers had survived.

With the thrilling win, the Steelers did have their sixth Super Bowl win. Santonio Holmes, who caught 9 passes for 133 yards, including the fabulous game winner, was the Most Valuable Player. Big Ben won his second Superbowl in only 5 years as a player. He has often lamented that he played badly in the win 3 years ago. It is hard to say that the winner needs redemption, but in this game Roethlisberger played well. He was 21 for 30 for 256 yards. He threw the winning touchdown pass, and his only interception was deflected.

The Cardinals were 35 seconds away from giving an MVP award to Larry Fitzgerald, who caught 7 balls for 127 yards and 2 touchdown. Boldin added another 84 yards, and Breaston kicked in 71 more. Kurt Warner was a ridiculous 31 for 43 for 377 yards passing. He threw 3 touchdown passes, but had the one costly interception.

It is worth noting that the 3 highest passing games in Super Bowl history all came from the 3 appearances by Kurt Warner. He has passed for 414, 365, and on this day, 377, for a ridiculous 3 game total of 1156 yards. Yet in 2 of those games that he lost, he threw an interception for a touchdown. Today it was the longest play in Super Bowl history, the 100 yard return by Harrison that totally changed the complexion of the game. After the game, Warner would not say whether or not he would retire.

A ton of credit must be given to Owner Dan Rooney, and former coach Bill Cowher. Both Whisenhunt and Tomlin were Cowher proteges. Tomlin became the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl.

The Cardinals outgained the Steelers 407 to 292, but lost the turnover battle 2 to 1. Additionally, the Cardinals were done in by 11 penalties for 106 yards. The Steelers also added 7 penalties for 56 yards.

The Arizona Cardinals offered what might have been the best 4th quarter comeback in Super Bowl history, but the Steelers offered a thrilling comeback of their own while holding of the last furious Arizona Rally.

The Cardinals gave the people their money’s worth, but in the end, it was the Steelers on the top of the mountain as the winners of Super Bowl XLIII. They are the 2008-2009 NFL World Champions.

27-23 Steelers


5 Responses to “Super Bowl XLIII Recap”

  1. That was a real heartbreaker for the Cards – but I’ll tell ya’ what – they could easily be back in it next year. The Cards were really just hitting their stride later this season. Next year, if they can improve their running game, and just tweak their pass defense, just a little bit, they could be right back in it.

    I’ll say the is too – that first quarter or so aside, that was the one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever. Right down to the wire. Great game.

    Now it’s time for months and months of boredom and depression…


  2. Toma says:

    Amen!! Great game.

    Football season is over so I guess we will have to humor ourselves with politics.

    This is an article I submitted to a local news outlet. I hope you don’t mind if I post it here??

    “What’s going on in here? Where’s your Mother”

    Well George Soros got er done didn’t he?! Remember when he promised to spend his vast fortune to put the Democrats back in power? Yep. George and his band of brush beaters succeeded in digging up any thing that could breathe whether legal, illegal,aliens,emigrants on the boat,no matter that the individuals can’t read write nor speak English. No matter that they were semi-conscience shut-ins they didn’t even have to awake. There were lots of absentee ballots in their back packs and if they could be forced to hold a pencil and scribble something on a voter registration form they would get them to the voting booth and cram them down the throat of the nearest election board. If you think that did not happen then you are wrong! Election laws mean nothing to these people. Any law that gets in the way of their goal is to be ignored. And they get away with it. They are under the protection of the media. Those that complain or question their tactics are attacked by the media and branded voter rights violators.

    We don’t see this happen very much in Mid-America where elections are will organized and voters are will documented. But that’s ok with the Dems they’re not much interested in Mid-America we don’t have enough electoral votes to mess with. They do their work in heavily populated areas preferably economically depressed so their money will go farther. Oh yes these newly registered “voters” are paid for their time and instructed how to vote. If you think this don’t happen then you are wrong!

    Well the Dems got what they want, the White House and both Houses of Congress. It is unnerving watching them wring their hand and blurt out absurdities. They act like they don’t know what to do. The statement, “Democrats don’t know how to govern” is a historical fact. But what they do know how to do is grab power. Obama’s Chief of Staff, I forget his name its not important, made this profound statement, “A crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. Be assured fellow citizens the crisis facing this nation will not go to waste. The Dems will take full advantage.

    What I’m hearing from our new administration is rehearsed, rehashed, rhetoric and worn out cliches. Obama’s preception of the obvious is stunning. But now and then, if you listen, you can get a sprinkling of what they have in store for us. By “us” I mean the citizens and tax payers of this country.

    Pelosi wants to nationalize the banking system. Brilliant! The Dems want to tell bankers how to bank. Dems want to give the auto industry billions in taxpayer money so they can tell car makers how to make cars. Brilliant! Obama wants to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. Brilliant! The states cannot afford to build or repair infrastructure because the tax monies they send to Congress come back with so many rules and regulations attached that most of it is spent trying achieve compliance. The states can’t pave highways with mandates. Oh yeah, I should mention that John Conyers wants to bring charges against George W. et al, because he really don’t like him or his friends, and he disagreed with all their policies. Brilliant!

