The final football game of the 2010 season features a match-up between two of the NFL’s most storied franchises — the NFC champion Green Bay Packers and the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
I’m not sure what the odds are, but if I were a betting man (which I’m not) my money would be on the Steelers. The Packers suffered a ton of injuries this year, and only snuck into the playoffs on the final weekend of the season. As the sixth seed, they’ve recorded three consecutive victories on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears. That gives them plenty of momentum. But the Steelers have momentum too. Seeded second heading into the playoffs, they recorded workmanlike home victories over the Baltimore Ravens and New York Jets to reach the Superbowl.
So why do I give the edge to the Steelers?
First, this year the AFC was simply a superior conference to the NFC. That means the Steelers are battle-tested, while the Packers have played fewer top-notch teams this year.
Second, the Packers owe a lot of their post-season success to their revived running game with rookie back James Stark. But the Steeler defence is dominant against the run. Aaron Rodgers is a great QB, and the Packers are more than capable of moving the ball through the air. But Pittsburgh’s pass defence is exceptional too. The Packer’s have a dominant defense too. I just don’t think they’ll be able to shut-down the Pittsburgh offense led by QB Ben Roethlisberger to the same extent.
Third, with two Superbowl triumphs in the last five seasons, the Steelers have loads of big game experience. Green Bay, on the other hand, last played in the Superbowl in 1997.
Finally, as a team, the Steelers are 6-1 in Superbowls. That’s a pretty incredible stat. When they make it to the title game they tend to win it. That’s why I give the nod to Pittsburgh.
Superbowl XLV is being played at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington Texas. As the NFL previously announced, the roof will be closed for the game. Kick off on CTV is at 5:30 p.m.