Super Bowl 2011: An English Perspective Preview of the Big Match
Finally, after months of training camp, four weeks of preseason, 16 weeks of regular season and another three weeks of playoffs, we now know who will be competing in Super Bowl XLV.
On February 6, the Green Bay Packers, NFC Champions, will square off against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the AFC Champions, in the biggest match of them all.
The Packers are at the Super Bowl for the first time since 1998 thanks to Aaron Rodgers peaking at top form throughout the playoffs, while the Steelers are returning to the big game following their 2009 victory over Arizona Cardinals.
While the Packers only edged their way into the playoffs, they have proved any doubters wrong since then, having peaked at just the right time. The Packers beat the Philadelphia Eagles and Michael Vick in their Wild Card game, before marching on to also beat the Falcons in the Divisional round.
Having defied the odds twice already, bookmakers started to be more careful and many of them actually placed the Packers as the favourites going into the NFC Championship Game.
The Packers went on to beat the Bears in their Championship game after Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler withdrew from the game injured. The injury caused a lot of controversy, with many players branding Cutler a coward, but regardless of the problems the Bears faced, the night was all about Green Bay.
Aaron Rodgers lead his team to a 21-14 win over the Bears, despite a late comeback from Chicago. Green Bay eclipsed the Bears in the first half, storming to a 14-0 lead before a scoreless third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears made an attempt of a comeback, scoring two touchdowns of their own, but it seemingly wasn't enough, with the Packers also scoring another touchdown.
The Steelers, meanwhile, had to face the loud and confident New York Jets to earn their place in the biggest game of the year. With the Jets having already battled their way past two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, they were flying high on confidence, but apparently low on fuel.
The first half of the AFC Championship game looked as though the result was a predetermined event as Pittsburgh ran into a 24-0 lead. The Jets apparently hadn't turned up to play, causing a major deficit.
Despite their best efforts to redeem themselves, they fell just short in the end, as the Steelers managed to hold on just enough to secure a 24-19 win.
While Pittsburgh apparently has the stronger team heading into the final, they haven't shown as much passion over their two playoff games as Green Bay has, meaning many people have predicted a Packers party on the night of the February 6.
The 45th annual Super Bowl looks set to be a battle between brawn and passion.
From an English perspective? Passion wins out every time. While it should be a close game, especially with the ability of the two teams, the Packers should edge this one if they show the same hunger they have along the way through the playoffs.
After all, Green Bay is the home of Lombardi.
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