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Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (02/02/2011)
By Dave DeLano
The stage is set for the big barn dance in Dallas next Sunday and how sweet it is for Cheeseheads to have their beloved Packers picked as favorites to win it all.  Oddsmakers have established the Packers as two and a half point favorites, which seems about right.  In all my years of observing professional football, it never ceases to amaze me how accurate the oddsmakers are.

I like how the Packers’ potent aerial offense matches up with the Steelers’ defensive secondary.  Aaron Rodgers and the Packer receiving corps have an excellent history when competing in domed stadiums.  Cowboy Stadium is domed, ensuring an enclosed, fast track with the advantage to the Packers.  The Steelers’ defense is very solid however, having allowed the lowest point total in the NFL this past season.  If the Packers can generate any kind of a reasonable running game and the offensive line does its part, I think Rodgers will have a big day putting up points.

I also like how the Packers’ defense matches up against the Steelers’ offense.  The Steelers have a big, tough running back who will have to be controlled.   If that happens, the Steelers have a receiving corps that should be manageable.  The Packers’ defensive secondary has had an awesome season and may be able to contribute with an interception or two which could make the difference.  The Steelers’ quarterback is an absolute jerk who was suspended for four games at the onset of the season for his repeated indiscretions off the field.  A talented football player, but a guy like this… well, it just wouldn’t be right for him to be on the winning side in Super Bowl XLV.

The two things that cause me some angst are the Packers’ lack of experience in big games compared to the Steelers and the Packers’ youth.  Young players have stepped forward all season for the Packers and played incredibly well.  Can players like James Starks, Sam Shields, Bryan Bulaga, Erik Walden and other young players continue to perform when the stakes are raised as high as they go?  Two players I am not worried about are Clay Matthews III and B. J. Raji.  Matthews has a pedigree bloodline and talent on loan from God to play football.  Raji will likely be lined up over the Steelers’ backup center (their All Pro first string center is likely out due to injury) and should have a big game.

The stakes are high indeed and so is the excitement in Cheese Land.  The storied history of the Green Bay Packers comes into focus when playing for the world championship of professional football is on the line.  In their 90-year history, the Packers have claimed that title 12 times.  In a few days we shall know if the boys in Green and Gold can claim #13.  



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