Turning points of SB XL

The experts of ESPN discussed the turning point of Super Bowl XL:

Rick Spielman

Rick Spielman Spielman

MVP: Hines Ward
Turning point: The big play that ultimately helped to decide this game was Matt Hasselbeck's interception to Ike Taylor. It was a poor throw in a bad situation, and actually pretty surprising because Hasselbeck had played such heady football up until that point. He knows better than to make that pass, and it cost him.

Jeremy Green

Jeremy Green Green

MVP: Willie Parker
Turning point: This game changed in two minutes for the Seattle Seahawks. It started in the last minute of the first half, when Seattle hurt itself with poor clock management and missed the field goal, which sent the Seahawks into the locker room on a sour note. Then, right off the bat in the second half, Parker hit them with a big 75-yard touchdown run that sucked the life out of the Hawks.

Eric Allen

Eric Allen Allen

MVP: Hines Ward
Turning point: The turning point of this game was when Ike Taylor picked off Matt Hasselbeck near the goal line. That play cemented the game for the Steelers because it completely took the life out of the Seahawks. They were driving and threatening either to score a touchdown to take the lead or to pull within one point with a field goal. Instead, Taylor broke the Hawks' heart and the game was pretty much iced after that.

Sean Salisbury

Sean Salisbury Salisbury

MVP: Hines Ward
Turning point: This game turned on four nonsequential plays. The first was when Hasselbeck completed a pass to the 2-yard line only to see it overturned by a phantom holding call that never should've been called. Then Hasselbeck threw a terrible interception that killed the momentum of this team. To add insult to injury, he was flagged on another bogus call during the runback when he was simply trying to make a tackle. Finally, the backbreaker of this sequence was the Antwaan Randle El touchdown pass to Ward on a trick play that completely fooled the Seahawks' secondary.

Joe Theismann

Joe Theismann Theismann

MVP: Hines Ward
Turning point: The turning point was the Deshea Townsend sack of Matt Hasselbeck with about six and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter on third-and-long. The Seahawks needed to score on that drive because it could've left them with enough time to score again. Instead of having a shot to score, though, they had to punt, and that effectively ended the game because of the strength of the Steelers' running game.

Steve Young

Steve Young Young

MVP: Hines Ward
Turning point: It may be weird to say this, but there were several turning points in this game that added up to the Seahawks losing. The first was in the first quarter, when the Steelers blitzed hard and Hasselbeck quickly made a great throw for a first down. The only problem was that it was called back because of a holding penalty. It was the first of many times in that first half when the Seahawks allowed the Steelers to stay in this game despite outplaying them because they kept shooting themselves in the foot. The second turning point to me was when Willie Parker took the ball to the house at the beginning of the second half. That was huge because then the Seahawks were down 14-3 and they no longer had control of the tempo of the game. The Steelers were then able to run the ball down the Seahawks' throats and take away the precious commodity of time.

Merril Hoge

Merril Hoge Hoge

MVP: Hines Ward
Turning point: Randle El's touchdown pass to Ward is my turning point of the game. It was a perfectly set-up play because Randle El and Ward started out on the same side of the field, which helped Ward leak out into the open field. It was a gutsy call that won the Super Bowl for the Steelers.