Wow, the Packers are in the Super Bowl! This isn't a surprise obviously, due to the two weeks of non-stop media coverage, but it still doesn't quite seem real. I'm not used to my teams winning.
But we're not done yet! Sunday is the big game.
I have to say I'm feeling pretty good. I feel everything that could have gone wrong went wrong against the Bears. Penalties reared their head again. Rodgers threw a Red Zone interception (Favre-esque) which never happens. And that other interception, that was beyond a fluke; it was just miraculous. And the whole 3rd string quarterback was pretty wild too.
I don't think I see those things happening again.
So, on to Sunday. What do I see? Well, I think the Packers are the better team. Let's take a look at why we will win or why we won't win.
Why The Packers will win:
- Better team - the Pack has amazing depth. I think 1-22 or 1-53, we are easily the better team. I know that does not translate to winning necessarily, but it plays a big role. Just look at how many different guys have stepped up in the playoffs.
- Aaron Rodgers and his receivers - Yeah, I don't really need to say much about this. Rodgers is sick and so are the receivers. He can pass, run, avoid the rush, make the deep throw, make the finesse throw, get big. We have 4 great receivers and big Brett Swain waiting to get his chance in those five wideout packages.
- Stopping the run - this one isn't for certain, but if they can stop the run, they got the game. The big guys inside do pretty well, and the should get at that less than full strength o-line of Pittsburgh.
- Pressure on Big Ben - You know, I don't really think Roethlisberger has had that great of a season, pretty average in fact. We will put pressure on him from the D-line, from the linebackers, and from Chuck Woodson. If we can keep him from escaping, he will throw picks.
Why the Packers will lose:
- Special Teams - this was a huge positive against the Bears, but I'm still not sold. Crosby cannot seem to kick it deep, and a "good" kickoff spot for the Packers is like the 35. Oh, and let's not forget that offensive lineman return against New England.
- Short Yardage Situations - I know all the fans, myself included, love Kuhn, but in my opinion, the Packers have been pretty poor in short yardage situations, especially near the goal line. The Steelers had that big stand against the Jets. Look for this to be key. Getting 3 instead of 7 or having to punt from the 40 or 50 is huge in the Super Bowl.
- Tight Ends - If one put together a list of the best tight ends over the last 5 years, I don't think Heath Miller would be on many people's lists, but the guy is good. The guy is consistent. He's played in big games. And the Packers are susceptible against the Tight End, especially down the middle which is the bread and butter of Miller. If Miller gets going, those safteys cheat toward him, and Wallace is gone.
And, of course, the tight ends for the Packers are not much. Hopefully they will not be a liability.
- Drops - There is nothing like a dropped pass to kill a drive. It frustrates the fans to no end and kills momentum. I don't have to tell you that despite the greatness of the Packers receivers this season, dropsies have been a problem.
- Fumbles - I'm not sure why I put this one in. Maybe because I feel good about Rodgers not throwing an INT, but I'm leery of fumbles. I guess its from years of watching Ahman Green and now Brandon Jackson and Ryan Grant. Hold on to the ball.
- Inability to close - If the Packers let the Steelers stay in the game, they will take advantage unlike the Eagles and Bears. Dominating the game doesn't matter if you don't dominate the score board too.
What won't matter:
Experience - a non issue. These guys have all played big games before. Once you get on the field you just do your thing.
One more thing:
Go Pack Go!