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It also was the first time that two quarterbacks who previously started for a Super Bowl winning team (Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger) opposed one another since Jim Plunkett's Los Angeles Raiders defeated Joe Theismann's Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV and Super Bowl XXXVI, winning the first (aided by a heads-up defensive play by linebacker Mike Jones on the final play of the game) and losing the second one (the first of Tom Brady's five in eight attempts), while Roethlisberger was the winning quarterback in Super Bowl XL.Under Tomlin's first season as head coach, the Steelers improved to a 10–6 record in 2007.Super Bowl XLIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champions Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football Conference (NFC) champions 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 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 Steelers then passed over Grimm and instead hired Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin.Both offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and assistant head coach Russ Grimm were widely considered the front-runners to succeed Cowher in Pittsburgh.Without waiting to see if Pittsburgh would hire him, however, Whisenhunt accepted the head coaching job with the Arizona Cardinals, a team that held the second-longest championship drought in U. sports (1947, with only the Chicago Cubs last winning their championship in 1908, but as of the 2016 World Series, the Cubs ended the 108 year championship drought) and had never advanced to the Super Bowl in their franchise history.Tampa was selected for the game site on May 25, 2005, beating out three other finalists: Atlanta, Houston, and Miami.Super Bowl XLIII was the second Super Bowl at this venue and the fourth overall in that city.
After winning Super Bowl XL in 2005, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to an 8–8 record the following year.