Super Bowl 2011: 25 Last Minute Predictions for Steelers vs. Packers
Gather 'round friends—for I have seen the (not so distant) future. The Super Bowl is now close enough that I have a firm grasp on how the action is going to unfold.
If you want to be surprised as the action unfolds on Sunday, please avert your eyes and discontinue reading, because I am going to share with you the future as it has been presented to me.
*Disclaimer: The following slides are to be used for personal knowledge only and not for monetary gain.
25. Dancing Turnover Machine
Maurkice Pouncey is out. Doug Legursky is in. B.J. Raji is playing the best football of his career. Ben Roethlisberger likes to pump fake and wait unitl the last second.
Prediction: B.J. Raji will force a fumble.
24. The Endless Anthem
As you are finding out, I have had plenty of Super Bowl visions. For some strange reason, the most vivid and frequent have been about the National Anthem. Christina Aguilera likes to belt out and hold her notes.
Prediction: Aguilera will do the longest rendition of the Anthem in Super Bowl history.
23. It's Miller Time
Green Bay has an elite pass defense. The one area they are below average is against opposing TEs. They have the 22nd ranked DVOA against TEs. Heath Miller is a solid and reliable pass catching TE.
Prediction: Miller will have over 75 yards receiving.
22. Run QB, Run
Everyone likes to say that Aaron Rodger's ability to run is underrated. Which leads me to believe it is not underrated at all.
Either way, it is true that the guy has some decent wheels and he is going to put them on display on Sunday.
Prediction: Aaron Rodgers will lead the Packers in rushing yards.
21. Déjà Vu All Over Again
The Steelers have never been afraid to run trick plays. They are likely going to need to do something to slow down the Packers' pass rush.
They have more than one player who has thrown a TD pass in the Super Bowl.
Prediction: Randle El will throw a pass.
20. Hitting the Slots
The Steelers have struggled to defend the pass when teams spread them out. The Packers use a lot of three and four wide receiver sets, and they are going to use them a lot on Sunday.
Prediction: James Jones and Jordy Nelson will combine for over 115 receiving yards.
19. Let's Get Defensive
These are two dynamic big-play defenses. Both sides are filled with playmakers, and make plays they will.
Prediction: There will be a defensive touchdown.
18. Beer Here!
A 16 ounce beer is going for $10 at the Super Bowl. There are going to be over 100,000 people in attendance.
Prediction: Beer sales will top $1 million.
17. Nowere To Run To
The Steelers have a historically stingy rush defense. The Packers have struggled all year to find a consistent run game. Rodgers may have a big run or two and the Packers are going to need it.
Prediction: The Packers RBs will have less than 30 yards rushing.
16. Love at First Sight
Not surprisingly, Troy Aikman loves good quarterback play. He especially loves quick reads and accurate throws. Aikman is going to gush over Aaron Rodgers.
Prediction: We will all be sick of hearing Troy Aikman talk about Aaron Rodgers.
15. Bomb Threat
The Steelers make up for average corner play with outstanding safety play. Aaron Rodgers is excellent at pre and post-snap reads.
They are going to try and get Jennings in one-on-one coverage throughout the game, and they will take advantage of it when they get it.
Prediction: Jennings will have a 40-plus yard TD reception.
14. Jerry's Disgrace
This Super Bowl was supposed to be a showcase for Jerry Jones and his interests. Things have not worked out that way.
The Cowboys fell far short of the game and ensuing injuries and the bad weather hasve stolen any good press his $1.3 billion dollar stadium was supposed to receive.
Prediction: There will be technical malfunction in Cowboy Stadium.
13. The Fighting Spirit
These teams seldom play each other and there is no history of bad blood, but they are both physical, take-no-crap teams. With the stakes at their highest, at some point, tempers will flare.
Prediction: There will be a fight that draws at least one personal foul penalty.
12. Look Kids, Big Ben
Remember, before the season when the Steelers were shopping Ben Roethlisberger? They couldn't find a team willing to trade a first round pick for him.
Somewhere during the course of this season, it turned into the Roethlisberger redemption tour. If you don't know the story you will.
Prediction: We will get Roethlisberger's life story during the course of the Super Bowl broadcast.
11. Rushing Rashard
The Steelers like to run the ball, and if the Packers defense has a weakness, it is against the run. The Steelers are going to try and pound the rock and they will be rewarded on at least one play.
Prediction: Mendenhall will have a 30-plus yard run.
10. The Ward(en)
Hines Ward loves to play football. He goes all out every play. Even when he isn't making catches, he is making an impact.
Prediction: Ward will make at least one block that gets highlighted in a replay.
9. The Safety Without the Hair
How many times have you heard, "You have to know where Troy Polamalu is at all times?" Plenty, I am sure, but not as much as Aaron Rodgers has.
The attention paid to Polamalu is going to help the underrated Clark sneak in to make a big play.
Prediction: Ryan Clark will have an INT.
8. Arrested Development
Former Steelers kicker Jeff Reed has never been accused of making outstanding decisions. It is a part of the reason why the Steelers cut him mid-way through the 2010 season.
It is all of the reason why he got arrested for disorderly conduct when he attacked an empty paper towel dispenser at a gas station.
Watching his replacement, Sean Suisham, kick a field goal in the Super Bowl is not going to be easy on him.
Prediction: Jeff Reed will be arrested on Sunday.
7. In the Palm Of His Hands
Mike Wallace has had a fantastic Sophomore season. He is one of the most dangerous deep receivers in the league. He is still very young and inexperienced.
This is going to catch up to him on the game's biggest stage.
Prediction: Wallace will have a sure touchdown go right through his hands.
6. Broken Clay
Clay Matthews and his pass rushing expertise wound up second in the race for the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year Award. The Steelers have had two weeks to make him the focus of their pass protection.
He is going to face constant double teams, and Roethlisberger will make sure he knows where he is at all times.
Prediction: The Packers will get their sacks, but Matthews will not get his.
5. Fast Start
The Steelers have Super Bowl experience on their side. They are going to be the more composed team to start the game, and they will use this to open an early lead.
Prediction: The Steelers will lead from their first possession, until...
4. History In the Making
Aaron Rodgers is going to lead his Packers on a legend-making, come-from-behind drive in the game's closing moments.
Prediction: Packers tie the game at 17 with under one minute to play.
3. The New Frontier
The Packers are going to win the overtime toss and work their way down the field before stalling and kicking a field goal. And that's when even more history will happen.
Prediction: The Super Bowl will be the first NFL game to continue after a team scores in OT.
2. Ben At His Best
Roethlisberger is at his best when plays break down and it is becomes sandlot football. Facing a fourth down in the ultimate do or die situation, Roethlisberger will extend a play and find a receiver.
Prediction: Ben provides the Super Bowl's signature play on a fourth down scramble and completion in OT
1. The Champs
Say hello to the newest dynasty in the NFL. Rashard Mendenhall will have a short yardage TD to seal the victory.
Prediction: Steelers win 23-20.
MVP: Major Mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall had an outstanding AFC Championship game. The Steelers are going to want to get him going early and often.
Along with his rushing, he is going to throw in a couple of big receptions. He is also going to find the endzone twice.
Prediction: Rashard Mendenhall is going to be MVP of Super Bowl XLV.