With the 50th Super Bowl upon us, analysts and fans across the nation have discussed what they believe to be the best Super Bowl ever. The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-23 victory over the Arizona Cardinals was looked at as the best by many.
There’s no denying that some fans have a bit of a short memory span when deciding what they believe to be the best game ever. With that being said, there is simply no denying that the Cardinals and Steelers game was one of the best ever, if not the best ever.
Throughout the history of the big game, there have been a whole number of great games, and a number of duds. The first Super Bowl ever was a 35-0 victory for the Packers, and in recent memory, who can forget Peyton Manning and company getting embarrassed by the Seahawks 43-8.
On the other side of things, no one will ever forget David Tyree‘s helmet catch that lifted the Giants over the undefeated Patriots. No one could forget Scott Norwood‘s wide right kick. No one would dare forget Malcolm Butler‘s last second interception, John Elway‘s helicopter run, Kevin Dyson down at the 1, or Lynn Swann‘s amazing performance against the Cowboys.
It’s the defining moments, the huge mistakes, and triumphs on the big stage that make a game the best, and that’s exactly what the game between the Steelers and the Cardinals was all about.
The game started off incredibly slow. No touchdowns were scored in the first quarter, and Pittsburgh punched the first one in early in the 2nd quarter to take a 10-0 lead. The Cardinals high flying offense, led by Kurt Warner, responded almost immediately, with a touchdown of their own.
The game was set up to be a normal, and anticlimactic game…but that all changed in a flash.
With the two minute warning fast approaching, Ben Roethlisberger‘s pass was deflected and intercepted, setting up the Cardinals with great position to tie the game, or even take the lead. Kurt Warner marched his Cardinals down the field, and to the 2 yard line with 18 seconds remaining.
There are two plays in this game that defined it. Any Steeler fan can close their eyes and see both of those plays run vividly through their mind. With 18 seconds left in the half, one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history occurred.
James Harrison, the defensive player of the year, picked off Kurt Warner at the goal line. The linebacker was by no means known for his speed, but nothing was going to stop him. Harrison steamrolled his way through every obstacle between him and the end zone as he barreled his way, hurdling, pushing, and finally reaching the promised land while being dragged down by two Cardinals.
That play completely turned the tides, and was truly a sight to behold.
After another uneventful quarter, the finale to this Super Bowl was remarkable.
The Steelers were up 20-7, and time was running out for the Arizona Cardinals. Then, a series of events when their way, and totally changed the landscape of the game. Larry Fitzgerald changed the game.
With about 8 minutes left, Kurt Warner threw a beautiful fade to Fitzgerald who jumped up over Ike Taylor, and pulled down the touchdown to cut the lead. Then, with only three minutes left, the Steelers were called for a holding penalty in the end zone resulting in a safety.
Suddenly, it was a game, and soon, Arizona would look to put the nail in the coffin. With about 2:30 left to go in regulation, Fitzgerald struck again. Kurt Warner threw a dart right into his receiver’s hands on a slant route, and Larry did the rest, outrunning every defender, and leaving them in the dust and giving Arizona their first lead of the game.
With Warner and Fitzgerald firing on all cylinders, it was time for the Pittsburgh duo to go to work. Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes were simply unstoppable. With a minute to go in the game, Santonio Holmes caught the ball, and ran for about a 45 yard gain, setting the Steelers up in great position.
After a failed pass on 1st down, Ben Roethlisberger delivered one of the greatest throws in NFL history, throwing it over three Cardinal defenders, and right into the hands of Santonio Holmes on his tippy toes, truly one of the greatest throws and catches in the history of the Super Bowl.
Pittsburgh marched out of that game as the first franchise to win six Super Bowl titles.
It’s definitely debatable whether or not Super Bowl XLIII was the greatest one of all time, but no one can deny that it was a great game, and is at least in the discussion as the best ever.