Enough is enough, let's get it on! After two weeks of hype and stories about every little thing related and unrelated to the game itself, it's time to get between the white lines and settle this thing mano-a-mano. Forget about the horrible Dallas weather, the past six rings that the Pittsburgh Steelers have won, the Brett Favre stories, etc. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country! The players will finally get the chance to prove who is the better team and who gets to hoist the Lombardi Trophy later tonight.
Why do I like the Packers over the Steelers? Some will say that this is just part of my heart saying how much I can't stand the Steelers and there is no way I can deny that is probably part of the equation. However, I actually think that the Pack is the better team, more complete overall than the Steel team is, even though there hasn't been a steel industry in Pittsburgh for over 50 years!
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While the Steelers have the NFL's top rated defense in terms of giving up the least points per game in the league this year, the Packers defense is very under-rated. Green Bay's defense gave up the second-least points per game, only a half-point behind the Steelers (14.5 vs. 15.0). On a side note, our Baltimore Ravens gave up the third-least points per game (16.9). If the Steelers think that the Packers are just an offensive powerhouse and they can match them in a shoot-out, they will be very disappointed.
However, Green Bay has been an offensive juggernaut, with QB Aaron Rodgers having a plethora of targets to choose between, much more than Pittsburgh can hope to cover all game long. The Steelers defense will absolutely be a factor and harass Rodgers all day, but he will have times when he will pick apart the Pittsburgh secondary, who other than their great safeties, including Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu, are weak cover corners without a great pass rush in front of them.
On the other hand, the Packers secondary is very solid and their front seven is arguably as good as the Steelers, with the DPOY runner-up, LB Clay Matthews, roaming sideline to sideline. The Steelers offense is unquestionably not at the same level as the Packers, but everyone knows that Pittsburgh just seems to make the plays to win the game.
That is the x-factor tonight, as can Big Ben evade the pass rush that he knows is coming and still find a way to extend the play to keep up with the Packers, who will be able to put points on the board. I think this game will be a lot higher scoring contest than most people think. Remember, the two great QB's that the Steelers faced during the regular season (New Orleans' Drew Brees and New England's Tom Brady) both lit them up with huge passing games.
I expect Aaron Rodgers to do the same tonght and not only see the Green Bay Packers winning Super Bowl XLV, but also expect QB Aaron Rodgers to be holding the MVP Trophy to go along to bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to the place that it's name was earned from.