Super showdown, Pack vs. Steelers

The Superbowl is in Dallas this year, and both the Packers and the Steelers are looking to win it all in Texas.

Aaron Rodgers is a young quarterback good enough to push out Green Bay legend Brett Favre. But is he good enough to overcome another legend? The six-time Superbowl champs Pittsburgh Steelers have made a habit of winning playoff games.

They have more Lombardi than any other team – and a pretty good quarterback themselves in Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers steel curtain defense dominated football in the 70s. And in the 2000s they were able to snag two championships behind more dominating defense. But the Packers are just as rich in history. They won the first two Superbowls in 1966 and 1967. The trophy is even named after their historic coach from the 60s – Vince Lombardi himself.

History is just that, however – history. The two fan favorite teams need to be excellent on Feb. 6 if they want to win it all.

The problem with the high-scoring offense of the Packers is that they are fairly one-dimensional. Granted, Rodgers is one of the most elite passers in the game, but good defenses can’t be beaten through the air alone. Green Bay will have to muster some yards on the ground to keep the defense from keying on the pass.

Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses overall and should be a tough challenge against the green and yellow, however the Packers also have a strong, blitzing defense. Expect hard hitting and impressive defensive plays on the big Sunday.

The biggest match-ups will be the Steelers center against Green Bay’s nose tackle B.J. Raji and Steelers safety Troy Polomalu against Aaron Rodgers passing attack.

Pittsburgh has found much success this season thanks to rookie phenomenon and pro ball center Maurkice Pouncey. The rookie anchored an offensive line that has seen its share of struggles and inconsistency throughout the past few seasons. Unfortunately, Pouncey was hurt in the AFC championship against the Jets. He may have to be replaced by a backup like Doug Legursky who mishandled two snaps and basically mishanded a safety to the Jets.

That’s where Raji comes in – possibly literally – The 337-pound monster of a man would like nothing less than to be up against a shaky replacement. He shuts down starters on a regular basis. If Pouncey is out, the Steelers’ run game and pass defense could be dramatically stunted.

Everyone knows what Rodgers can do. He is an excellent passer. But Polomalu has an even better reputation. He is considered among the best, if not the  best, playmaker in the NFL. Rodgers’ games in the NFC are ill preparation for the kind of versatility, athleticism and down-right impressive hair. The Steelers can give up passing yards, but one mistake can mean a defensive touchdown by the Hawaiian safety.

Expect really good football on super Sunday.

Or at least enjoy some funny commercials.

Author: Evan Duncan

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