Packers' backup Nelson steps up in Super Bowl
Jordy Nelson sure didn't play like a backup.
The third-year pro may have bobbled a few balls, but he had the game of a lifetime in the Super Bowl, catching nine passes for 140 yards and a touchdown in the Green Bay Packers 31-25 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's Super Bowl.
The kid from Kansas State was all over the field, snaring passes from Aaron Rodgers and catching a 29-yarder in the right corner of the end zone to give the Packers a 7-0 lead. He dropped a few, but rebounded nicely, especially on a 38-yard catch-and-run to the Steelers' 3 to set up the TD that put the Packers ahead 28-17 early in the fourth quarter.
When all was done, he had set a Packers record for receiving yards in a Super Bowl set by Max McGee, who had 138 yards in the first Super Bowl.
''It isn't sinking in yet,'' Nelson said. ''Hopefully, (I'll) see a bunch of highlights someday down the road and realize that is was me. I tried as hard as possible to forget that is was the Super Bowl and treat it like a normal game.''
Nelson and James Jones are the backups for Greg Jennings and Donald Driver, but Nelson was the go-to guy in the biggest game of all.
The 6-foot-2, 217-pound Nelson had 55 catches and four TDs his first two years, but had 45 this season and another 12 in the playoffs coming into the Super Bowl.
On his TD catch, he said, ''Aaron gave me a little signal if it was press (coverage). It was actually a screen play but he checked to go to a route. That's what we it.''
And winning it all?
''It's unbelievable,'' he said. ''It's incredible.''
VINCE, HERE COMES THE TROPHY: There was no shortage of quotes about the Vince Lombardi Trophy coming back to Green Bay after the Packers' 31-25 win over the Steelers in the Super Bowl.
Holding the trophy named for the great Packers' coach, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told club president Mark Murphy: ''And now, the smallest city in the league has won the biggest game. ... Vince Lombardi is coming home to Green Bay.''
Murphy saluted the fans, gave a thumbs up and said as he held the trophy: ''The Vince Lombardi Trophy is coming back to Green Bay.''
Added Packers coach Mike McCarthy: ''We had some bumps in the third quarter, but it was just a tremendous effort and the Vince Lombardi Trophy is coming back to Green Bay.''
The Packers won their fourth Super Bowl, and first since beating the Patriots in 1997. The first two Super Bowl wins came under Lombardi in the first two games, in 1967 and 1968.
ROONEY REACTION: It's rare that the Rooney family returns from these Super Bowl trips without a little extra something in their suitcases - specifically, the Lombardi Trophy.
On their team's eighth trip to the Super Bowl, the Rooneys came up short for only the second time. They still hold the record with six championships.
''Just said, `thanks,''' Steelers president Art Rooney II said when asked what he told the players. ''You know, they worked hard, we appreciated the effort they put in all year. They got us close to winning a seventh championship and that's pretty impressive.''
By doing things ''The Steeler Way,'' the Rooneys have built what is arguably the most stable franchise in the NFL over the past four decades. A win Sunday would've given the Steelers three titles in six years and would have put them close to cementing another dynasty - one to pair with the one that captured four titles in six years in the 1970s.
Could still happen.
''I feel good about our organization,'' Rooney said. ''We lost to a good team and a great franchise. My hat's off to those guys for what they accomplished this year. We just fell a little bit short.''
SUPER PACKERS: With Super Bowl win No. 4, the Packers moved into fourth place for most wins in the championship game that began in 1967.
The Steelers hold the record with six Super Bowl wins, and have now lost twice in the NFL title game.
Green Bay has a total of 12 championships with the eight they won before the Super Bowl era. The Bears are next with nine overall NFL titles.
Also, Green Bay becomes the second No. 6 seed to win the Super Bowl, joining the Steelers who won in 2006.
DOM'S DAY: Eight teams. A quarter century. More job titles and close calls than he wants to remember.
Finally, Dom Capers can be called a Super Bowl champion.
The Packers defensive coordinator, long considered one of the best X-and-O guys in the game, parlayed his first trip to the Super Bowl into his first championship Sunday.
''Twenty-five years to get here, and it's nice to be able to finish it off,'' Capers said. ''It's great to be able to take the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay.''
Capers' gameplan took a hit when the Packers lost cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Sam Shields to injury for significant stretches and safety Nick Collins for a bit when he needed intravenous fluids.
No panic. Just adjustments.
''We had to play more zone coverage in the second half because we didn't want to lock some of the other guys up into one-on-one situations,'' Capers said.
And so, the xx-year-old lifetime coach won his title. He coached two-year-old Carolina Panthers to the NFL title game in the 1990s and also coached the Houston Texans in their expansion years. Around that, he spent time as a defensive coach in Jacksonville, Miami, New Orleans, New England and, yes, even Pittsburgh.
''You have an appreciation for it when you have been doing it for 25 years and this is your first one,'' Capers said.
WIN, WIN FOR WYNN: Even before his Packers won the Super Bowl, defensive lineman Jarius Wynn had reason to celebrate: He was present for the birth of his son at a Dallas-area hospital Sunday morning, just hours before the game.
Wynn, a sixth-round draft pick in 2009, was released Sept. 4 before the start of this season. But he was re-signed Sept. 14 after a season-ending knee injury to defensive lineman Justin Harrell.
Wynn has played sporadically in a reserve role since rejoining the Packers. He played in the Packers' first two playoff games, but was inactive for the NFC championship game at Chicago.
RECORD NUMBERS: A record crowd was expected at Cowboys Stadium for the Packers-Steelers Super Bowl - but fell way short.
The crowd was 91,060 paying attendees, or 103,219 counting ''credentialed attendees.''
The record remains the 103,985 fans who watched the Steelers beat the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 in the Rose Bowl on Jan., 20, 1980. Next is the 103,667 fans who watched the Redskins beat the Dolphins 27-17 on Jan. 30, 1983, also at the Rose Bowl. The two other 100,000-plus crowds were at the Rose Bowl, too, at the 1977 and 1987 Super Bowls.
SUPER RECORDS: The Steelers and Packers set a Super Bowl record for least rushing attempts with a combined 36 - 13 by Green Bay, 23 by Pittsburgh. ... Among records tied were most Super Bowls with eight (Steelers, Cowboys); fewest turnovers by a team (zero by the Packers, shared with 17 other teams); most points, first quarter (team), Packers 14 (with six other teams); largest lead, end of first quarter, 14), Packers (and Miami and Oakland).
AP National Writer Eddie Pells contributed to this report.