Super Bowl 2011: Old Franchises, New Enemies

Kelly CohenCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  A fan holds a sign 'XLV'  for the Super Bowl in two weeks in Arlington, Texas in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Although they have combined for nine of the 44 Super Bowl wins, they have never met in the playoffs.  Yet, the storied pasts, famous names and lasting memories of the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers make this meeting one of extreme intrigue. 

Who will win when these two teams of strength and grit meet for the first time?

Nobody thought at the beginning of the season they would see these two teams competing for a shot at the coveted Lombardi Trophy.  From the controversy surrounding Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to the lackluster 3-4 start due to significant injuries by the Packers, many wrote these teams off.

But with less than two weeks to go until Dallas, we stand looking at two teams that annihilated their competition in their respective championship games, proved to fans that defense wins big games and showed how unknown players can rule over known ones. 

From a numbers point of view, it is hard to determine which team has the comparative advantage when their statistics are compared. 

When looked at through the regular-season scope, the game-winning critical numbers of touchdowns scored (Green Bay: 46 and Pittsburgh: 41), time of possession (Green Bay: 32:01 and Pittsburgh: 32:24) and total offensive yards (Green Bay: 5,730 and Pittsburgh: 5,525) seem to mirror each other.  We see a picture of two teams that had some of the highest overall NFL rankings in offense and defense.  

Clearly, both teams have their fair share of exceptional talent.

The postseason shows a different story.

Their defenses have barely let their opponents score over 20 points.  Both quarterbacks have performed exceptionally well, standing out against the other elite quarterbacks.  Supporting casts and lesser-known players such as Jason Starks and Antonio Brown have helped their teams “dance” into the Super Bowl.  There are two coaches who have walked down their own paths of success and stardom.  Even their rambunctious fan bases have had an influence.

So as Sunday, February 6th draws near, fans and supporters get their Cheesehead hats and Terrible Towels ready.  Players and coaches will undoubtedly begin speaking, Twittering, and challenging each other about Super Bowl XLV.  

Everyone is anticipating this showdown.  So who will win?  What do you think?