TSD Writers, Svyato Rovenchuk and DJ Rallo Talk Super Bowl XLV

Svyato Rovenchuk@TorontosClassicSenior Writer IFebruary 6, 2011

DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 04:  The Vince Lombardi Trophy is displayed between a Pittsburgh Steelers helmet and a Green Bay Packers helmet during a press conference with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the Super Bowl XLV media center on February 4, 2011 in Dallas, Texas. The Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on February 6, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Super Bowl XLV is one of the most anticipated Super Bowl in NFL history. It includes two of the NFL’s most storied franchises, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. These teams also bring with them two of the biggest fanbases in the game. They’re both two talented teams, with great QBs, dominating defense, great coaches and so much more!

TSD writers, DJ Rallo and Svyato Rovenchuk sat down to answer 10 questions regarding this year’s big game, including who will take home the trophy, what QB they would rather have behind the center and much more!

1) Has Big Ben’s playoff success put him in the same class as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning?

I don’t think I’m quite ready to put Ben Roethlisberger in the same class as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning quite yet. He’s a good QB that knows how to win football games, steps up in clutch moments, but there is something missing from all of this. Part of being a great QB in this league is posting the big numbers. Although, Roethlisberger would be quick to point out his Super Bowl rings, there have been plenty of QBs in the past who have had the rings but not the numbers. For that reason, they have not been regarded among some of the other great QBs in NFL history.

Tom Brady has both the Super Bowl success and the big numbers which makes him the best QB in the NFL, in my mind. Without the good numbers, Big Ben cannot and will not be in the same class as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. -Svyato

Ben Roethelisberger’s success is evident to the city of Pittsburgh, but I don’t think his success matches that of Tom Brady (in his earlier playoff years) or Peyton Manning. Although I find him less successful than Brady and Manning, he has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl Championships, which is all that matters. He does tend to perform very well, and his experience and previous success will serve as an advantage this year and may be the deciding factor for a win over the Packers. -DJ

2) Who would you rather have at QB if your season was on the line, Rodgers or Roethlisberger?

Big Ben can extend plays with his feet, but if I’m looking to win the game I want Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers has a quick, accurate release which help him get the passes to where he wants them before the pass rush gets to him. Rodgers, like Big Ben, can also run the ball. He was the second leading QB rusher, behind Michael Vick which adds another element that opposing defenses have to look out for. The way Rodgers destroyed the Falcons in the Divisional Round shows exactly what Rodgers can do when on his game. For those reasons, I’ll take Aaron Rodgers over Ben Roethlisberger any day. -Svyato

If my season was on the line? The obvious choice is Big Ben due to his previous experience. There is no question in my mind in general that the Steelers are the overall better team, so why not take their QB who has worked well in tight pressure situations before. I’m not taking anything away from Rodgers, but Big Ben is just the better option to go with in a big game situation. Again, his past experience could be a deciding factor and I would choose the QB that is apparently being compared to Manning and Brady. -DJ

3) Which coach will have to provide the big speech in the locker room at halftime, Mike Tomlin or Mike McCarthy?

I do think that the Steelers will have the lead going into halftime which means Mike McCarthy will have to get his team on track and focused at halftime. It’s the Super Bowl; it’s a big game so we might get some early game jitters from the Packers. McCarthy will have to get them pumped up and get the big boys like Rodgers, Matthews, Woodson, etc. to step up and make a statement. -Svyato

The big pep talk in the locker room without a doubt comes from Mike McCarthy, because I feel as though they will be trailing the Steelers at halftime. The guidance of McCarthy then could provide the spark that the team needs to get past the Steelers. Could Green Bay win this game? Yes…nobody thought New York could defeat New England a few years ago. Anything can happen, but I do firmly believe it will be a close game with Green Bay trailing at halftime. -DJ

4) Does the Steelers previous Super Bowl success give them an advantage going in to Super Bowl XLV?

I do think knowing what the Super Bowl atmosphere will be like does give the Steelers an edge going into the game. However, it will be on the Packers to adjust to the surroundings and bring their “A” game. Yes, Pittsburgh will know what it’s like to play in the big game, which will help them at first, but as the game continues, the Packers will adjust and respond. At that point is where the Steelers have to use that experience to help them win the game. Whether or not it will is another question. -Svyato

Pretty much the same as the first question…the answer is yes. It’s an obvious advantage because the team has been there before whilst a younger Green Bay team hasn’t. The Steelers have been under the pressure of the Super Bowl, and with the lights shining bright, they have won two Super Bowls under Roethlisberger. Experience will be very helpful and can propel the Steelers to victory, but then again…who says the Packers will choke on stage? The Giants didn’t. It CAN be a factor but doesn’t guarantee a win. -DJ

5) What defense would you rather have playing for you, Steelers D or Packers D?

