Only eight days, Steeler Nation. Eight days until the Lombardi Trophy comes back to Pittsburgh. I know the Packers are the favorites to win, but the Steelers will not be easy to defeat.
They've come through a season of adversity when no one expected them to be here. Yet here they are ready to win Lombardi number seven for number seven.
This will be a fun game to watch and definitely will be one for the ages. Unfortunately, we have eight days to go before that joyous occasion.
In the meantime, check out my seven bold predictions for Super Bowl XLV.
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I know, sounds crazy, right? We all know the Packers love to air the ball out and use the running game as an afterthought.
However, I have a feeling they are going to put that number-one rush defense of the Steelers to the test. I expect the Packers to come out with a balanced attack to keep the Steelers honest.
We won't see the aerial assault from the Packers that we're all expecting. They will come out early trying to run the ball to keep the Steelers honest. For the rest of the game, they will use the pass to set up the run.
Just because they will try to run the ball does not mean they will find success with it. The Steelers will stop the run as usual, but it won't be because the Packers didn't try.
If you haven't heard yet, the Steelers' Pro Bowl center and best lineman has suffered a high ankle sprain and a broken bone in his left ankle.
At this point, it doesn't look like Pouncey will play, so Doug Legursky will get the start.
He filled in reasonably well when Pouncey went down against the Jets. Besides that botched hand off on the goal line, you couldn't see the difference.
Of course he is just one man. The rest of the line has to get up to par. Call me crazy, but I think they will do great against the Packers.
I know BJ Raji is a one-man army, but I believe the line will keep him from doing too much damage.
I'm jumping out on a big leap of faith saying all this, but that's what being a fan is all about.
I know Troy has been rather quiet for the playoffs. He's still making plays, but not the big plays that we are used to seeing.
I expect him to break out of his slump next Sunday and take an interception to the house.
Troy always shows up when the Steelers need him most. Whether it's a sack-strip or an interception, when a play has to be made, he always seems to make it.
He will make that play next Sunday and it will come late in the fourth quarter.
Being a nose tackle, Casey Hampton is perhaps the most unrecognized player on the Steelers. He's about to get some love from me.
If you were watching the AFC Championship, if you saw a 320-pound man in the backfield harassing Mark Sanchez, it was Casey Hampton.
Casey played with a fire that I haven't seen from him in quite some time. He constantly penetrated the line of scrimmage and gave Nick Mangold fits all day.
If it wasn't for his size, he would have had at least three sacks on Sanchez. After seeing that performance, I expect similar results next Sunday.
For those of you that don't know, Hampton is from Texas. What would be better than going into your home state and giving your friends and family a show?
Casey already expects himself to be fired up and so do I. I'm glad I'm not Scott Wells because he will have his hands full.
Hines Ward predicted before the playoffs started that the referees will make a bad call in the playoffs and it's going to cost a team a win.
I don't think it will cost the Steelers a win, but I believe that the refs will make a really bad call against the Steelers.
We all remember weeks six through 12. Probably some of the most frustrating weeks for Steelers fans in their life.
Every game the refs would throw a flag for practically everything the Steelers did.
James Harrison got hit the worst as he accumulated $100,000 worth of fines for hard and legal hits.
The Steelers got hit with so many penalties, many people started to believe the NFL was targeting the Steelers and a conspiracy was taking place.
Those talks have since died down as the refs backed off a little as of week 13. I'm not buying it for a second.
Just watch. Some way, somehow, the referees will try to screw the Steelers out of a win.
Why not? He did the same thing against the Ravens and Jets. I believe he will do the same thing in the Super Bowl.
I know he's a rookie, but any time a rookie can make those clutch catches, I'm putting my money on him.
I know everyone is picking the Packers to win the Super Bowl. That's okay. It only gives the Steelers extra motivation.
They thrive when they are the underdog. They play at their best when people say they can't do something. Just look at their season.
When we found out Big Ben was going to be suspended for four weeks, everyone said the Steelers would be lucky to go 2-2 without him, go 8-8 on the year, and finish last in the division.
The Steelers went 3-1 without Ben, 12-4 on the year, and first place in the division.
When they got to the playoffs, people thought that the Steelers couldn't put up points on the elite teams, they couldn't run the ball, and the offensive line would hold them back.
The Steelers came out and put 31 on the Ravens, completely ran over the Jets, and didn't do too bad on the line either.
Now here is Super Bowl XLV and people still doubt the Steelers. I'll just say this. The Steelers don't mind proving you haters wrong one more time this year.
Contrary to common belief, the Steelers will win Super Bowl XLV 30-24 and bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Pittsburgh.