Post image for Steelers, Packers headed to Super Bowl XLV

Steelers, Packers headed to Super Bowl XLV

by Derrick Johnson on January 24, 2011

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers both put up big numbers on their way to their respective conference championship games, but it was their defenses that made the difference on Sunday. Thanks to some timely turnovers, the Steelers and Packers both punched their tickets for Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6.

In the NFC Championship, the Packers jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead against the Chicago Bears before the Chicago defense put the clampdown on quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Behind third string quarterback Caleb Hanie, the Bears managed to pull within one score but a late interception by Sam Shields on Chicago's final drive sealed the Green Bay win.

Pittsburgh also jumped out to a quick lead in the AFC Championship, staking themselves to a 24-3 halftime advantage over the New York Jets thanks to a fumble returned for a touchdown. But the Jets defense shut down the Steelers offense during the second half, and Mark Sanchez mounted a comeback to bring them to within five points, but a Steelers drive late in the game ensured them the 24-19 win.

The Super Bowl is not new territory for either team, especially the Steelers. Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has already won two championships, the most recent just two years ago against the Arizona Cardinals. For the franchise, this marks the eighth time the team has been to the Super Bowl, and they have been victorious a record six times.

It's been a bit longer of a wait for the Packers, who last won the Super Bowl in 1997 behind a fresh-faced Brett Favre. For Rodgers, who took over the reigns from Favre, the path to the title game is somewhat of a vindication to Packers fans who felt management forced Favre into retirement.

"It's an incredible feeling," Rodgers told The Associated Press. "I'm at a loss for words." 

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