2008 Playoffs

Steelers Claim Sixth Championship, Beat Cardinals, 27-23, In Super Bowl XLIII

The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in a fantastic finish to Super Bowl 43 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.

Super Bowl MVP wide receiver Santonio Holmes managed to keep two feet inbounds while catching the game-winning 6-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with 35 seconds remaining in the game, capping a 78-yard drive.

The Steelers became the first NFL team to boast six Super Bowl wins, breaking a tie with Dallas and San Francisco, but the NFL\’s No. 1 defense had few answers for Arizona Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner in the fourth quarter. Warner threw for 224 of his 377 yards in the final quarter as the Cardinals rallied from a 13-point deficit.

The Cardinals took their only lead of the game, 23-20, when receiver Larry Fitzgerald turned a short slant pass into a 64 yard touchdown with 2:37 remaining in the game. Fitzgerald had been held to one catch for 12 yards through three quarters but finished the game with seven receptions for 127 yards and two touchdowns.

Roethlisberger completed 21 of 30 passes for 256 yards as the Steelers finished 15-4 on the season. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin won an NFL title in only his second season as a head coach and became the youngest coach to do so.

“This has been our story all year – Steeler football is going to be for 60 minutes,\’\’ said Tomlin.

Arizona hurt itself with penalties and a huge turnover just before the first half ended. Steelers linebacker James Harrison, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year, stepped in front of a pass intended for receiver Anquan Boldin and rumbled 100 yards down the right sidelines, in front of the Cardinals bench. Harrison lunged over the goalline as time expired in the half, capping the longest play in Super Bowl history.

Holmes caught nine passes for 131 yards, picking up the slack for veteran wide receiver Hines Ward, who was slowed by a knee injury.

“We never doubted ourselves, not for a second,\’\’ said Ward. “Santonio Holmes made a name for himself today. We never gave up. To come back and win it like that is just unbelievable.\’\’

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