It’s sort of cliché to simply write an article based solely on a Super Bowl prediction, which is why I thought you all might enjoy a Super Bowl prediction and then some (especially all of you Vegas folk). The Green Bay Packers look to bring the Lombardi Trophy back to title town, while the Pittsburgh Steelers look to be the first NFL team to have seven Super Bowl titles under their belt.
If we break the game down into a nice easy-peasy capsule though, we find that these two teams have some glaring curiosities that could be game changers in the waning, climatic moments of the Grand Finale:
|OPENING LINE — Packers by 2|
RECORD VS. SPREAD — Steelers 11-6-1 - Packers 12-7
|SERIES RECORD — Packers lead 18-14|
LAST MEETING — Steelers beat Packers 37-36, Dec. 20, 2009
LAST WEEK — Steelers beat Jets 24-19; Packers beat Bears 21-14
Pittsburgh Steelers Offense — OVERALL (14), RUSH (11), PASS (14)
Pittsburgh Steelers Defense — OVERALL (2), RUSH (1), PASS (12)
Green Bay Packers Offense — OVERALL (9), RUSH (24), PASS (5)
Green Bay Packers Defense — OVERALL (5), RUSH (18), PASS (5)
- Now, if you want to get more technical and examine some of the finer details, then perhaps you may like to know that coach Mike Tomlin is 5-1 in post-season with Steelers and trying for his second championship ring, and at 38, he can become youngest coach to win two Super Bowl titles.
- Ben Roethlisberger's .833 winning percentage (10-2 record) in post-season ranks second behind—ironically enough— Packers Hall of Famer Bart Starr (.900; 9-1 record). In his only previous meeting vs. Packers, Roethlisberger was 29 of 46 for career-best 503 yards with 3 TDs vs. 0 INTs.
- WR Hines Ward needs three catches to surpass Colts' Reggie Wayne (83) for fourth-most in NFL post-season history and five to pass Buffalo's Andre Reed for third. He averages 23.7 yards per catch in Super Bowls and has most receptions in Steelers playoff history.
- RB Rashard Mendenhall ran for a sick 121 yards rushing in the AFC title game against—what was supposed to be—a stout Jets running D. Has three rushing TDs in two career playoff games.
- Rookie Pro Bowl C Maurkice Pouncey says that he is now 75% sure he will play, but that is ever changing, and without a pulling center, the Steelers could be in for a long day.
- Pittsburgh defense has not allowed 100-yard rusher in 16 consecutive post-season games, second-longest current streak behind Washington (17).
- The Green Bay Packers are 3-1 in the Super Bowl.
- The Packers are making first Super Bowl appearance since 31-24 loss to Denver in January 1998.
- The Packers have 28-16 (.636) playoff record, best mark in NFL history, and club's 28 post-season wins are third-most in all-time.
- Green Bay is first No. 6 seed in NFC to advance to Super Bowl and win since the Steelers in 2005.
- The Packers have made the post-season in three of past four seasons under coach Mike McCarthy—and again, ironically enough— McCarthy was born and raised in Pittsburgh.
- QB Aaron Rodgers has completed 94 of 135 passes for 1,213 yards with 10 TDs vs. 3 INTs in 4 post-season starts, and Packers rookie RB James Starks is—believe it or not—the NFL post-season leader with 263 yards rushing.
Official Game Breakdown and Prediction:
This particular Super Bowl first features two defensive coordinators—Dom Capers and Dick LeBeau—who are vastly familiar with each other, and run similar schemes…but that may not even be a factor.
Both the Steelers and Packers can air it out, but it has been the Steelers—through the regular season—that held the advantage on the ground until Packers RB James Starks came along.
But Starks isn’t just the focal point.
The Green Bay Packers have put together a RBBC that features three fully capable backs that, when used in a tandem, become lethal to say the least—eerily similar to the 1997 Super Bowl Champion Packers who featured Edgar Bennett, Willy Henderson, and Travis Jervey (remember that guy, because you should).
Editor's note: John Kuhn is the only Packer back to have a SB ring with—one final time: Ironically enough—the Steelers.
But the Steelers have become this team that seemingly can’t be put away; based on a stout defense that has basically ruled the postseason, and a never-say-lose offense that methodically wins, even when they appear to be on the outs.
And here we are.
My personal opinion is simply this: The Packers have an edge over the Steelers in the amount of offensive weapons, while the Steelers have a slight edge defensively ( I say slight, because right behind the Steelers are those Packers, and in case you haven’t been watching, the Pack is back on D).
All other ancillary considerations aside, the Packers just seem to have the edge, which is why I predict a final Super Bowl score of:
The Green Bay Packers 27 – The Pittsburgh Steelers 21 so even with the two points I say your still gold, no matter what you do ;)