How Close Was Rashard Mendenhall To Super Bowl MVP?

There’s only one rabbit that I’m really interested in hunting after Super Bowl XLV, and that’s the question of who would have won the MVP if the Pittsburgh Steelers had come from behind in the second half to win the game. My money was on the Steelers (and Rashard Mendenhall in the MVP hunt) to prevail.

As the fourth quarter began, the Steelers trailed the Packers, 21-17. Pittsburgh had just taken over on offense on a Packers three-and-out (their third in a row) that gave the Steelers the ball on the Green Bay 41, their best field position of the night.

Roethlisberger, despite having thrown two interceptions, had completed 8 of his last 11 throws, including a touchdown pass to Hines Ward. Mendenhall had 14 carries at that point in the game (he averaged over 20 in the regular season). And the Steelers were gaining momentum. Until…

“I had a good feeling that play was going to come,” Matthews said. “I told my defensive end to spin it for me and wrap it around the outside. … I got to make a play, and I did.”

“I just got hit and the ball came out,” [Mendenhall] said. “It just happened and it should not have happened.”

–NJ Star-Ledger.

It’s not inconceivable to think that the Steelers would have at least scored on that drive to either take the lead or seriously put the Packers on the ropes. Mendenhall certainly could have accumulated 37 more yards (which would have put him at 100), especially if Pittsburgh would have snapped into their four-minute offense.

Instead, Rashard fumbles, Green Bay takes it down the field and scores, and Pittsburgh doesn’t call another rushing play for the balance of the game. But as they say, if the queen had balls, she’d be the king. This is simply an illustration of how close this game was. AND HOW THE STEELERS BLEW IT! WOOOO!! YOU SUCK, PITTSBURGH! But they did win an AFC title. That’s nice.