2011 NFL Super Bowl: How the Youthful Packers Bettered the Seasoned Steelers

Jonathan HuskerCorrespondent IFebruary 15, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Aaron Rodgers #12 and Clay Matthews #52 of the Green Bay Packers of the Green Bay Packers holds the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

A week has passed since Super Bowl XLV. The hype over the Green Bay Packers' 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers has died down, as fans and teams alike focus their attention on the CBA talks. Yet, there still is a story behind the Steelers loss to the Packers.

How could the Steelers experienced squad lose to the Packers youthful group? Is this the start of an interesting trend? Is the youth better than the veteran?

All season long, the Packers received attention for the success that they had with a young team. The Packers has many young players who are the stars of the franchise.

These are some of the young players who headlined the Packers unit in 2010:

- Aaron Rodgers, QB 27

- James Starks, HB 24

- Greg Jennings, WR 27

- James Jones, WR 26

- Jordy Nelson, WR 25

- Jermichael Finley, TE 23

- Clay Matthews, OLB 24

- B.J. Raji, DT 24

- Tramon Williams, CB 27

The young faces of the Packers guarantee that as long as they are with Green Bay, they will be contributors to the success that the Packers want to build on from the 2010 season.

In comparison, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a relatively older squad, especially on defense. This was the Pittsburgh Steelers starting defense in 2010:

- James Farrior, ILB 36

- Aaron Smith, DE 35

- Casey Hampton, NT 34

- James Harrison, OLB 33

- Brett Keisel, DE 32

- Ryan Clark, FS 31

- Ike Taylor, CB 31

- Troy Polamalu, SS 30

- Bryant McFadden, CB 29

- LaMarr Woodley, OLB 26

- Lawrence Timmons, ILB 25

With only three players under 30 years-old, the Steelers defense is about as old of a defense as you will find. However, the Steelers offense has taken a refreshingly younger twist over the past few years.

These were some of the stars of the Steelers offense in 2010:

- Ben Roethlisberger, QB 28

- Hines Ward, WR 34

- Mike Wallace, WR 24

- Emmanuel Sanders, WR 23

- Antonio Brown, WR 22

- Rashard Mendenhall, HB 23

- Maurkice Pouncey, C 21

Hines Ward's name is the only one that stands out as being an older veteran. Roethlisberger is relatively young, and the rest of these players are all under 24 years-old. The Steelers defense must soon make that transformation into a younger group.

Unfortunately for the Steelers, that transformation may be forced upon them rather soon.

The younger men got the best of the older veterans in Super Bowl XLV. That is not to say that rookies are better than veterans in general, but a young player can perform at a level similar to or greater than an experienced veteran.

If you don't believe me, watch the highlights of Superbowl XLV. The youthful Packers managed to better the seasoned Steelers. 


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