Jordy Nelson made a leaping catch for a 29-yard touchdown and on the next play Nick Collins intercepted a pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown, sending the Green Bay Packers a 14-0 lead over the Pittsburgh Steelers after the first quarter of the Super Bowl on Sunday.
New to this big stage against a team filled with ring owners, the NFC champion Packers sure got comfortable fast.
Aaron Rodgers overcame a few nervous misfires to get on a roll during his second series. He hit five straight passes, three to Nelson, while leading Green Bay 80 yards in nine plays for the first score.
The Packers' defense already had stopped Ben Roethlisberger twice, then came out with the Steelers backed up to their 7-yard line because of a penalty on the kickoff return.
Roethlisberger dropped back near the goal line, pump faked, then threw deep down the left sideline — except, his shoulder was hit by lineman Howard Green, a midseason pickup generously listed at 340 pounds.
The ball fluttered well short of his target and Collins saw it all the way. Like a baseball player running under a pop fly, he made the interception and took off for the end zone. He didn't face much opposition until he got close, then weaved between a few Steelers and dove over the goal line. Teams that have returned an interception for a touchdown are 10-0 in Super Bowls; this was the 14th such time that's happened.
Collins' celebration drew a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, but he didn't even savor the moment the most. The wildest celebrant was beefy nose tackle B.J. Raji, who went near the Pittsburgh sideline and did the same hip-swiveling dance he did in the end zone after returning an interception for a touchdown himself in the NFC championship game.
Pittsburgh's right tackle Flozell Adams hurt his left shoulder trying to stop Collins at the end zone. His return was questionable, a blow for an offensive line already having to replace Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey.
Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden went out with a hip injury. His return also was questionable.
The first Super Bowl held at $1.2 billion Cowboys Stadium came following a week of ice and snow that caused all sorts of problems. Hopes for an uneventful gameday were ruined when several sections of temporary seats were deemed unsafe, forcing organizers to move 400 people outside and relocate another 850.
Those inside sure seemed to be enjoying themselves — from former President George W. Bush to baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez, who was seen having popcorn shoveled into his mouth by actress Cameron Diaz.