NFL Game Preview : Super Bowl XLV: Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers
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Sports Betting Preview
Super Bowl XLV will be played Sunday February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX. The Super Bowl betting between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers has begun, and the sportsbook promo betting experts are making the Packers the favorite. The Packers are the first NFC number six seed to ever reach the Super Bowl, while the Steelers are playing in their eighth championship game in the team’s history. This promises to be a great game, and both teams have the elements they need to win.
When the season started, the NFL predictions surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers were not very favorable. Starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended four games due to his offseason conduct, and the rest of league assumed that the Steelers would suffer mostly losses in those four games.
By the time Roethlisberger rejoined the team, the Steelers were 3-1 and looking like a leader in the AFC. What has sustained the Steelers is their running game lead by Rashard Mendenhall. With Roethlisberger running around in the Steelers backfield making plays up as he goes along, and Mendenhall running hard, the Steelers present a very difficult challenge for the Packers defense.
The Packers played most of the season without much of a running game. Injuries in the middle of the season had affected key players such as quarterback Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Donald Driver. Very early in the season, the Packers lost starting tight end Jermichael Finely to injury for the rest of the season. But Rodgers and the offense kept it together and made the playoffs.
Then, in the playoffs, rookie running back James Starks arrived, and suddenly, the Packers had a balanced offense. Now Green Bay is a formidable offensive foe for this very athletic Pittsburgh defense.
The Packers defense is based on speed and anticipation. Even the big men up the middle, such as second-year nose tackle B.J. Raji, are tuned in to the opposing quarterback. Raji is so tuned in he took an interception in for a touchdown in the AFC Championship game against the Jets.
The linebackers in Green Bay are anchored by A.J. Hawk and Clay Matthews. Those two do an excellent job of shutting down the middle of the field and putting pressure on the quarterback. Charles Woodson monitors the Green Bay secondary and is able to stay with just about any receiver in the NFL.
The strongest point of the Steelers defense is their front seven. The Pittsburgh linebackers, lead by James Harrison, is one of the best groups of linebackers in the league. They hit hard and are extremely fast. The weakness for this Pittsburgh defense is the secondary. The Pittsburgh defensive backs can sometimes make bad decisions and leave receivers open. A quarterback like Aaron Rodgers can take advantage of that.
The Bottom Line
For all of the history these two franchises have, they have never met in the Super Bowl. This will be an old school battle that will be decided on the line of scrimmage. The one weakness the Steelers have, their secondary, could be the thing that decides the game.
Pick: Green Bay Packers
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