|"The Hair Pair": Former Trojans Clay Matthews and Troy Polamalu|
We've heard all of the hype: two storied franchises, two Dallas rivals, two great teams squaring off. And we've heard the story lines: can Ben prove he's an elite quarterback, can Aaron escaped Favre's shadow, has USC ever produced two hairier defenders?? But it's time to get down to business, and with the game now two weeks away, it's time to preview the World Championship.
Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
This has all the makings of a great game and classic Super Bowl. Two evenly matched teams with great history and championship tradition. By all rights, this game should come down to the final possession of the 4th quarter.
I'm giving the Packers the edge for a few reasons. First of all, the absence of Steelers' center, Maurkice Pouncey, is a huge concern, especially against a NT the caliber of BJ Raji. Raji, Matthews, and the rest of the Packer defense have the potential to cause major havoc with the Steelers' run game and possibly passing game. Charles Woodson's leadership on defense will also be a great asset. Ben Roethlisberger is the intangible though. As long as he is a QB, the Steelers have a chance. His ability to escape pressure and create plays is uncanny.
The second reason I'm giving Green Bay an edge is their offense, specifically WRs. The Packers are solid at receiver from top to bottom and have many packages they can use to exploit Pittsburgh's average secondary. This is the only true positional mismatch I see in this game. When you pair these WRs with a talented and hot QB such as Aaron Rodgers, they could tear the Steelers apart. This could effectively render the Steelers dominant run defense irrelevant. Troy Polamalu can't be everywhere at once, and quite honestly his production has dipped slightly recently.
The Steelers can by no means be counted out however. They have a very talented and focused team with vast Super Bowl experience where Green Bay has none. However, experience is not everything and the Packers have played extremely well in these playoffs and extremely well indoors. Both Rodgers and Roethlisberger will be on full display and will give their teams the best chances at winning. In the end, it will be the Packers that will squeak out a hard fought win against Pittsburgh and Aaron Rodgers will be likened to Steve Young has he is crowned MVP.
Green Bay wins 27-24
Standing blog prediction record: (1-1)