February 06, 2011
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Four plays before scoring a game-changing touchdown in Super Bowl XLV, Rashard Mendanhall was forced to the sideline after running directly into a camera operater on the sideline.
After the Pittsburgh Steelers running back took to a knee and came out of the game for three plays, he rumbled into the end zone for an eight-yard touchdown on his first play back.
The touchdown put the Steelers within four points of the favored Green Bay Packers, who had held a 21-3 lead late in the second quarter of the game. No team has ever come from more than 10 points behind to win in the history of the Super Bowl.
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Ben Roethlisberger(notes) hit Hines Ward(notes) for a short touchdown pass at the end of the second quarter to give the Steelers a hint of momentum headed into the 30-minute Super Bowl halftime. Pittsburgh's defense forced a three-and-out on Green Bay's first drive of the second half. On third-and-5 of that drive, receiver James Jones(notes) broke free on a crossing route and had a certain touchdown, but dropped the pass from Aaron Rodgers(notes), which led to a Green Bay punt. What could have been a backbreaking 28-10 lead was instead a massive shift in momentum.
On the next drive, Pittsburgh pounded the ball with Mendenhall, who was eventually knocked out of the game after a 17-yard gain that ended with him plowing into a cameraman. He exited the game and was replaced, but four plays later he made his return:
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