CHICAGO IL - JANUARY 23: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws the ball in the first quarter against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23 2011 in Chicago Illinois. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Green Bay Packers NFC Champions, Beat Chicago Bears 21-14

Super Bowl XLV's NFC representative comes down to the Chicago Bears Vs. the Green Bay Packers.

  • Live
6 Total Updates since January 23, 2011
  • Important 5
  • Updates 6
  • All Updates 6

Pittsburgh Steelers Are AFC Champions, New York Jets Comeback Just Short

The Pittsburgh Steelers jumped out to a 24-3 lead against the New York Jets in the first half, but Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets fell just short of a comeback in the fourth quarter, falling to the new AFC champions 24-19. The Steelers, reaching the Super Bowl for the third time in six years, will play the NFC Champion Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.

The Steelers’ ostensibly clutch quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, struggled in the AFC Championship, finishing 10-for-19 with 133 yards and two interceptions. Rashard Mendenhall was the difference-maker, rushing 27 times for 121 yards and a touchdown.

Sanchez finished 20-for-33 with 233 yards and two touchdowns. The Jets’ offense put up 16 yards in the second half after barely getting on the field in the first half, but they ran out of time outs and then clock in the Steelers’ final drive. Ladainian Tomlinson was held in check all night, finishing with nine carries for just 16 yards.

Continue

AFC Champions Halftime: Steelers Bury New York Jets In Second Quarter, Lead 24-3

After a rough first quarter for both presumptive AFC Champion offenses the Pittsburgh Steelers came alive in the second quarter, riding a fumble returned for a touchdown to a 24-3 lead at halftime. Both Mark Sanchez and Ben Roethlisberger have been contained, but an outstanding half from Rashard Mendenhall and a Sanchez fumble were all it took for the Steelers to take a 21-point lead into the half.

As a battle of high-name-recognition quarterbacks, the AFC Championship game began as mostly a bust. Roethlisberger’s vaunted playoff mojo has gone mostly to Mendenhall; Sanchez has been looked to more frequently than in the regular season, but he hasn’t been any more effective than usual.

More than anything else, the Jets have been unable to keep the ball; the Steelers’ offense, for all Roethlisberger’s inefficiencies, has rolled slowly downfield. Through three quarters the Steelers had held the ball for 31 minutes, to the Jets’ 13. It’s impressive enough that the Jets have trusted Sanchez to throw the ball more than once for every minute they’ve held onto the ball, but they don’t get any extra points for confidence.

Continue

AFC Championship Game: Pittsburgh Steelers Score First Vs. Jets

In a first quarter marked by tough defense from both sides the Pittsburgh Steelers were first on the scoreboard, with Rashard Mendenhall barrelling through the Jets’ sixth-rated defense for a touchdown. The Pittsburgh Steelers led the AFC Championship game 7-0 through the first quarter, with the winner earning the right to face the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.

Neither Mark Sanchez nor Ben Roethlisberger was solid in the early going. Roethlisberger threw an interception in his own territory to begin the second quarter; Sanchez was given just four pass attempts in the first quarter, with the Jets struggling to keep possession and still less than certain about their young quarterback.

The Steelers’ vaunted defense was given a lot of help by its offense in the first quarter—thanks to the running game’s ability to eat clock the Jets had just five minutes out of the first 18 on offense. Ladainian Tomlinson had two rushes for just one yard in the game’s first 20 minutes.

Continue

Green Bay Packers NFC Champions, Beat Chicago Bears 21-14

Chicago Bears third-stringer Caleb Hanie brought the Bears within a few plays of tying the NFC Championship game, but the Green Bay Packers’ staunch defense grabbed their third interception and Aaron Rodgers was just good enough to send the Packers to Super Bowl XLV, their first appearance since 1998.

Hanie, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State University in 2008, replaced the 39-year-old Todd Collins after Cutler’s unceremonious exit and was the only Bears quarterback to get downfield all day. While the Packers continued to dismantle the Bears’ offensive line Hanie’s increased mobility was all that kept them from an early exit.

The Packers moved the ball downfield without much trouble, but Rodgers was intercepted twice, including a Brian Urlacher pick that kept the Packers from icing the game in the third quarter. Rodgers’s one touchdown was on the ground; the Packers also got a touchdown from James Starks, who rushed 22 times for 79 yards.

The Packers will play the winner of the AFC Championship game—the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New York Jets—in Super Bowl XLV.

Continue

Jay Cutler Benched In Third Quarter, Chicago Bears On Board 14-7

Jay Cutler, ineffective for much of the game and injured at the half, was benched by the Chicago Bears at the end of the third quarter, leaving third-stringer Caleb Hanie in charge of Mike Martz’s offense in the fourth quarter of the NFC Championship game. Hanie, who came into this game with eight career pass completions, marched the Bears downfield, and Chester Taylor put the Bears on the board, trailing the Green Bay Packers 14-7.

Hanie, a Colorado State University alum who was undrafted out of college, was 2-for-2 with 40 yards passing, including a perfect, looping lob-shot that got the Bears to the goal line for Taylor’s touchdown run up the middle. Those 40 yards are nearly half of the Bears’ pass offense to date, and his pass to Johnny Knox was only their second completion to a wide receiver all day.

The Packers had a chance to finish the Bears off in the third quarter, but Aaron Rodgers was intercepted by Brian Urlacher near the end zone.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Join SB Nation St. Louis

You must be a member of SB Nation St. Louis to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation St. Louis. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.