Friday, February 4, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Preview

Its so close now I can feel it.  The Super Bowl, my favorite holiday, the biggest game in football history and overall amazing day.  We have two classic Super Bowl champs playing this year, after a decade of fresh faces and first time champs. 

For this version of the Steelers, its their third trip to the big game, winning the previous two.  Big Ben is going for his third ring before hes 28 years old.  Most of the team has played for a title before.  Tomlin has won one Super Bowl before, over the Cinderella Cardinals.  Their only major injury is Pouncey and his broken ankle.  He says he should play.  But even being very hurt, it'll be hard stopping BJ Raji. 

These Packers aren't the same Packers that went to back to back Super Bowls in the mid nineties.  Only two players have Super Bowl experience.  The list of injured Packers could fill up their own blog.  Most of the defense is hurt, and the Ryan Grant was lost long ago.  The Packers have rallied and their backups have stepped up.  They really needed the time off to rest and get healthy. 

The venue this year is incredible, maybe the best so far.  The giant jumbotrons, retractable roof, largest crowd in Super Bowl history all make Jerry's World football Mecca on Sunday.  Sure, we'll all have to find something to watch during halftime, and listen to Troy and Buck for three hours, but this could be the greatest spectacle in western civilization. 

Why the Packers will win:  The Packers will be able to run the ball on the Steelers like the have on everybody in the playoffs.  Aaron Rodgers shakes off the bad game in Chicago and has a big game for the Pack, like he did in 2009 in Pittsburgh.  He gets in a groove early, and doesn't turn the ball over (much) and the offensive line holds up.  Outside of the Hair, the Steelers secondary isn't spectacular and all the talented Packers weapons need to show up.  Quarless could be a big factor, running over the middle and finding seams for big gains.  The Packers have to be better in short yardage situations than in Chicago.  The weather and the dome being closed helps Green Bay more than Pittsburgh.  Green Bay can win a shootout, or a defensive struggle. 

Why the Steelers will win:  The Steelers run all over the Packers, controlling the clock, momentum and the game.  Big Ben makes his big plays and throws many timely passes.  The Steeler defense destroys the Pack's oline, and Aaron Rodgers gets beat up and turns the ball over, having a game like he dad in the NFC Championship game.  Starks can't run on the Steelers defense, and Green Bay is forced to go one dimensional.  The Steelers stop the Packer pass rush, and Green Bay can't handle giving Ben time.  The Steelers play their physical game, like they did against the Jets, and use their experience to win this game.

What will happen:  The Packers and Steelers struggle to find a rhythm early.  The defenses slug it out in the first half, and players get beat up badly.  We see some turnovers, lots of sacks and the score is low, around 7-3.  Then in the second half, big plays break this game wide open and the offenses start to get some points on the board.  Aaron Rodgers takes over the game, throwing some clutch touchdowns.  We see the People's Champ celebration, on his way to Super Bowl MVP. 

Packers 21 Steelers 17

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