Frank Zombo tackled Rashard Mendenhall in the backfield to key a Pittsburgh Steelers three-and-out in the first drive of Super Bowl XLV, but a muffed punt-return nearly cost the Green Bay Packers the ball deep in their own territory. The Steelers couldn’t get anything going on a drive that ended with Ben Roethlisberger underthrowing a receiver on third-and-long. Rashard Mendenhall was caught four yards in the backfield to erase a four-yard completion to Hines Ward on the first play of the afternoon.
The Packers’ game-opening decision, it turns out, was validated; they elected to defer their coin toss victory and will therefore receive the ball again at halftime, following the Black Eyed Peas’ interminable floor show and a series of Super Bowl commercials.
The Steelers nearly caught a break when Kapinos’s 40-yard punt was muffed by Tramon Williams, who fell on it just before the Steelers’ punt team arrived at the scene. The resulting pile required several officials to break up.