Saturday, February 5, 2011
SUPER BOWL 45 PREVIEW
SUPER BOWL XLV
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers
The 2010 NFL season has been in the books, the playoffs played and the journey that started back in July for 32 teams comes down to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers in this year's version of the Super Bowl.
The Packers are a slight favorite, according to the gamblers in Las Vegas, but don't go on that.
The Steelers have been here before and this group knows how to get it done in crunch time.
That is why Heftyinfo is taking the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the game.
Here's a breakdown of the two teams in this game:
PACKERS OFFENSE: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is solid and has shown that on a consistent basis in 2010.
He can get rattled at times (the Detroit Lions knocked him out of a game in December) and the Steelers are masters at pressuring quarterbacks.
The running game for Green Bay has gotten a boost from James Starks, who has been great in the post-season after the Packers' run attack was stuck all season long with Ryan Grant out with injuries.
The wide receivers are among the best in football with Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, James Jones, Jordy Nelson and tight end Donald Lee.
PACKERS DEFENSE: The linebacking corps is perhaps the best in the NFL, along with the Steelers' linebacker unit.
Clay Matthews and A.J. Hawk are formidable and can stop the run and get after the quarterback as well.
The secondary has veteran Charles Woodson leading the way and Green Bay is decent against the pass and can ball hawk, evidenced by the turnover ratio they post.
COACHING: Mike McCarthy and his staff know how to get the most out of the talent on the roster, as they have overcome multiple injuries to key players all season long.
The offense is top flight and the defense ranks among the Top Five in football, including scoring defense. Along with the Steelers, Green Bay is among the top two teams in scoring defense.
STEELERS OFFENSE: The team will be without starting center Maurkice Pouncey, who's out with a high ankle sprain. The Pittsburgh O-Line is good, but has been banged up at times this season and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the offense will have to step it up against the vaunted Green Bay defense.
Roethlisberger is a good QB and has shown he can win the big games (he already has two Super Bowl rings to his credit) as Pittsburgh rallied against Baltimore in the divisional round and then bolted out to a 24-0 lead against the Jets in the AFC title game.
The wide receivers are Hines Ward (Super Bowl 40 MVP), Mike Wallace and Antwaan Randle-El. Tight End Heath Miller is also a favorite target for Big Ben.
The running game features 1,000 plus yard rusher Rashard Mendenhall, who has been solid in the playoffs.
STEELERS DEFENSE: Much like the Green Bay Packers, the linebacking unit is top flight, with James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley leading the way for Pittsburgh.
The defensive front is great and the Steelers led the NFL in rush defense, allowing just over 60 yards per game in 2010.
The secondary has 2010 NFL Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu at safety.
This defense finished second overall defensively in 2010 and simply doesn't allow opposing teams to run the football or score that many points.
COACHING: Mike Tomlin is a young coach and his staff is going for their second Super Bowl title in three seasons.
The team is solid offensively and the defense speaks for itself with Dick LeBeau at Defensive Coordinator. The 'D' has been called "Blitzburgh" for the complex blitz schemes LeBeau employs.
GAME OUTLOOK: Green Bay will look to throw early and often and sprinkle in the run with Starks against a formidable Pittsburgh defense.
If the Steelers can stuff the run and get pressure on Rodgers, they can force the Packers' signal caller into mistakes and with turnovers come opportunity.
The same can be said when the Steelers have the football.
The Packers' defense can get after it and should they not allow Pittsburgh to run the ball and get pressure on Roethlisberger, that too can force turnovers.
The outcome of the game should be close and TURNOVERS will be the key.
Look for a great game and perhaps even the first-ever overtime game in the Super Bowl.
HEFTYINFO PICK: Pittsburgh 27, Green Bay 24