Dom Capers’ defense came out playing Ben Roethlisberger like the piano man.

Green Bay Packers fans sang “Bang on the Drum” half the night.

Pittsburgh stopped the music but couldn’t ruin Green Bay’s fun. The Packers hung on to seize the Vince Lombardi Trophy with a 31-25 win.

Dom Capers’ defense came out playing Ben Roethlisberger like the piano man.

Green Bay Packers fans sang “Bang on the Drum” half the night.

Pittsburgh stopped the music but couldn’t ruin Green Bay’s fun. The Packers hung on to seize the Vince Lombardi Trophy with a 31-25 win.

One of Super Bowl XLV’s intrigues was the mental battleground generaled by defensive coordinators Capers, a former Mount Union safety, and Dick LeBeau, a former Ohio State national champion.

Capers, 60, won his first Super Bowl, depriving LeBeau of his third in six years.

“It’s a great feeling,” Capers said after retreating from a confetti shower in Cowboys Stadium. “It makes you want to do it again.”

It’s anyone’s guess how fried Roethlisberger’s psyche was after a week of being peppered with references to his bad-boy offseason.

Then he turned into a midweek story after singing at a piano bar during a night out with his offensive linemen.

Roethlisberger was badly outplayed by Rodgers for most of the first half, at which point Rodgers led 134.6-58.3 in passer rating.

Roethlisberger never did hit a steady rhythm, even after superstar Charles Woodson went down.

“The defense on that team is top-notch,” Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu said. “It’s impressive what they did with all the injuries they’ve had.”

“Their defense created three turnovers,” Steeler linebacker James Farrior said. “We created zero. That was the game.”

Rodgers was going to have to hold up against Pittsburgh’s zone blitz, and he did on the drive that got the Packers rolling.

A would-be sack turned into a short completion while he was falling down. He threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson two plays later.

Buried inside his 10 after the ensuing kickoff. Roethlisberger tried to pass out of trouble. Not only was speedy Mike Wallace double covered deep down the left sideline. Roethlisberger’s throw under pressure was a mile short. Safety Nick Collins looked like he was collecting expected mail when he intercepted and hop-scotched 37 yards for a touchdown.

“Dom called man to man with a safety free,” Collins said.

“I was free, and when that happens, all I do is read the quarterback’s eyes and follow them to the ball.”

Packer fans went nuts while “Bang the Drum All Day,” their celebration song at Lambeau Field, blared as the scoreboard changed to 14-0.

On his next series, Roethlisberger skipped an easy pass to tight end Heath Miller three yards in front of the tight end.

After one quarter, Roethlisberger had thrown nine passes that netted 20 yards and the pick-6.

With 4 1/2 minutes left in the first half, Roethlisberger threw into double coverage near midfield, this time short. Nickel back Jarrett Bush picked him off.

Three plays later, Rodgers went medium deep over the middle, hitting Greg Jennings for a 21-yard touchdown. The Packers, 2 1/2-point favorites, had a huge lead, 21-3.

Roethlisberger woke up, steering the Steelers 77 yards in 105 seconds. He found Hines Ward behind two defenders in the end zone for an 8--yard TD.

The Steelers got a big break when Woodson (collarbone) couldn’t answer the second-half bell.

“We probably had to adapt in the second half as much as we have in quite a while,” Capers said.

The Steelers got another break when James Jones broke behind the defense but dropped a perfect Rodgers pass that smelled like a touchdown.

Capers called a switch that would have stopped a Mendenhall run cold, but the running back broke free on a cutback and made a nice gain, only to slam into a camera man and hurt himself. He was back moments later, running for the touchdown that made it 21-17.

Roethlisberger didn’t pass once on the long touchdown drive. When he did return to the air, his radar was off. But Rodgers lost his touch, too.

After a punt and penalty backed up the Packers, Rodgers threw way behind an open tight end. In their first Super Bowl since Mike Holmgren’s 1997 team made it, the Packers wilted under pressure. A key first down turned into a Brett Swain drop.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, gunning for his second Super Bowl in three years, shook his fist.

Then two of Capers guys with Ohio ties shook Mendenhall. Clay Matthews, whose father played more games than any Cleveland Brown, hit Mendenhall high. Ohio State alum Ryan Pickett hit him low. The ball came out.

“We needed a turnover,” Matthews said. “It was a good time to get one.”

Rodgers found the jugular. He shook off a groaner of a drop by Nelson by coming right back to him for a long gain. One play after a sack on first and goal from the 2, he fired an 8-yard TD pass to Jennings for a 28-17 lead.

Roethlisberger’s touchdown pass to Mike Wallace and a 2-point conversion sent it to the stretch at 28-25.

After a Green Bay field goal, Roethlisberger got one last shot with two minutes left, two years after finishing Super Bowl XLIII with a last-second, game-winning touchdown.

Capers had the answers. Rodgers went into victory formation after Roethlisberger couldn’t connect on a fourth-and-5 pass.

Steve Doerschuk writes for the Canton (Ohio) Repository.