Super Bowl 2011: The Favored Packers and the Hidden Value of Their Defense

Max HollanderContributor IJanuary 24, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  (C) Tight end Greg Olsen #82 of the Chicago Bears knocks down a pass intended for him that was nearly intercepted by Nick Collins #36 and Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Super Bowl XLV is sure to be an electrifying game filled with top-notch players. For starters, each team brings a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback as the man at the helm in Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger.

Big Ben is a customary character in this setting, as he has played in two Super Bowls recently, winning them both, in 2006 and 2009.

Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, is inexperienced in the playoffs and has yet to go to a Super Bowl, but he spent the first few years of his career learning and being mentored by arguably the best to ever play the game in Brett Favre.

Needless to say, even if you're not a sports fan, I wouldn't miss this game, as both teams look to come out firing. 

With all that said, neither Roethlisberger nor Rodgers will be the deciding factor in this one. The favored Packers, who have all the essential tools to win this game, need to incorporate that X-factor to ensure the Super Bowl victory is theirs. In plain and simple words, the Packers will win this game because of the strong play of their defense.

Yes, I said it: Gunslinging Aaron Rodgers will not be the one that wins that Super Bowl MVP trophy. It will be the defender that shuts down Ben Roethlisberger and all his weapons.

The Packers defense that ranked second in points allowed, fifth in total yards and fifth in pass yards will be the deciding factor. Guys like Desmond Bishop, who led the team with 103 tackles on the year, Pro Bowl corner Charles Woodson and Clay Matthews need to continue as defensive leaders in the locker room and supply that spark on and off the field from now until the clock expires at the end of the game.

Like many critics say, defense wins championships, and in this instance, even though it's been the offense for the Packers all year, the defense will prevail and show up to play remarkably February 6th, 2011.

As we saw this past weekend, the Packers were able to shut down the Bears offense even though Jay Cutler didn't play. The Packers forced three interceptions, with the most vital one coming at the end of the game as the Bears were driving, down one touchdown with about a minute left.

The role players for the Packers—guys like Sam Shields, Tramon Williams and B.J. Raji—need to make those gigantic plays again that we saw last week, like when Raji intercepted a pass for touchdown in the latter stages of the game.

Regardless of all this talk, the Steelers have a chance, don't get me wrong—but with all these Packers players shining bright like their coaches know they are capable of, expect the Packers to take home their first Super Bowl title since 1998.