The Bears won the coin toss and elected to receive. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the game was played in the rain, which was continuous throughout the game.
The rain did not hinder Bears' return man Devin Hester, who ran back the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to give Chicago the earliest lead in Super Bowl history. The Colts avoided kicking to Hester for the rest of the game, allowing him only one punt return, and choosing to squib kick whenever Hester was in the deep kickoff return position.
On Indianapolis' first drive of the game, defensive back Chris Harris intercepted a deep, third-down pass from Peyton Manning and returned it 6 yards to the Bears' 35-yard line. However, Chicago could not gain a first down on their ensuing possession and they were forced to punt. After several short runs and passes, Manning beat the Bears' defense with a 53-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne, cutting the Bears' lead to 7-6 after punter/holder Hunter Smith fumbled the snap on the extra point attempt. On the ensuing kickoff, Chicago tight end Gabe Reid fumbled Adam Vinatieri's bouncing kickoff while being tackled by Robert Mathis; Colts guard Dylan Gandy recovered the loose ball. However, on the next play, Indianapolis gave the ball back when running back Joseph Addai fumbled the handoff and Bears defensive end Mark Anderson recovered it.
On the first play after the turnover, Thomas Jones' 52-yard run moved the ball to the Colts' 5-yard line. Three plays later, Rex Grossman threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to receiver Muhsin Muhammad, giving the Bears a 14-6 lead. After forcing an Indianapolis punt, Chicago lost another turnover when Cedric Benson's fumble was recovered by Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney on the Bears' 43-yard line. Indianapolis subsequently advanced to the 36-yard line, but decided to punt rather than risk a 53-yard field-goal attempt.
Following a Chicago punt, Indianapolis drove 47 yards and scored with Vinati...