Everyone has their own opinion and prediction on who the winner of Super Bowl XLV will be. And most Packer fans will say the Packers will win and most Steeler fans will say the Steelers will win. I am a Packer fan and am obviously rooting for the Packers, putting bias's aside, I still predict the Packers to win.
First, it doesn't need to be written but I will write the obvious. These two teams are so well and evenly matched. The NFL could not have asked for a more perfect matchup for Super Bowl Sunday. No matter what team you root for, this should be an excellent game. Whether it is high scoring or low scoring, it should be a good four quarters of hard fought football with no large winning margin.
I am not a statistic guy. Those numbers can be tweaked to show any result the writer wants it to show. And the games are played for a reason. Statistics may not be a factor at all. Conditions and circumstances mean more than raw stats. But don't be foolish to totally disregard statistics. And just like statistics, experience sometimes can be emphasized too much.
It also lulls fans into false securities and makes them complacent and too confident or even cocky. The Steelers have more experience in Super Bowls than the Packers do. That might not make as much of a difference to the Packers. Yes, virtually all players on the Packers (but two) have never played in the biggest game. But the experiences they gained from those who have (Charles Woodson) and playing even bigger games to get to the Super Bowl are more valuable than having played in a Super Bowl.
It can be argued that getting to the Super Bowl, past the Chicago Bears, was the Super Bowl for the NFC North and the Packers. That doesn't make the actual Super Bowl a cake walk though.
Now onto the actual game itself. While I concentrate on the Packers players themselves, that in no way diminishes or overlooks the Steelers. As stated, the teams are evenly matched for the most part. I will start with head coach Mike McCarthy. Many of his play calls can and should be questioned.
During his years in Green Bay, and even during this season, he tends to stick to his game plan even when it is futile. He is too stubborn to make adjustments or doesn't believe he can with the players he has on the field. But this year, throughout all the injuries suffered, that never was made to be an excuse. He has adapted very well and made critical adjustments. He has improved greatly as a head coach.
There isn't much more to the Aaron Rodgers dialogue I can add. Even though Lambeau Field is not a dome, Rodgers plays great in domes. This plays to the great passing game of the Packers. Rodgers and the wide receivers work well with each other. The key to the receivers is their great ability in yards after the catch (YAC).
Greg Jennings and Donald Driver have made themselves careers with this. Jordy Nelson has emerged as a premiere receiver for the Packers. James Jones has been working on consistency, which will be greatly needed. I am going to include the running game here. This is an area that the Packers have been lacking since Ryan Grant went out. I am calling Starks and Jackson serviceable. I can't see much success in the running game at all. The only thing that will help is B.J. Raji.
Both defenses are stellar, absolutely stellar.
I would consider the Steelers consistently superb. The Packers are great, and have the ability to make the shutdown play when absolutely needed. Dom Capers is doing things defensively the Packers and opponents just have never saw. Take into consideration that the big playmakers are no names or not even drafted.
Who knew Tramon Williams or Sam Shields at the beginning of the year? Not many, even fewer Packer fans. Williams won the Eagles and Falcons games for the Packers with well-timed interceptions (I consider the Atlanta game to have been won by halftime).
I did not cover everything in the game (special teams which the Packers have improved greatly upon). The game will be played closely and will most likely have several lead changes. It might not even come down to who has the ball in the last minute of the game, but who makes the most defensive stops.
My game score calls for a high scoring game: Packers 35, Steelers 31