Counter Intuitive Thought – How Did the Packers Win The Super Bowl?

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl 45 on February 6, 2011. The Packers accomplished this feat against a very strong Steelers’ defense. In fact, the Packers ran the ball 13 times against the Steelers. Mind you, that was the fewest rushing attempts ever by a Super Bowl winning team. Football intuition or football history tells me if a team is not somewhat balanced on offense, there is a stronger than average chance they will lose.

How is it possible, to win the Super Bowl by 6 points and only have 13 rushing attempts − especially against a strong Steelers’ defense?

If the Steelers could just focus on the passing threat, how much more effective could they be on stopping Aaron Rodgers, the Packer’s quarterback? Interesting scenario. The Steelers, one of the best teams at creating turnovers, knowing they could attack the quarterback most of the time and create turnovers, created none.

Image of Super Bowl 45

Or did they not plan to see this unbalanced offensive strategy by the Packers? Or maybe they were willing to take their chances, knowing the odds were in their favor against a team that would literally give up on the running game.

A 6th seed, the Packers, not only make it to the Super Bowl by winning 3 straight road games, but defeating an experienced Super Bowl team? How could a 6 seed, defeat an experienced quarterback who’s won the Super Bowl twice? Is it also amazing, a team, with more than 15 players on injured reserve for the 2010-11 season, defeat a strong defensive team by passing on almost every down?

How were the Packers able to win their biggest game of the year after losing 4 starters during the game? And one could argue that Packers’ receivers dropped two potential touchdowns during the game. And still win the game. Amazing!

Turnovers? Did I hear you say the ‘T’ word? Will turnovers trump everything? How many of the turnovers can be attributed to the Packers’ defense and how many to the Steelers’ careless ball control on offense?

Even with the turnovers, to win this game considering all the factors: strong Steelers’ defense, injuries during the season, only 13 rushing attempts, 6th seed, inexperience, injuries during the game is a tribute to the players, coaches and entire Packer’s organization.

BTW, of the previous 44 Super Bowl winners, 37 of the 44 had more rushing attempts than the losers.

Kevin Schwarm

I have over 25 years of professional experience in business, information technology (IT), and customer service. Industry experience in retail, medical insurance, higher education, non-profit, financial services, and property and casualty insurance. Customer focused professional interested in providing value (save time, money and aggravation) by evaluating and analyzing information, services and products with a unique perspective.

3 Responses

  1. Bill says:

    Very interesting observation. I specifically remember the year the Colts won it all, that Peyton Manning, a rather well known passer, was able to set aside his preference for passing and focus on the ground game. That is conventional wisdom. The Packers defied it, but they had the personnel in place to do so.

    I don’t think I would go so far as to say the turnovers trump everything, but they are certainly extremely important. As you point out, the GB receivers dropped way too many passes. The only reason they got away with it was the defense in general, and the turnovers in particular. Especially noteworthy were the GB forced turnovers that resulted in points.