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Super Bowl XLV vs Green Bay Packers: Keys and Prediction


It’s been a long journey for the Pittsburgh Steelers. From a suspended QB to losing their Pro Bowl Center for the biggest game of the year and everything in between, the Steelers have made it again to the biggest stage here in Dallas. The atmosphere is electric in the city, and while the snow and ice has put somewhat of a damper on the week, the bottom line is it’s Super Bowl Sunday, and the game will go on.

The Steelers are coming in as slight underdogs to the red-hot Packers, who ran through the Eagles, Falcons and Bears to get to this point. They have a sizzling QB in Aaron Rodgers, and a defense led by Clay Matthews Jr. that is playing very well at the same time.

So with everything on the line, here we go with my final pick of the season, and why I think it’s going to go the way it is come Sunday evening at the home Jerry Jones built.

1. Pressure – It’s been the buzz word of the week in Dallas, but not just for the reason everyone thinks. First, the Steelers have to get to Aaron Rodgers, and when they can and do, get him down. Rodgers can run, and has shown that in the past, and the Steelers cannot afford to let him escape their clutches. There’s also plenty of pressure that goes along with playing a game in front of 100-thousand people, and millions worldwide on a big stage. The Steelers have been here, the Packers have not. That is a clear advantage for the black and gold, and one that should help them get off to a good start against a Packers team that could have butterflies.

2. Tempo – Clearly the Packers have no intentions of running the ball Sunday night. They have a nice little story in the postseason in James Starks, but no one runs on the Steelers D. They want to make this a track meet, with plenty of points and going up and down the field. The Steelers on the other hand do have an established back in Rashard Mendenhall, and he can control the tempo with good yards on first and second down to set up third and short. Against the Jets, the Steelers held the ball for over half the first quarter in going up 7-0, and that’s the same type of game they want vs the Pack. The Steelers have no problem winning this game 20-17, while the Pack want this to be more of a 30-27 game and one where there’s plenty of big plays all over the field.

3. Big Plays at Big Times – That’s what the Super Bowl is all about. You don’t remember the grunt work that gets teams there, you remember players and plays that win the games. Last year it was the onside kick, two years ago the INT by James Harrison, so on and so forth. The Steelers have a couple guys who can make those big plays – Mike Wallace, Harrison, Troy Polamalu. Green Bay has the likes of Greg Jennings, Rodgers, and Matthews. The question will basically be, what players step up in the biggest game of their lives to make the big plays when it’s all on the line. Don’t be shocked as well if a guy like Antonio Brown or Emmanuel Sanders gets a shot at a big play as well.

Prediction – Quite frankly the Steelers are due to lose a game like today. They played not to lose in the second half vs the Jets, and were two touchdowns down vs the Ravens in the divisional game. With that though, all the stats, numbers and matchups can be thrown out the window. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare, and it’s tough to go against Dick LeBeau and the Steelers D on the biggest stage with a number of playmakers that we didn’t even mention like LaMarr Woodley and Ryan Clark. Green Bay will spread the field and try to make it a track meet, but they are no considering the speed the Steelers will counter with in terms of getting to Rodgers to force a few mistakes. Remember Ben Roethlisberger’s first Super Bowl? Awful. I’m not saying that Rodgers will have that type of day by any means, but at the same time, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Steelers get him to have a few bad plays that could decide the outcome.

It’s been one heck of a ride for the Steelers, and while it wasn’t the smoothest way to find their 7th Lombardi, I truly think that once again the city of Pittsburgh will have a parade. Rashard Mendenhall goes for a 110 yards with a score and is the MVP, Roethlisberger had a solid day, and the defense rises up with the game on the line to stop Rodgers and the Pack. Steelers 23 Packers 17

Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. mrfierce

    February 6, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Green Bay Packers over the Pittsburgh Steelers in a close game.

  2. Steel Q

    February 6, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    the game won’t be as close as people think …. steelers 28 packers 10

    • Literate

      February 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm

      Wrongo, Mary Lou.

  3. Jay

    February 6, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I totally recant on what I have said in the past on this team needing another first round offensive lineman! That bunch of rag tags fought valiantly and hard and I give the offense plenty of credit for fighting back time and time again! This secondary is GARBAGE!!!! Even Troy didn’t show up today because he’s too busy guessing wrong and baby sitting the other suck secondary players! If this team doesn’t shore up its fucking secondary through the draft, then we don’t deserve to be back here; can’t believe a secondary this bad was even in the super bowl! Three reasons we lost this game, secondary sucked, Mendenhall’s fumble and ARIANS calling a 9 route to Wallace from their own seven yard line(!?!!?) which was subsequently picked for a TD! Seriously, I am glad we were in this game but the things we saw which plagued us against high powered offenses crept up again and we couldn’t get a stop. Yeah, Rodgers threaded the needle on a couple of passes but it just looked like we were overmatched in the secondary; even Timmons was out of position numerous times. Three turnovers and we were still in a position to win (Thanks suckass Keyaron, hope you don’t come back!)! Ben also was off target and offensively it seemed like we couldn’t decide if we were gonna run or pass the ball…Flozell was blowing people up in the ground game, shoulda stuck with it more! Bottom line is if these clumsy, injury prone awkwardish offensive linemen can stay healthy next year and we sign Colon, the offense should improve….That goddamn defensive backfield, Trou included, is just plain bad, man…Yeah, we got here but YOU ALWAYS END UP PLAYING AGAINST TOP TIER QB’S IN THE SB SO IT’S TIME TO ADDRESS THAT AND NOT BY BRINGING BACK A WASHED UP McFADDEN OR RELYING ON A NICKEL BACK (gay) WHO WASN’T EVEN ON THE DRAFT GURU’S (mayock) BOARDS A FEW YEARS AGO!!!!!

  4. dave

    February 7, 2011 at 9:45 am

    ehhh this page was alright – how long did it take to create?

  5. children and divorce

    February 7, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    By the way, I’d rather have the Packers win, but everyone seems ready to hand them the trophy already, from regular joes to the idiotic talking heads, never a good sign.

  6. The girl that claims rape...

    February 7, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Amazing that Vegas had Packers favored by 3 and the steelers couldn’t win and when the score was 28 to 25 the Pack just happened to get another field goal…… Just saying…..

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