Monday, January 24, 2011

Super Bowl XLV: Packers vs. Steelers

After an exciting Championship Sunday this weekend, the Super Bowl has been set, as the Green Bay Packers outlasted the beat up Chicago Bears, while the Steelers roughed up the Jets. The Pack will appear in their first Super Bowl since 1998 and the Steelers will try to win their 3rd Super Bowl in the last 6 seasons.

I wasn't really surprised with the outcome of the NFC Championship game. The only thing that did surprise me about that game is how the Bears hung around after Jay Cutler got knocked out of the game. Aaron Rogers didn't have a game to remember, going 17-30 with 244 yards, 0 TD's and 2 Int's, and the Packers didn't get much of a running game. James Starks led the charge with 74 yards on 22 carries, but that kind of rushing output isn't going to get it done vs. a team like Pittsburgh's. What did work for Green Bay though, was that rock-solid defense, which was a little spotty towards the end of the season in the early rounds of the playoffs. They showed up on Sunday though, and caused headaches for every single part of the Chicago offense. The Green Bay defense picked off Chicago 3 times, and didn't allow 100 yards rushing to their dynamic duo of Chester Taylor and Matt Forte. Their D was definitely on Sunday, and it really bailed out their Green Bay's suspect offense. I know he's had a very up-and-down season, but I'd really look into using Brandon Jackson a lot more in the Super Bowl. He seems like he's more of a "home run" threat than Starks is, and is much more adept in the passing game. Aaron Rogers seems more at ease with him back there as well.

In the other game, the Steelers got off to a tremendous start, putting up a 24-3 lead by halftime, then just kind of cruised in the 2nd half to the victory. The Jets made some noise in the 4th quarter, but couldn't get into the endzone when they needed to, and the Steelers big lead prevailed. Like Aaron Rogers, Ben Roethisberger had a horrible game, throwing 2 picks with no touchdowns and threw for just 133 yards. Granted, he was going up against the best pass defense in the league, you still expect more in a championship game out of a 2-time Super Bowl winner. Rashard Mendenhall made up for the lack of passing game by going for 127 yards and a score on the ground, and really helping Pittsburgh control the clock in the 2nd half. Mark Sanchez threw the ball pretty well, but the Jets just couldn't muster up a running game against the Steelers defensive front, and that's what really cost them... I really don't know who I'm taking in this game quite yet, as both teams seem to have some weaknesses, and appear pretty darn even on paper. If Green Bay can get a running game going though, I think it could be their year.

Much More Super Bowl Coverage to Come Here @ The Bay Area Sports Journal

No comments: