Super Bowl 2011: 7 Reasons the Steelers Will Win Their 7th Super Bowl
On February 6th, two of the most storied franchises in the NFL will go head-to-head in Super Bowl XLV.
The Packers have the most NFL championships with 12, while the Steelers have the most Super Bowl wins with six.
There is so much history going into this game that it is tough to decide where to begin. The Steelers are attempting to win their third Super Bowl in six years to establish a mini-dynasty, while the Green Bay Packers would like to begin a new dynasty, led by third-year QB Aaron Rodgers.
Pittsburgh and Green Bay are, without a doubt, two of the best football towns, and you better believe that fans in both cities are excited for this one.
In a season with so much parity, most fans have no clue which team will prevail a week from Sunday.
No. 1: Troy Polamalu Is Healthy, and That Means Success.
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Strong safety Troy Polamalu may have missed most of the 2009 season due to an injury, but 2010 has been another story.
Since September, 2009, the Steelers are 17-4 with Polamalu in the lineup and just 6-7 when he isn't playing. This season, Polamalu had 63 tackles and seven interceptions in just 14 games.
What makes Polamalu so effective is his versatility, which allows the Steelers to run a variety of blitzes, knowing that if things go south, Polamalu can cover their backs.
No. 2: Big Ben May Be the Most Underrated QB in the League.
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After missing the first four games of the season, Ben Roethlisberger found his groove right away and put up some of the best numbers of his career, including a touchdown-to-interception ratio of 3.4-to-1.
Roethlisberger has become a better pocket passer as his career has gone on, to go along with his superhuman abilities of becoming a creative playmaker when no receivers are initially open.
If not for having entered the league at a time when Tom Brady and Peyton Manning had already established themselves as two of the elite quarterbacks, in the same conference, no less, we would be talking about Roethlisberger as being the best QB of the last seven years.
Oh, by the way, since Roethlisberger entered the league, no QB has more than one ring except for Big Ben.
No. 3: The Steelers Ground Game Is Getting It Done
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Led by running back Rashard Mendenhall, the Steelers have been able to establish a solid running game, thus setting up the pass.
In the last two seasons, Mendenhall has run for over 2,300 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, filling a necessary hole in the Steelers' attack. As a rookie in 2008, Rashard Mendenhall was able to improve by watching Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore play ahead of him.
his has certainly paid off.
No. 4: The Steel Curtain Is Back
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The Steelers defense is showing no sign of slowing down.
The unit had one of its best seasons for stopping the run and one of its best seasons tackling. The linebacker crew of James Harrison, LaMarr Woodley, Lawrence Timmons and James Farrior combined for 30 sacks this season, while thoroughly intimidating opposing backs.
No. 5: Mike Wallace Has a Nack For Catching the Deep Ball
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Second-year wide receiver Mike Wallace has established himself as a major downfield threat.
He is one of the fastest players in the league, averaging 21 yards per catch this season (60 receptions, 10 touchdowns), and with Roethlisberger throwing to him, Green Bay cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams and safety Nick Collins cannot afford to take their eyes off of him.
Similar to Mendenhall, Wallace has benefited from watching veterans Hines Ward and Heath Miller take care of business.
No. 6: The Steelers Zone Blitz Can Contain Aaron Rogers
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Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau has been credited with the zone blitz packages that have essentially neutralized the west-coast offense.
In Sunday's game against the Jets, the Steelers pulled off a zone blitz so well that despite the Jets having seven protectors versus the Steelers six pass rushers, the Steelers managed to confuse the Jets enough to sack Mark Sanchez from his blind side.
No. 7: The Steelers Are Playing in Dallas
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If the Steelers needed any extra motivation to win Super Bowl XLV, it could be another opportunity to stick it to Cowboys fans at Cowboys Stadium.
Perhaps the biggest out-of-conference rivalry is the Steelers versus the Cowboys, who have battled against one another in the Super Bowl on three occasions.
Prior to 2008, the Cowboys, Steelers and 49ers each held five Super Bowl victories. However, after a victory in the big game two years ago, and with a victory a week from Sunday, the Steelers have the opportunity to reach seven, or two more than any other franchise.