Alright everyone, it’s about that time. Superbowl Sunday is here and we are less than 12 hours away from crowning a new Superbowl Champion. The stage has been set and the teams have been preparing for what I think will be an incredible game. Over the past two weeks I have listened to the radio, watched ESPN and taken part in many debates that have led me to a final decision on who I believe will come out victorious this evening. This was not an easy pick, in fact this was probably the hardest pick for me this entire postseason, as it should be. I really tried to weigh out the options before making my pick and here is how I did it.
In big time games, you look for players who can make big time plays in big time moments. Today, there are plenty of players who can do that. On offense alone we have have multiple guys who have not only shown they can step up when the time is right, but know exactly what they have to do in order to propel their team to victory. Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger are both playing excellent football. Roethlisberger is now 10-2 in the postseason and 2-0 in the Superbowl, so experience is definitely on his side. Big Ben is tough to bring down and knows exactly how to orchestrate scoring drives. Rodgers is playing in his first Superbowl, but don’t let that fool you. He is on fire right now and tearing through defenses left and right. While Rodgers had a shaky second half in the NFC Championship game against the Bears, he dominated in the Georgia Dome and I look for him to bounce back in a big way and play like he did against the Falcons.
Both teams are stacked with receivers as well. The Steelers have one of the fastest guys in the NFL in Mike Wallace, who proved to be a major deep threat this entire season. Hines Ward is not only a veteran of the game, but also a Superbowl Champion. Ward is one of the toughest receivers in the game today and has become as close to a sure thing in big games as anyone else in the league. The Packers aren’t too shabby themselves, with Greg Jennings and Donald Driver. Both of these guys are elite and make huge plays when necessary. If you leave either of them open for one second, they will punish you.
Tonight, we’re about to watch the top two defenses in the postseason this year. We will be watching this seasons defense player of the year in Troy Polamalu and runner up in Clay Matthews, last seasons defensive player of the year in Charles Woodson, and 2008’s defensive player of the year in James Harrison. Both teams are stacked and everyone is expecting a defensive battle all night long.
When trying to choose between the two, I considered using the experience argument. The Steelers are 2-0 in the Superbowl with Tomlin and Roethlisberger and seem to be the easy choice here. With that being said though, as I’ve said many times over the course of the playoffs, I believe that experience is out the window when playing a team who had to overcome game after game on the road. In 2007, no one thought the Giants could stop the undefeated Patriots. Big Blue had to play at Tampa Bay, at Dallas and at Green Bay in order to make it to the Superbowl and that momentum proved to be enough. In this years situation, I think momentum is key. Green Bay has won 5 straight road games to end up here and I don’t see the Steelers taking that away from them. While Pittsburgh is a great team and one of the greatest defenses of all time, I am going with my gut on this one.
Superbowl XLV Champions: Green Bay Packers, 28-24
Can’t wait to hear what you think of my prediction and also, what your picks are!