Super Bowl 2011: Comparing The Steelers And Packers Receivers

Joseph BrunoCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2011

Super Bowl 2011: Comparing The Steelers And Packers Receivers

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates with fans after their 24 to 19 win over the New York Jets in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    It has been a long road to Dallas for both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. 

    Each have had their ups and downs during the season and have had to deal with their own sets of adversities.

    At a glance some people might say that the Packers have the edge at the receiver position in the game. 

    In this article i will compare the receiving cores of the Steelers and Packers and show that they are closer in comparison then some people might think. 

Old Reliables: Hines Ward VS. Donald Driver

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates their 24 to 19 win over the New York Jets in the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Ward 2010 Stats: 59 Receptions, 755 yards, 5 touchdowns

    Driver 2010 Stats: 51 Receptions, 565 yards, 4 touchdowns

    This might appear like a pretty even matchup since both receivers seemed to have down years in 2010. 

    When you look at the stats however, in the regular season Hines' had four 100 yard games and Driver had zero. 

    Driver has had the better postseason to this point, with 141 yards to Hines' 39, yet I still think that Hines' experience gives the Steelers the edge in this one. 

    This will be Hines' third Super Bowl and even though he has had a down year, he just knows what to do in these moments. 

    Advantage: Steelers

Number Ones: Mike Wallace VS. Greg Jennings

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23: Mike Wallace #17 celebrates after Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scored a second quarter touchdown against the New York Jets during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsbu
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Wallace 2010 Stats: 60 Receptions, 1257 yards, 10 touchdowns

    Jennings 2010 Stats: 76 Receptions, 1265 yards, 12 touchdowns

    Both of these receivers had great years for their respective teams and Jennings has had a great postseason so far with two 100 yard games and 239 yards overall. 

    Jennings is one of the best all around receivers in the league with good speed and the ability to make receptions in the middle of the field. 

    Some would say that Jennings wins this because of his experience and better overall skill set however, do not underestimate Mike Wallace. 

    The speed Wallace possesses makes him one of the most dangerous weapons on the field and along with his much improved route running, makes up for anything Jennings has over him. 

    Advantage: Push

Tight Ends: Heath Miller VS. Donald Lee/ Andrew Quarless/ Tom Crabtree

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 15: Tight end Heath Miller #83 of the Pittsburgh Steelers catches the ball for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the third quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Penn
    Nick Laham/Getty Images

    Miller 2010 Stats: 42 receptions, 512 yards, 2 touchdowns

    Lee/Quarless/Crabtree 2010 Stats: 36 receptions, 372 yards, 4 touchdowns

    Since losing Jermichael Finley early in the season, the Packers have not had much production from the tight end position. 

    Along with most of the Steelers passing game, Heath Miller had a down year from 2009 and yet still put up better numbers than all three of the Packers remaining tight ends. 

    Heath is one of the best tight ends in the league and rarely gets the credit he deserves for everything he does for the Steelers. 

    The Packers have some good talent with the combination of Donald Lee, Andrew Quarless. 

    Advantage: Steelers

Thirds: Emmanuel Sanders/ Antonio Brown VS. James Jones

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers reacts after the Packers 21-14 victory against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Sanders/ Brown 2010 Stats: 44 Receptions, 543 yards, 2 touchdowns

    Jones 2010 Stats: 50 Receptions, 679 yards, 5 touchdowns

    Numbers wise, the Packers would seem to have the clear advantage in this matchup, even with me combining both Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. 

    Sanders and Brown have become solid receivers and are the two leading receivers in the playoffs for the Steelers. 

    Brown has had clutch catches in both games this postseason and i believe both receivers' speed could be a huge advantage during the game. 

    That being said, as of right now I would have to give the Packers the edge in this one just off of production alone. 

