Mendenhall’s Mistake Proved Costly
I’m not going to go so far as to call him a goat, but Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall is probably sick to his stomach today.
The Steeler running back’s fumble completely turned the tide in the game – and it pretty much ended all hopes of the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history.
Early in the 4th quarter, the Packers were hanging onto a 21-17 lead while the Steelers had the ball inside Green Bay territory with a chance to take their first lead of the Super Bowl. Pittsburgh had a 2nd and 2 on the Packers 33 yard line and had all the momentum.
But Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and lineman Ryan Pickett sandwiched Mendenhall – knocking the ball loose. Green Bay recovered the fumble and then went onto a score a TD which gave them a 28-17 lead.
All of the momentum the Steelers had built up was now gone. Green Bay looked like they were starting to crumble at that point – but that fumble gave them some new-found confidence.
So after nearly coming back from a 21-3 deficit and not quite getting over the hump, Pittsburgh essentially had to start their comeback bid all over again.