    I’ve heard the term “too big to fail”. This is almost an oxymoron, except some oxymorons can be valid, this term in the context it is being used is absurd. Nothing and/or no one is “too big to fail”. If a bank big or small makes bad loans and gets burned, shame on it. Fire the people that approved the loans and reorganize. If a car manufacturer allows the union to blackmail it to the point that it can’t afford labor cost, shame on it. Fire the people that bent over for the union and reorganize. If the executives of an investment firm steal money from its investors the investors should be allowed to go get them, take back their money and put them in jail.

    I don’t believe I am over simplifying here. This is reality and the point is, the Dems are eager to subsidize failure and are trying to convence the public that it must be done and they know how to do it. The terrifying thing is that the Dems will do it and they will do it with our money. Money that we don’t have! The pathetic part is that we will let them.

    The Dems want control of the banking system and they will buy it with our borrowed money. They want control of the auto industry and they will buy it with our borrowed money. They want control of our investments and they will buy it with our borrowed money. They want power and control of our business and our money, all of our business and all of our money. Listen to what these people are saying and you will realize where they want to go. This is not a good thing!

    George Soros vowed that he would spend his vast fortune to put Democrats back in power. Well he bought the White House and gave to Barak Obama. He got it really cheap. Now we will pay and pay and pay and pay.

    Or, perhaps we won’t pay. Don’t pay your taxes. If a large enough block of “Citizens”, and by “Citizens” I mean people with valid drivers licences, valid voter registration and social security cards and perhaps even a birth certificate on file at the court house, you know what I mean, Americans that live and work in America, would refuse to pay their taxes for one year. I’ll bet Congress would sit and pay attention. Of course we would all probably go to prison, but I believe the alternative is just as bleak. The only way to stop a bully is to hit him right between the eyes. Between the eyes of this congress is money.

    Or, since we don’t want to go to jail we could write, call or email our congressman and threaten to cut off the money. If enough “Citizens” make the same threat maybe, just maybe some one would listen.

    If we don’t do something…

    Will Rogers, “If you have more people ridin’ the wagon than pushin’ the wagon the wagon will stop”. Socialism defined.

    Dems love to blame the Republicans and call them obstructionists. They also love to blame the people, Citizens, and call them opulent, spoiled wasteful, gas guzzling, and frankly inept at managing their affairs. Hillary said, “We need to take some things away from some people”. Who was she talking about, you and I or some else? She never did say who needed to be punished. But someone sure does. So I guess their answer is to take control, and manage our affairs for us. “The American People will just have to tighten their belt”. The Dems know what is best of us.

    Boosting the economy is a simple matter. All congress has to do is start talking seriously about tax reform, permanent tax cuts, trimming down government interference. The citizens of this country are afraid of Obama and the policies he talking about. They’re afraid because they know he can’t pay for the programs he wants to install and they also know they won’t work. The people drive this economy and at this moment they are afraid to spend any money that they don’t absolutely have to spend, and this fear will persist as long as Obama and Congressional leaders are using words like nationalize, bail-out, stimulus (euphemisms for take control) tax breaks for the poor (the poor don’t pay taxes, they live on taxes). Preaching tax relief for a certain segment of the population is getting very old. It will never happen. I remember something big Al Gore said when he and bj Bill was running for the presidency. When asked about tax breaks he said in effect, we (Democrats) would be glad to give the American people a tax break if we thought they would spend the money where it needs to be spent. The Dems know best where we should be spending our money.

    The ordinary men and women of this nation are the only ones that can boost the economy. They are the answer and if Congress would sit down, shut up and stay out of the way and let the people keep more of their hard earned money then they will fix the economy and create a lot jobs for those who want to work.

    Or, maybe Yellowstone blows then it is all moot.

    Or, Pelosi could nationalize Yellowstone??

    Tom Autry
    Watonga, OK

  3. “Pelosi wants to nationalize the banking system”???

    “If the executives of an investment firm steal money from its investors the investors should be allowed to go get them, take back their money and put them in jail.”

    Really? Sounds like you like Pelosi’s “wants.” Incestors have very little rights as f now, and you have none other than the GOP to blame.

    “Dems love to blame the Republicans…”

    Well, who else would you blame? Who had almost complete control of all three branches of governmenr for 6 of the last eight years?

    “Or, Pelosi could nationalize Yellowstone??”

    I’ve got some bad news for you, sunshine – and it’s not about Pink not being well or back at the hotel…


  4. LOL! I said “incestors”!!! hehehehehe


  5. Shooter says:

    Maybe we should let the DNC and the RNC play tackle football to see who runs the country for a year. Ghetto rules football would be fun to watch with that crowd playing.

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