Super Bowl 43
Super Bowl XLIII was played between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelersand the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Arizona Cardinals to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 season. The Steelers defeated the Cardinals by the score of 27–23. The game was played on February 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
With this victory, the Steelers became the first team to win six Super Bowls. The win was also Pittsburgh's second Super Bowl victory in four years, after winning Super Bowl XL at the end of the 2005 season. The Cardinals entered the game seeking their first NFL title since 1947, the longest championship drought in the league. The club became an unexpected winner during the regular season, compiling a 9–7 record, and the playoffs with the aid of head coach Ken Whisenhunt, who was the Steelers' offensive coordinator in Super Bowl XL, and the re-emergence of quarterback Kurt Warner, who was the Super Bowl MVPin Super Bowl XXXIV with his former team, the St. Louis Rams.
Pittsburgh jumped to a 17–7 halftime lead, aided by linebacker James Harrison's Super Bowl record 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. Trailing 20–7 at the start of the fourth quarter, Arizona scored 16 consecutive points, including wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald's 64-yard touchdown reception, to take the lead with 2:37 remaining in the game. But the Steelers marched 78 yards to score on wide receiverSantonio Holmes' 6-yard game-winning touchdown catch with 35 seconds left. Holmes, who caught nine passes for 131 yards and a touchdown, including four receptions for 73 yards on that final game-winning drive, was named Super Bowl MVP. He became the sixth wide receiver to win the award, and also was the third Pittsburgh receiver to win the award, following Lynn Swann and Hines Ward.
Despite the global financial crisis and limited amount of ancillary festivities that are normally held before the game, the NBC television network broadcast attracted an average U.S. audience of 98.7 million viewers, making it the most watched Super Bowl in history at that point.