By this time next week a new champion would have already been crowned. One proud, traditional franchise will add to their history by claiming the title in Super Bowl XLV.
For the Pittsburgh Steelers, it would be their seventh championship, including their third in sixth years, securing a second dynasty. The Green Bay Packers could win their fourth, joining only the Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers with at least four Lombardi trophies.
Each team is led by an elite quarterback who likes to not only make plays with their arms, but also with their feet.
Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers feeds off of making something out of nothing and will raise his level of play after contact while the Packers Aaron Rodgers pocket mobility by be only second to Michael Vick.
Though each offense can display glitz and glamour, it is the defenses that could throw the ultimate knockout punch to decide the champion.
For Mike Tomlin, the mastermind Dick LeBeau will need his league leading scoring defense, allowing only 14.5 points per game in gear for the offensive juggernaut that is the Packers. He is no short of big game players to work with, including James Harrison, Troy Polamalu and LaMarr Woodley.
On the opposite sideline, Mike McCarthy has a number of former Steelers running his defense, including defensive coordinator Dom Capers, one of the best defensive minds in the game. He helped turn Green Bay’s defense around behind Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson into the league’s second rated scoring defense.
The contenders are set and the final training sessions are in place. On Sunday we will find out who the champion of the world is. Here is the tale of the tape for Super Bowl XLV.