Capping one of the greatest postseasons for any quarterback, Rodgers led the Packers to their first NFL championship in 14 years Sunday with a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Packers reclaimed the Vince Lombardi Trophy, named for their legendary coach who is making his own star turn in New York these days in the play named after him.
Rodgers, the game’s MVP, thrilled his legion of Cheesehead fans with a spectacular six-game string that should finally erase the bitterness of the Brett Favre separation in Green Bay. He’s now equal with Favre in Super Bowl wins and he extended the Packers’ record of NFL titles to 13, nine before the Super Bowl era.
The Packers QB threw for three touchdowns, two to Greg Jennings, and the Packers (14-6) overcame even more injuries, building a 21-3 lead, then hanging on to become the second No. 6 seed to win the championship. Coincidentally, the 2005 Steelers were the other.
Rodgers threw for 304 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson, who had nine catches for 140 yards to make up for three big drops. Rodgers found Jennings, normally his favorite target, for 21- and 8-yard scores.
“Wow! It’s a great day to be great, baby,” Jennings said.
Then the Packers held on as Pittsburgh (14-5) stormed back.
“We’ve been a team that’s overcome adversity all year,” Jennings said. “Our head captain (Charles Woodson) goes down, emotional in the locker room. Our No. 1 receiver (Donald Driver) goes down, more emotions are going, flying in the locker room. But we find a way to bottle it up and exert it all out here on the field.”
Few teams have been as resourceful as these Packers, who couldn’t wait to touch the trophy honoring their coach — and their title. Several of them kissed it as Roger Staubach walked through a line of green and gold.
Vince Lombardi is coming back to Green Bay,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said as the silver prize was handed to the team.