ARLINGTON, Texas -- Charles Woodson's collarbone was broken, and his voice was about to crack, too. The speech would be short.
Standing in the middle of the Green Bay Packers' locker room at halftime, Woodson knew he wouldn't be able to get back on the field to pursue the Super Bowl win he'd wanted his entire career. So he tried to tell his teammates how much winning meant to him, and push them to go out and get it without him.
"I could barely get it out," Woodson said. "The emotions were running high. I was very, very angry at the fact that I couldn't go out there and play any longer. I was able to get out that they knew, or understood, what this moment meant to me and just go out and fight. And they did."
As if being without their defensive cornerstone wasn't enough, the Packers' wide receivers couldn't seem to hold onto the ball. Veteran Donald Driver also was out with an injury to his left ankle.
"It was the great resolve of our football team," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said. "We had some practice with some guys going down and other players stepping up. It was a very emotional halftime for our football team. We had some bumps in the third quarter, but just a tremendous effort, and Coach Lombardi's trophy is finally going back home."
Surrounded by reporters in the locker room after the game, Woodson had a sling over his left arm, but that didn't stop him from cradling the Lombardi Trophy in his arms.
Woodson joked that holding the trophy made it feel better.
"I played through a lot (of injuries) in my time," Woodson said. "This one wasn't going to happen."
"That's pretty much the definition of who we are," Jennings said. "We're an adversity-hurdling team. We show a lot of resolve once again today, losing our head captain and losing Drive. But they were still emotional leaders."
Things weren't looking so good in the third quarter, when the game seemed to be slipping away from Green Bay.
The Packers led 21-10 at halftime, but would their defense be able to hold without Woodson? And could Rodgers give the defense some breathing room without Driver?
"My receiver group came in there and told me they were going to win it for me," said Driver, wearing a big walking boot on his left ankle. "And I told my guys, 'Go out there and make the plays.'"
Jones bobbled what could have become an easy touchdown on the Packers' first possession of the second half -- another critical drop for the talented but inconsistent receiver. Nelson made a nice catch for a 29-yard touchdown for the Packers in the first quarter, but he also had a couple of critical dropped passes.
"You stay around long enough, you're going to drop another one," Driver said. "I told my guys when they got to the sideline, just make a play. All this will stop if you go out and make plays."
They did, and so did the defense.
"Got to give credit to our defense," Rodgers said. "This is a great group of men that we put together here, a lot of character, been through a lot together. It's just great to be able to share it with them."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press