It’s that time of the year – Super Bowl Weekend. The greatest sporting event of the year. This year, football fans get a special treat, the Green Bay Packers versus the Pittsburgh Steelers. These two franchises have a tremendous amount of winning history.
The Green Bay Packers are one of the oldest franchises in Football history and as a result they have the longest history of winning. The Packers have won 12 NFL Championships (nine NFL Championships and three Super Bowls). They won the first two Super Bowls and the Super Bowl trophy is named after legendary Packers’ head coach, Vince Lombardi. For a small town team, they certainly love football and their fans will be excited for this game.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have the most appearances in the Super Bowl (this will be their 8th appearance) and they have the most Super Bowl victories (six). The Steelers first claim to fame came in the 1970s when they entered dynasty status by winning four of six Super Bowls. They are on the verge of reaching dynasty status again, if they win Super Bowl XLV it will be their third in the past six seasons. With winning brings fans and the Steelers certainly have one of the largest, most passionate groups of fans in the NFL.
Super Bowl XLV couldn’t have asked for a better scenario, the Packers vs Steelers in the largest stadium in the NFL, the new Dallas Stadium. The NFL is expecting to break the largest crowd to ever attend the Super Bowl, and I’m willing to bet that they will break the record.
The question everyone wants to know is who will win the game? Both teams match-up tremendously well.
This is a tough breakdown. In terms of passing skills, I’d say Aaron Rodgers is the better QB. They both are very tough QBs that will not be afraid to take a hit, but I have say that the Steelers have the edge in this category because Big Ben has more experience in the big game than Rodgers.
This is probably the easiest category to breakdown, the Steelers clearly have the better rushing game with Rashard Mendenhall. The Packers have struggled running the ball ever since Ryan Grant went out with a season ending ankle injury. Rookie James Starks has been playing well of late, but I don’t expect him to dominate the game.
The Steelers top four WRs are Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El and Emmanuel Sanders, compared to the Packers top four, Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones. Both teams have the aging veteran leader (Ward and Driver) and both teams have the young stud (Wallace and Jennings). Wallace is probably the most explosive down field threat in the game, but as a unit the Packers’ WRs are the better group.
This decision just became tremendously easier. The Steelers will not have starting Pro-Bowl center, Maurkice Pouncey, and this will be a huge factor in determining the outcome of this game. The Packers have the clear edge.
The Steelers have probably the best safety in the NFL, Troy Polamalu, but the Packers have one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL, Charles Woodson. Woodson is a game changer because of his ability to play multiple positions. He can cover the best WRs, he can blitz and he can drop to play safety. Don’t forget about Tramon Williams on the other side of Woodson or Nick Collins over the top, all three players are Pro-Bowlers and they give the edge to the Packers in this category.
The Packers have the runner-up defensive player of the year in Clay Matthews, but the Steelers have four tremendous starting linebackers. The Packers’ linebackers can hold their own, but LaMarr Woodley, James Farrior, Lawrence Timmons and James Harrison is as solid of a line-backing corps as you will find in the NFL.
This is a pretty evenly matched category. The Steelers are led by Brett Keisel and Casey Hampton while the Packers are led by B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins. I’d be happy with either pair on my team.
Neither special teams unit jumps out that they need to have an extra game-plan session to defend. If the games come down to field goals, I’d give a slight edge to Mason Crosby over Shaun Suisham, but not enough for me to choose one team’s unit over the other.
As you can see this is as even a Super Bowl as you could want. Dare I say this will be the first ever Overtime Super Bowl which would also be the first ever time the NFL’s new Postseason overtime rules will be in effect?
I may not have had many of my pre-season NFL predictions come true, but I did have the Packers winning the Super Bowl and I am sticking with it. The Steelers will really miss having Pouncey at the center position while the Packers have been the hottest team in the NFL since Week 16.
Final Score: Packers 27 – Steelers 21
[Photo Credits: Rodgers – FantasyKnuckleheads.com, Polamalu – StilettoSetSports.com]