Almost immediately after the Pittsburgh Steelers sealed the deal against the New York Jets in the AFC Championship game last weekend, the Green Bay Packers were given the edge against Ben Roethlisberger and company in Super Bowl XLV.
Obviously, the -2.5 point spread is a bit premature considering the fact that there are many things that could happen between now and Super Bowl Sunday. One of the main concerns before the Super Bowl will be the health of the players on both the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The two players that made headlines on both teams in terms of injuries over this past week have been perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers and All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey. Apparently, Rogers has a sore shoulder from when he rushed for his only touchdown against the Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship game while Pouncey has a broken ankle that he suffered in the AFC Championship game against the New York Jets.
Despite the shoulder injury being a major concern for the Packers, head coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t really said much about his quarterback’s health issue which leads people to believe that either it is no big deal or they want to keep the media out of it completely.
Even if Aaron Rodgers is banged up heading into Super Bowl Sunday, the quarterback is as tough as they come and has learned from playing behind three-time NFL MVP Brett Favre that you can play even if you’re arm is falling off.
In terms of this matchup, the one thing that everyone will be talking about is the defenses of both of these extremely talented football teams. Even though the Steelers have lived and died by their play on the defensive side of the football, the Packers defense could be just as good if not better than Pittsburgh’s.
Along with having a dominant defense led by Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson, the Green Bay Packers also have one of the best offenses in the league with Aaron Rodgers being arguably the best quarterbacks in this league today.
With that being said, the real matchup here will be Aaron Rodgers against lockdown defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers. If Rodgers can get the best of Troy Polamalu and company, I believe the Packers should cruise to victory, but if he struggles and is a good chance he might as the running game will be virtually nonexistent, this game could come down to the wire with yet another thrilling finish in the Super Bowl.
Another thing to watch for is the running game of the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Green Bay Packers defense. Last weekend running back Rashard Mendenhall had a big day against the New York Jets defense and might be key to victory for the Steelers against the Packers.
It will be interesting to see how this pans out for both teams, but I am convinced that the Green Bay Packers are the better team and will look to prove that point with a win over one of the most successful NFL franchises in the league on Super Bowl Sunday.