    Advantage: Packers

Fourths: Antwan Randle El VS. Jordy Nelson

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Wide receiver Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers catches a pass in front of Danieal Manning #38 of the Chicago Bears in the third quarter in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illin
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Randle El 2010 Stats: 22 Receptions, 253 yards, 0 touchdowns

    Nelson 2010 Stats: 45 Receptions, 582 yards, 2 touchdowns

    I will come right and say that I have no faith in Antwan Randle El to be a consistent contributor and he has not been a big part of the offense as of late. 

    In fact, Randle El has not caught a pass this postseason and has not caught a touchdown all season long. 

    Jordy Nelson is a quality 3rd/4th receiver for the Packers and has 146 yards and a touchdown this postseason. 

    Nelson makes the Packers recieving core one of the deepest in the league and I believe he could be a number two guy on most other teams. 

    Advantage: Packers

Starting Running Backs: Rashard Mendenhall VS. James Starks

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Rashard Mendenhall #34 and Chris Kemoeatu #68 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate Mendenhall's first quarter touchdown against the New York Jets during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pit
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Mendenhall 2010 Stats: 23 Receptions, 167 yards, 0 touchdowns

    Starks 2010 Stats: 2 Receptions, 15 yards, 0 touchdowns

    I admit that this matchup is not exactly fair considering James Starks did not play for most of the season. 

    He is the starter for the Packers though and running backs are important pieces in any teams passing game. 

    Rashard Mendenhall is one of the most complete backs in the league and has improved this part of his game greatly.

    The guy that can bring this versatility to this game will immensely increase his teams' chances of winning. 

    Advantage: Steelers

Third Down Backs: Mewelde Moore VS. Brandon Jackson/ John Kuhn

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    CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 23:  Brandon Jackson #32 of the Green Bay Packers runs the ball against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship Game at Soldier Field on January 23, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Moore 2010 Stats: 26 Receptions, 205 yards, 0 touchdowns

    Jackson/ Kuhn 2010 Stats: 58 Receptions, 439 yards, 3 touchdowns

    This matchup further proves how deep the Packers really are on offense to have three running backs who can catch the ball out of the backfield. 

    Brandon Jackson stepped up for most of the season when Ryan Grant went down and is probably the best receiver of the backs. 

    John Kuhn is just a matchup problem because he is a powerful runner and whether on a rush play or when he is catching passes. 

    Mewelde Moore is a solid backup and good receiver however has not been a huge part of the Steelers offense this season.

    Advantage: Packers

Experience

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 23:  Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts against the New York Jets during the 2011 AFC Championship game at Heinz Field on January 23, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    You can look at experience in a number of ways and it could look as if the Packers have the edge in that department. 

    The Steelers have one of the youngest receiving cores in the league however you can not look past the experience of their veteran players. 

    The Packers only have two players who have Super Bowl experience on the roster and neither of those two are receivers.

    The Steelers have a bunch of guys on both sides of the ball who will be in their third Super Bowl and they know what needs to be done to bring home another trophy. 

    Advantage: Steelers

Speed

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 21:  Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers attempts to outrun a tackle by Stanford Routt #26 of the Oakland Raiders during the game on November 21, 2010 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham
    Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

    This is one of the only things I believe is not even close and is a huge advantage for the Steelers. 

    The Packers get some big plays on offense however most of their receivers are more the possession type. 

    Mike Wallace is one of the fastest receivers in the NFL and led the league with an average of 21 yards per catch. 

    Then the Steelers have the rookies, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown, who can both fly down the field themselves. 

    Advantage: Steelers

Overall

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 15:  Wide receivers Antonio Brown #84 and Hines Ward #86 of the Pittsburgh Steelers react after a play against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Heinz Field on January 15, 2011 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    When you think about all of the talent the Green Bay Packers have some might have thought that this would have been no question in favor of them. 

    The Steelers might not have a lot of big name guys behind Mike Wallace and Hines Ward, however do not count out the other guys. 

    With the speed the Steelers receivers possess it will be interesting to see what they can do in the dome in Dallas. 

    The passing game as a whole for the Steelers has been slowed in the playoffs so far, yet I believe it is poised to explode in the Super Bowl. 

    Overall Advantage: Steelers