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Today in Sports History: 1/23 | Sixth-Seeded Packers Advance to Super Bowl XLV

Today in sports history (2011), the oldest rivalry in NFL history held even more at stake as the Green Bay Packers beat the Chicago Bears 21-24 to advance to Super Bowl XLV. The Packers would beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to be the first 6-seed team in NFC history to advance to, and win the Super Bowl.

Sixth-Seeded Packers Make Super Bowl | Today in Sports History

The Packers came out of the gates hot and it looked like fans were going to have a shootout in Chicago. After scoring a touchdown on the first drive of the game without even getting to third down, the Packers and Bears traded punts for five straight possessions. The Packers would again march down the field to take a 14-0 lead. Green Bay and Chicago would trade punts and both throw an interception up until half.

The third quarter was more of the same until the Packers drove down to the Bears’ six-yard line. Aaron Rodgers’ second interception of the game, however, gave the Bears new life. The teams would trade punts with the Bears punching it in the end zone to cut the deficit to seven. With just under seven minutes to play, Bears backup Caleb Hanie didn’t see Packers defensive lineman B.J. Raji drop back into coverage. Raji intercepted the pass and took it 18 yards to the house to all but seal the victory for the Packers.

The Bears would again cut the lead down to seven and get the ball with one final chance to tie the game. On fourth down on the Green Bay 29-yard line, the Bears’ last gasp fell short. Caleb Hanie lofted a pass for Johnny Knox only for Packers cornerback Sam Shields to intercept the pass and fall to the turf, sending the Packers to Super Bowl XLV.

green bay packer super bowl today in sports history
Credit: Jim Prisching/AP Photo

Super Bowl XLV

The Packers would carry their momentum into the Super Bowl where they jumped out to a quick 21-3 lead over the Steelers. While the Steelers made it a game and eventually cut the deficit to three points, the Green Bay defense came up with a big stop.

Up 31-25, the Steelers had the ball with a chance to win it all. After two quick completions, then Ben Roethlisberger threw three straight incompletions. On fourth down, with less than a minute to go, his pass to Mike Wallace was broken up by Tramon Williams. The Packers kneeled out the clock to win their fourth Super Bowl and 13th NFL Championship.


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