Super Bowl 2011: WhatifSports' All-Time Packers Vs. All-Time Steelers Simulation

Jake WestrichSenior Writer IJanuary 25, 2011

ATLANTA - NOVEMBER 1:  Quarterback Terry Bradshaw #12 of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls the play during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Fulton County Stadium on November 1, 1981 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Steelers defeated the Falcons 34-20.  (Photo by: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images).
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Grit. It's a word that carries with it various definitions, but epitomizes the persona of both the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers franchises.

Grit reminds us of rich history. The Packers are the second oldest NFL team dating back to 1919 and the days of Curly Lambeau. Fourteen years later, in 1933, Art Rooney introduced the Pittsburgh Pirates, eight years before the city's thriving steel industry influenced the public to rename the team.

"The Frozen Tundra" of Lambeau Field and "The Blast Furnace" that was Three Rivers Stadium are grit.

Grit is in names like Lombardi, Nitschke, Webster and "Mean Joe."

All-Time Packers Starters
Player Position
Bart StarrQB
Paul HornungRB
Ahman GreenRB
Sterling SharpeWR
James LoftonWR
Paul CoffmanTE
1961 PackersOffensive Line
1962 PackersDefense
Ryan LongwellKicker
Craig HentrichPunter
Simulate Super Bowl XLV

Starr won five NFL titles (two Super Bowls) in seven seasons as Vince Lombardi's quarterback. Not bad for a 17th round draft pick out of Alabama.

Lofton is Green Bay's all-time leading receiver with over 9,600 yards to go along with 49 touchdowns in nine seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.

Feared more for his appearance than the stats he recorded, Nitschke played 14 years in Green Bay. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

The aura around events like "The Ice Bowl" and "The Immaculate Reception" are in ways mythical and for those die-hard fans, religious awakenings.

Now these two cornerstone franchises converge on the NFL's greatest stage at Super Bowl XLV where they prepare to add a new chapter to their gospel.

In honor of the Steelers and Packers' storied history and in celebration of their Super XLV meeting, created All-Time rosters for both squads using our NFL Dream Teams feature. We wanted to know what lineup, chock full of Hall of Fame talent, would reign supreme on a neutral field.

Using our NFL SimMatchup tool, we "played" the All-Time Steelers against the All-Time Packers 1,001 times. The simulation engine provided each team's chances of winning, average score and sample box score with play-by-play.

All-Time Steelers vs Packers - 1,001 Simulations
Matchup Win% Avg Score WIS Interactive
2011 All-Time Steelers29.225View Sample Box Score
2011 All-Time Packers70.832Create Dream Team


Game Recap

View Box Score

On the morning of December 31st, 1967, the Packers awoke to Antarctic conditions. The temperature settled at 15 degrees below zero and the wind chill sucked your breath away at 48-below. To keep the playing field even between these two All-Time teams, we've removed those soul-crushing conditions from this simulation. Like Super Bowl XLV, this exhibition was played at Cowboys Stadium.

Following the opening kickoff, the Packers moved the football into Steelers' territory before testing Ryan Longwell's leg early. The kicker did not disappoint as he connected from 50 yards to hand the Pack a 3-0 lead. Pittsburgh answered with a nice mix of run and pass. Terry Bradshaw moved his team into field goal range and Gary Anderson kicked the equalizer from 39 yards out.

Green Bay struck back at the beginning of the second quarter. Third-string (on this roster) running back Jim Taylor punched it in from two yards out. Anderson would kick his second field goal on the Steelers next possession before the final eight minutes turned into a punt fest (six) as the Packers led 10-6 at the break.

All-Time Steelers Starters
Player Position
Terry BradshawQB
Franco HarrisRB
Jerome BettisRB
Lynn SwannWR
Hines WardWR
Bennie CunninghamTE
1976 SteelersOffensive Line
1976 SteelersDefense
Gary AndersonKicker
Bobby WaldenPunter
Simulate Super Bowl XLV

Terry Bradshaw won a record four Super Bowls with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The three-time Pro Bowl quarterback was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Before jumping into politics, Swann was one of the NFL's top receivers. He hauled in 336 receptions for over 5,400 yards and 51 touchdowns in nine seasons.

A founding member of the "Steel Curtain," Greene's 1976 defense was a lock. Greene finished with 78.5 career sacks, four Super Bowl wins and a trip to Canton in 1987.

Pittsburgh traveled 84 yards in nine plays to begin the second half. Bradshaw hooked up with Lynn Swann for a 34-yard touchdown strike and gave the Black and Gold their first lead of the game at 13-10. Like in the first quarter, long drives gutted the clock (two 5-plus minute possessions), but Green Bay managed to tie the game at 13, thanks to Longwell's second field goal.

With Elbie Nickel listed as a wide receiver within our player database, Pittsburgh started Bennie Cunningham at tight end and it paid off. The big guy hauled in a pass from Bradshaw at the beginning of the fourth to put the Steelers up seven.

Later in the quarter, following a Bradshaw interception, Green Bay began to rally. Paul Hornung took a sweep left 16 yards to the end zone and tied the game at 20. The Packers forced a three and out on the next possession and wasted no time scoring again. Ahman Green gained 64 yards on the ground before he was tackled at the Steelers one yard line. Two plays later Green finished what he started.

But before the Pack could celebrate their seven-point lead, the Steelers tied it up. Bradshaw dumped it off to Bettis and big man rumbled 69 yards to knot the game at 27-all. With one minute and change on the clock, Starr and Hornung moved the Packers inside field goal range. With four seconds left, Longwell ran on out and kicked his third field goal of the game. The 40-yarder was a walk-off shot as the Packers beat the Steelers 30-27.

As fate should have it, the Packers bring another win back to "Titletown, USA" because what's a bowl full of grit without the cheese?

You too, can generate a complete box score with play-by-play by simulating any game using our NFL SimMatchup tool.


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