Super Bowl XLV is less than a week away. It will only be a few more days until Aaron Rodgers gets his shot to jump out of Brett Favre’s shadow and win as many Super Bowls as Farve has in his entire career, while Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger will attempt to match the three titles won by New England’s Tom Brady. While the two quarterbacks are the biggest draw of the game, there are plenty of other aspects of the game to be excited about. The two teams feature the two best defenses in the NFL, with the Steelers giving up a measly 14.5 points-per-game, while the Packers are right behind them at 15.0.
Both defenses are built around a great pass rush, as they are also the league’s top two teams in sacks. The pressure generated by brilliant defensive schemes and elite pass rushing talents like Pittsburgh’s James Harrison and Green Bay’s Clay Matthews have made both of these defensive units an absolute terror for their opponents all year long.
The major difference in the two defenses is in the secondary. While both teams have excellent safeties, with a slight edge going to Pittsburgh with Defensive Player of the Year Troy Polamalu, on the outsides Green Bay has a huge advantage. The Packers have last year’s Defensive Player of the Year in Charles Woodson on one corner, and opposite of him is arguably the league’s most underrated player in Tramon Williams, who actually outplayed Woodson this season.
That tandem will give the Steelers’ wide receivers trouble and will force Roethlisberger to look for other options, and thus, limit the potential for a big play. Meanwhile, the Steelers will trot out Ike Davis, who is a good corner in his own right, and Bryant McFadden, who is merely average. In most cases, the Steelers strength elsewhere on the defense makes up for what they lack on the outside, but with Green Bay’s extremely talented group of receivers combined with a quarterback who can keep the play alive under pressure, the Packers should be able to move the ball through the air all night long.
The game will undoubtedly be a great Super Bowl, but in the end it is just a bad match-up for the Steelers. In three of their four losses their weakness at the cornerback position has been exploited, most notably against New England, when Tom Brady threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns. The Packers have just as many weapons as any team the Steelers have faced this year and should be able to attack the outsides at will. Expect Rodgers and the Packers to march to a tough, but somewhat comfortable, 10 point victory and claim the Lombardi Trophy. Purchase your Super Bowl XLV tickets with us at Ace!