Am I crazy or does it feel like it was just summer and NFL teams were in training camp preparing for the season? Five months later and we are on the cusp of another Super Bowl. The conference championships are over and now it’s time for the big game. Did your favorite team make it?
Time: Sunday at 6:30 PM EST on FOX
Last time they played: December 20th, 2009 – Pittsburgh 37, Green Bay 36
Prediction: Just like numerous other playoff match ups, these teams are extremely similar in multiple areas. The Packers have a slightly better offense, but the Steelers have a much better defense. Both teams have field general quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers (28 TD and 11 INT) and Ben Roethlisberger (17 TD and 5 INT). Both teams have off-the-hook wideouts in Greg Jennings (1265 yards and 12 TD) and Mike Wallace (1257 and 10 TD). But, the glaring difference is in the running game.
The Steelers have a rugged, do it all running back in Rashard Mendenhall (1273 yards and 13 TD), but Green Bay’s running back is a question mark. Due to injuries, rookie James Starks has emerged as the starter and has been hit or miss so far. He has rushed for 123, 66 and 74 so far in the playoffs and the Pack will need a big game from Starks if they are going to beat the Steelers. For that to happen, they offensive line will have to find a way to make some holes in Pittsburgh’s defensive line which only allowed an average of 62 yards rushing in during the regular season.
This will be a close game, but I think that Pittsburgh just has a better team overall. Even without Big Ben for the first four games, the Steelers only lost four games all season and have looked pretty good in the playoffs. Green Bay barely made the playoffs and has been dominant at times, but the Steelers will win this game in a barn-burner 35-27.