Forty-three seconds left in the Super Bowl. It was a spectacular finish as one man’s acrobatic catch determined the ball game. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII, which will go down as the greatest game in Super Bowl history. In a game that either team deserved to win, Pittsburgh wide receiver Santonio Holmes sealed the deal with an unbelievable catch that guaranteed a victory for Pittsburgh and made Arizona fans sick.
Penalties, controversial calls, player altercations and even Larry Fitzgerald were not going to slow down the Steelers.
Pittsburgh controlled majority of the game, taking away the Cardinals offense, making them look barely average. In the first half, Pittsburgh capitalized with multiple passes to wide receiver Hines Ward and Heath Miller and breakout runs from Willie Parker and Gary Russell.
Arizona could do absolutely nothing thanks to aggressive play calling. Arizona, despite being held in check, finally got momentum rolling. But that quickly turned around.
On the next Steelers possession, Ben Roethlisberger got picked off by Arizona linebacker Karlos Dansby late in the first half. Cardinals, driving in the red zone, looking for revenge. Right? No. Warner’s pass was intercepted by linebacker James Harrison, who ran back 100 yards for a touchdown. It was the longest interception in Super Bowl history. Steelers 17-7 at halftime.
Third quarter controversial play calls helped the Steelers’ chances by a field goal from kicker Jeff Reed. Score: 20-7.
But the Cardinals got hot. Warner, with help from running back J.J. Arrington, tight end Matt Spath and go-to-guy Fitzgerald put the Cardinals back in it, 20-14.
The Cardinals pinned the Steelers deep in their own red zone, and a holding call on Pittsburgh in the end zone resulted in two free points for the Cardinals. Pittsburgh was forced to give the ball back to Arizona with 2:48 left.
Fitzgerald then burned the Steelers secondary with a 65-yard TD reception. With 2:35 left, Pittsburgh stayed calm. Roethlisberger hit Holmes three times in a game-wining drive.
The win gave Pittsburgh its sixth championship. Holmes walked away the MVP. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, 36, became the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl and only the second African-American head coach to win the big game.
It was historic. It was unforgettable. All Super Bowls should be this good.