Super Bowl 2011: Which Team Has More Hall of Fame-Bound Starters?
Super Bowl appearances can go a long way towards fluffing a Hall of Fame candidate's résumé, and in this year's Super Bowl matchup between two of the NFL's marquee teams, there are potential Hall of Famers littering the Packers and Steelers' rosters.
Many of the potential Hall of Famers are younger players trying to make their mark in the NFL, but when all is said and done, I believe there are 11 sure-fire guys headed to Canton.
Read on and let us know what you think.
This might be the most surprising selection for this list, but Mason Crosby has an unbelievable leg. When he was at Colorado there was mention of him attempting a 70-yard field goal, but it never came to that.
Crosby just seems like the type of kicker that has a perfect kicking motion and someone who is going to have a very long and successful NFL career where he becomes one of the leading scorers in NFL history.
Greg Jennings has been in the NFL for five seasons, and he has averaged over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns per season over that career.
Jennings has become a solid big play receiver with loads of potential. He and Aaron Rodgers are a great combination for the Packers.
It is easy to see Jennings continuing his great career and finishing very high in a number of career statistics.
It's no coincidence that the Packers really made a leap to Super Bowl contenders when they brought in Clay Matthews. He is a rare talent at the outside linebacker, and he is a perfect fit in the Packers' 3-4 system.
So far in his two NFL seasons he already has 23.5 sacks, and he is a strong contender for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Matthews looks like the evolutionary Lawrence Taylor with way less baggage.
B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews came into the NFL in the same draft class, and they have both revolutionized the Packers defense. Raji is the ultimate disruptor for the Packers.
This year Raji has 6.5 sacks from the tackle position, good for fifth among all defensive tackles. He has the size and speed to be a dominant tackle for the rest of his career, and leading the Packers defense to a Super Bowl would be a great step towards the Hall of Fame.
Plus, as we saw last week, he is good in coverage and has great dance moves.
Aaron Rodgers might suddenly be in the conversation about the best quarterbacks in the league, especially if he leads the Packers to the Super Bowl title this year.
Rodgers has stepped into the Packers' starting role and has made the Green Bay faithful forget all about Brett Favre. That is probably his best accomplishment yet.
Charles Woodson is one of the most skilled defensive players in the league. He is someone that opposing quarterbacks need to identify before the snap of every play.
For his career Woodson has 47 career interceptions and averages nearly 70 tackles a season from the corner position.
He is also skilled at getting to the quarterback from a corner blitz.
A Super Bowl is really the only thing missing from his résumé.
Since moving from the Jets to the Steelers in 2002, James Farrior has been the driving force of the Pittsburgh defense. Farrior has averaged nearly 100 tackles a season per season.
He has already been a starter on two Super Bowl championship teams and has a chance to finish with three rings.
He is likely already a Hall of Famer, but winning a third Super Bowl would cement that status.
Troy Polamalu is probably the most important defensive player in the NFL right now. When he is healthy, the Steelers are able to do things on defense that they can't do when he is on the bench.
Polamalu's skills and instincts are what make him a Hall of Fame player, but injuries could be the only thing that hold him back.
Maurkice Pouncey may be in just his first season on the field in Pittsburgh, but he has already become the most important offensive lineman on the Pittsburgh roster. Despite the fact that he is a rookie, he is already one of the best centers in the league.
Pouncey's injury might keep him out of the Super Bowl this year, and if B.J. Raji is able to have his way with the Steelers' offensive line, it will really indicate just how important and skilled Pouncey is.
Ben Roethlisberger could stop playing football today and would probably be a Hall of Famer. He already has two Super Bowl rings and has a chance to get his third before the age of 30.
Roethlisberger will never be a guy who will throw for over 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns, but he does what is necessary to win.
Hines Ward is the leading receiver in Steelers history. He has been one of the most consistent receivers in the NFL over the last decade.
Over his 13 years, the former college quarterback has six seasons over 1,000 yards.
He may have dropped off a bit this year, but Ward will finish his career as one of the top players in football.