I personally like the Packers D. With guys like Sam Shields, Charles Woodson, they are always going to be able to pull down the ball and get the interception. With a guy like Clay Matthews you have a player who can get to the QB and make him throw the ball away before he’s ready or face the consequences. A guy like Raji will also be a huge factor in this game; he is one of the best linemen in the league who has the ability to get to the quaterback at any time. Overall, the Packers defense is a great one that can shut down any opposing offense. -Svyato

The Packers have a quality defense…but I have to go with Pittsburgh’s D. To quote the words of, The Gazette’s official website…"The Steelers own the league’s best run defence. They gave up the third-fewest rushing yards per game in league history this season (62.8).” Facts are facts…Steelers would be my pick without hesitation. -DJ

6) Where would you rank Aaron Rodgers among QBs in the league today?

I think Aaron Rodgers is easily in the top five at this point. He has the potential to throw TD passes at any time, and if that doesn’t work, he can run the ball in himself. He has a good pocket presence, a good strong throw, accuracy on that throw, has the potential to throw while on the run and plenty of other factors that make his game great. All that he’s missing is a Super Bowl ring, which he has the chance to capture today. -Svyato

To me, I don’t think Aaron Rodgers is a bad quarterback, but he’s not a top QB to me. He’s an above average player that I think has potential, but he’ll never reach the level of a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning. Also, hate to bring the name up, but he’ll never replace Favre either. Is he good? Yes. One of the best? No. He has the tools to take the Packers to the top on a few occasions, but he needs to keep developing in order to reach any level of superstardom. -DJ

7) If you’re the Packers what do you look to exploit in the Steelers D and vice versa?

If you’re the Green Bay Packers, you’re looking to take advantage in the passing game. You won’t have too much success running the football so you turn to what you do best, and that is letting Aaron Rodgers throw the football. They have a mismatch in favour of the Packers when it comes to their set of WRs vs. Pittsburgh’s DBs. Once you establish a good pass game, then I would suggest to throw some more runs into the mix. When it comes to Pittsburgh, I can’t really think of how they take advantage of the Packers defense, sorry. -Svyato 

I can’t really predict the ideas that both teams have to exploit their opposing D, but I don’t think the Steelers can be stopped…at least compared to the Packers D. They are both good, but the Steelers are arguably the best in the league, so it’ll be a lot easier exploiting Green Bay. -DJ

8) If your Mike McCarthy, are you worried about Aaron Rodgers being sacked?

If I’m Mike McCarthy I am most definitely worried about the opposing team’s pass rush getting a big sack on my QB and altering his play. As it showed in the Bears/Packers game, Rodgers’ play significantly took a turn for the worst when Julius Peppers got that big hit on him. Protect your QB, don’t let your key weapon on offense get hurt. -Svyato

If I’m Mike McCarthy, I’d be terrified for Aaron Rodgers. Being sacked 15 times this past season, he will be facing the best defense in the league against Pittsburgh, so I’d be afraid. James Harrison and Lamar Woodley, especially, will be a threat to Rodgers, and it’s going to be tough for the Packers to formulate a plot to avoid the inevitable sack attempts. -DJ

9) Which individual will have the biggest impact on Super Bowl XLV?

This is like picking the MVP; with that being said, I’ll take Clay Matthews. I think he will force Big Ben to make some questionable choices out there as well as keep Mendenhall from gaining too much ground in the run game. Matthews has been a big part of the Green Bay defense all season, and I will looking for a big game from him when it comes to crack time. -Svyato

This is a question bound to have many answers, but to me, the biggest impact always needs to come from the quarterback. Either Aaron Rodgers or Big Ben need to take a huge step up and guide their respective teams to the Vince Lombardi Trophy. You could always say a lot of other players could serve as an x factor, but I believe it will come down to the performance of either Rodgers or Big Ben that will determine the winner of the Super Bowl. -DJ

10) Who goes home with the Vince Lombardi Trophy tonight?

This is what we’ve all been waiting for, the big prediction. I’m taking the Packers to win the game 27-24. I do think it will come down to a field goal from Mason Crosby to win this one as it will most definitely be a close one. Green Bay’s defense is looking very solid going into the game and their offense has the potential to be a game changer. If they can keep Big Ben from running too much and force him to throw, they will have a good chance on defense to get the interception and give the ball back to Rodgers on offense. They also have to take advantage of the major mismatch I mentioned earlier (Green Bay WRs vs. Pittsburgh DBs), if they do, they will go home with the Lombardi Trophy. -Svyato

Ah, the big question…the winner in my eyes will be the Pittsburgh Steelers. I personally will be rooting for Green Bay because everyone loves an underdog, but being realistic the Steelers have a better chance. If Roethlisberger has a big game, and the defense steps up the way it has all season, the Packers have no chance of winning. That’s an “if,” but it’s very possible. Sometimes underdogs shock the world on the biggest stage of them all, but I don’t know how likely it is. Anything can happen, and I hope the Packers walk away with the trophy, but Pittsburgh seems to be the odds on favorite to win. -DJ

This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name, "TSD Writers, Svyato Rovenchuk and DJ Rallo Talk Super Bowl XLV." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.

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