The 2011 Super Bowl is set. The 45th edition of the NFL title game will pit the Green Bay Packers against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, with Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex., serving as the regal backdrop.
There’s lots to cover between now and then, so please allow me to hit you with a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know for the big game.
When: Kickoff approximately set for 6:30 PM ET, Sun., Feb. 6, 2011
Where: Cowboys Stadium—Arlington, Texas
Who: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Halftime Show: Black Eyed Peas
National Anthem: Christina Aguilera
Watch And Listen
The game will be televised on FOX and broadcast on radio by Westwood One.
FOX: Joe Buck (play-by-play) and Troy Aikman (color commentary)
Pam Oliver and Chris Myers will report from the sidelines, while former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira will join Buck and Aikman to comment on replays.
Westwood One: Kevin Harlan (play-by-play) and Boomer Esiason (color commentary)
For You Betting Types
According to Football Locks, the Packers are 2.5-point favorites over the Steelers. But considering that number has changed twice since Pittsburgh’s game against New York ended only moments ago, I’m sure the spread will fluctuate over the next two weeks.
Big Game History
Green Bay will play in its fifth Super Bowl in team history and first since 1997. The Packers have won 12 league championships, more than any other franchise, but nine of those were captured prior to the NFL’s Super Bowl era. Since the modern era began in 1967, Green Bay has won three Super Bowl titles, with the last coming against the New England Patriots 14 years ago.
Pittsburgh, whose six Super Bowl titles are more than any other NFL team, last won the league championship in the 2008 season, a 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII. Three seasons earlier, Pittsburgh beat the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in Super Bowl XL. The Steelers are 2-1 in their last three Super Bowl appearances, with the lone loss coming to the Dallas Cowboys in 1995.
Green Bay and Pittsburgh have met 32 times since 1933, but never in the postseason. The Packers hold an 18-13 advantage. The teams last played on Dec. 20, 2009, a 37-36 Pittsburgh win in which quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw for a career-high 503 yards and three touchdowns, including the winning score to Mike Wallace as time expired.
Roethlisberger became the first Steelers quarterback to throw for 500 yards in a game.
Did You Know…
Advertisements for 15 films are expected to run during the Super Bowl.
The average cost of running a 30-second commercial during the Super Bowl will cost $2.8–3 million.
This is the fifth time the host city for the Super Bowl also hosted a World Series game the previous fall (Texas Rangers).
Inside The Numbers
Here’s a look each team’s statistical rankings in the regular season:
Rushing offense: 120.2 yards per game (11th in the league)
Passing offense: 225.1 yards per game (14)
Rushing defense: 62.8 yards per game (first overall)
Passing defense: 214.1 yards per game (12)
Rushing offense: 100.4 yards per game (24th in the league)
Passing offense: 257.8 yards per game (5)
Rushing defense: 114.9 yards per game (18)
Passing defense: 194.2 yards per game (5)
Aaron Rodgers vs. the Pittsburgh front seven
Rodgers is playing some of the best football of his abbreviated career, and one of the main ingredients for his success is a deft ability to move in and out of the pocket to extend plays with his feet.
But the Steelers led the league with 48 sacks during the regular season and can seemingly go an entire game without showing the same defensive look twice. Can they consistently put heat on Rodgers and, if so, will the Packers’ quarterback practice the same savvy that’s defined his play over the past few weeks?
Pittsburgh tackles Flozell Adams and Jonathan Scott vs. Green Bay defensive end Clay Matthews
It doesn’t get much better than Matthews, who will be a mismatch for both Adams and Scott. A two-time Pro Bowler, Matthews led the league with 13.5 sacks this season, and his blend of strength and athleticism off the edge is often too much for even the most seasoned of tackles, made even more lethal by the array of ways in which he is utilized by defensive coordinator Dom Capers.
Adams, a 13-year pro, is still a capable option in pass protection, but Matthews will have a field day against the 35-year-old veteran. Which is why the Steelers, who have been stretched thin up front by injuries, will look to Scott to handle much of the load versus Matthews. If he proves incapable, the alternative may be his surname partner, Chris Scott, a rookie from Tennessee.
As well as Ben Roethlisberger scoots around the pocket, the Pittsburgh offense will sit stalled in neutral if the line can’t control the pass rush and slow the momentum of Matthews and the other members of the Packers’ 3-4 scheme.