Sunday’s game too close to call

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February 1, 2011
Thursday, Feb. 3
February 3, 2011

For the past several days, I’ve been asked the same question over and over again.

It’s been asked on Facebook, through text messages and even in person, because yes, people do still communicate through face-to-face interaction on rare occasions.

So I guess I’ll answer it here and hope that I’ll get it settled once and for all.

I have no clue who is going to win the Super Bowl.

It’s truly too close to call.

If I were a betting man, I’d bet on … no one, because I couldn’t make a definitive pick either way.

Let’s break down the teams and see if we can find some sort of clarity in this otherwise murky situation.

The Packers earned their spot in the big game by winning three-straight road games.

The strength of Green Bay’s team is obviously Aaron Rodgers, who with each passing day is making the team’s decision to part ways with Brett Favre look fabulous.

They have a brilliant core of receivers to compliment Rodgers and they also play hard-nosed, stout defense to keep their opponents off the scoreboard.

I said all season they were far and away the NFC’s best team, even when they were struggling just to get into the playoffs in the latter weeks of the season.

On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Steelers – the most successful franchise in NFL history.

Where the Packers have a more finesse style, the Steelers are bruisers, using a sound rushing game to punch their opponents in the mouth, wearing them down for the second halves of games.

Teams trying to give them a dose of their own medicine? Think again – the Steelers have the best rushing defense in the NFL, which forces their opponents into third-and-long situations and usually punting situations.

Under center, they have Ben Roethlisberger, who might go down as the most successful quarterback of this generation.

At just 28-years-old, Big Ben has already won two Super Bowls and will be going for his third on Sunday, a feat that would put him in some rare air that only Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw have ever breathed.

A win in this game would likely make Roethlisberger a sure-fire Hall of Famer and would definitely thrust him into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks – a club he’s quietly avoided to this point in his career.

So with all of that said, I believe the game’s outcome will come down to two things.

The first factor will be Pittsburgh’s ability to halt Green Bay’s passing attack.

If the Steelers have any weakness whatsoever, it would be their depth in the secondary. The AFC Champions lost to the only two dominant passing teams that they played all season – the Saints and the Patriots with New England dropping 39 points on them in their November matchup.

If Rodgers gets rolling and keeps that trend up, it could be a pretty long game for the only team in NFL history with six Super Bowl titles.

The way the Steelers will likely plan to combat the Packers’ offense is the second key to the game – the Packers’ rush defense against the ground and pound offense.

Pittsburgh sometimes kills six, seven or even eight minutes on any given drive, stretching the chains with their tough and physical running game.

Against the Jets, Pittsburgh had 150 yards rushing … in just the first half, which allowed them to run three times the amount of plays as their opponent.

Green Bay’s front is usually up to the challenge, but then again, so is the Jets’ and that didn’t matter, so stopping the run must be of utmost importance to the Packers if they hope to take home the big prize in Dallas.

So with all of that said, my best guess is both teams will use their bye weeks wisely and will come up with sound game plans to fix their weaknesses.

That makes this game darn near impossible to predict.

But it’s no fun unless I give a prediction, so if I had to guess, I’d say the Packers’ speed on the Dallas turf will be too much to overcome, giving Green Bay a 31-27 victory.

I truly could see it going either way, though.

Which ultimately makes for a great Super Bowl.

There, your question has been answered.