Super Bowl XLV Preview: Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Matt WagnerCorrespondent IIJanuary 23, 2011

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 and head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate their 24 to 19 win over the New York Jets in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

After an excellent day of Conference Championship football, which crowned the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers as NFC and AFC Champions respectively, the focus now turns to Super Bowl XLV. 

The 45th edition of the Super Bowl pits the NFL's best defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers against one of the league's most prolific offenses in the Green Bay Packers. So do defenses really win championships, or will the script be flipped on one of sports' most famous sayings come February 6?

The Green Bay Packers, despite coming into the 2011 NFL Playoffs by way of a Wild Card spot, have a legitimate opportunity to become Super Bowl XLV champions. An intriguing matchup in this year's Super Bowl is if breakout running back James Starks will be able to put on a decent showing against the NFL's stingiest run defense.

Starks has shown he can be a reliable running back, as he has averaged 3.7 yards per carry throughout this year's playoffs, including a 123-yard performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. 

The question is, will the Buffalo University product put on a repeat performance in the biggest game of his NFL career?

Realistically, I believe he will not post a 100-yard game however, he will get at least 50 yards.

The "Cheeseheads" will have to rely on superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers to provide the bulk of their offense, and if he makes smart decisions with the football, then the Packers could have a chance to win Super Bowl XLV.

The Pittsburgh Steelers on the other hand, boast the best defense in the NFL, one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Ben Roethlisberger as well as an extremely underrated running back in Rashard Mendenhall, a combination which will definitely be tough to conquer.

The Pittsburgh defense will have to be strong in order for the Steelers to be victorious and judging from their performance all season as well a breakout showing from William Gay, whose game included a game-winning fumble return for a touchdown late in the first half, it is safe to say that the Steelers have all the momentum going for them.

Ben Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and I believe he will once again prove that point two weeks from now. Rashard Mendenhall is the biggest question when it comes to the Steelers, as his inconsistency could be a factor in the Super Bowl. I do not expect Mendenhall to boast a repeat 121 yards performance like he did against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship Game, but he will be a factor in the game at some point.

To sum it all up, I believe the Steelers are the superior football team, and I expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to hoist the Lombardi Trophy come February 6 in a Super Bowl XLV game which is sure to be a classic.