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Super Bowl XLV: Green Bay Packers vs Pittsburgh Steelers
The Big Game
This 2010-2011 NFL season has brought with it all sorts of unexpected story lines. Many teams disappointed their fans by not living up to preseason expectations, while others managed to climb to the top in the face of football adversity. Finally, after a historic playoffs comes to a close, the speculation is over. The Green Bay Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers on February 6th at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas in a contest of iconic football franchise domination. The significance of these two teams playing may not be particularly obvious to the passive NFL fan. But for those of us who love the game of football and follow it closely, this is one very exciting championship match-up. These two "blue collar" teams demonstrate that defense has emerged as the renewed standard of excellence, and that consistent quarterbacking is as important as it ever has been. The match up definitely stands to be an exciting, hard-hitting, defensive football game that will likely come down to a matter of a field goal as time expires. Or who knows, maybe we will finally get a glimpse of those new NFL playoff overtime rules? I can only hope...
How They Got There
Green Bay Packers
The Packers road to the Super Bowl was not an easy one by any means. Their leader, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, in his 3rd year as a starter, demonstrated the standard of consistency and the definition of mental toughness throughout the 2010-2011 season. He led the Packers to a 10-6 record, winning the NFC wild-card spot in the playoffs. Once in the post season, Green Bay went on a historical run, demolishing three higher seeds, each game being on the road and in adverse conditions. The fact that the Packers made it to the super bowl is a testament to their great coach, Mike McCarthy. He found a way to keep players healthy and playing together, even in the midst of a mid-season concussion related injury to their on-field captain Aaron Rodgers. He and others in Packers management can also be credited with assembling an amazing defense that has become known for its hard-hitting play and tendency to score off of turnovers. Frankly, saying that the Packers are coming into the championship game on a roll would be an understatement. They have defied all odds and managed to come together more and more with each game they play. It will be interesting to see how they respond to Pittsburgh's dangerously explosive defense. Considering how they have responded already during these playoffs, I would expect nothing less of Green Bay and their coach than to start firing right out of the gate, utilizing their ultra-consistent quarterback and their top-of-the-line receiving corps to burn the Steelers deep.
The Steelers road to Super Bowl XLV was made possible by its traditional approach to hard-hitting, smash-mouth, run-you-over football. Even when their quarterback, "Big Ben" Rothlisberger started the season with a 4 game suspension, the team quickly adjusted its focus on the run game. This strategy was very effective and it gave Pittsburgh the edge on opponents especially towards the end of the season when Big Ben began playing his best. The Steelers accumulated a 12-4 record on their way to becoming AFC North champions and defeating the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets in the 2nd and 3rd round of the playoffs. Watching both playoff games, you could tell that Pittsburgh would not be denied their chance at appearing in their 3rd super bowl in a matter of 6 years. They routinely imposed their will on other teams, often gaining the upper hand by landing hard hits and controlling the pace of the game by smashing the ball up the middle with their running game. The only thing more impressive than their defense was Big Ben's ability to stay calm under pressure and convert important plays in critical situations. And although it is Pittsburgh's defense and tenacity that got them to another super bowl, you can be sure that going into the game their biggest asset is their unshakable, experienced, rock of a quarterback. Whether you like him or not, Big Ben knows how to win football games.
Who will win Super Bowl XLV?
The Pre-Game Match Up
Whether you are a die-hard fan, rooting for your favorite blue-blooded American football team, or if you are just watching for the clever commercials, super bowl 45 is shaping up to be a great viewing experience. The combination of hard-hitting defense and a high level of quarterback play should give us an exceptional game of football. Both of these teams seem to be on exceptional streaks coming into the big game. The overall deciding factor will likely be their ability to control the tempo of the game and retain possession of the football. The team that can most successfully stick to their game plan and refrain from making crucial mistakes will likely win, but it is hard to say which team will rise considering that they both undeniably have earned the right to play in the big game. I am looking forward to watching, as I hope you all are. Happy Super Bowl Season everyone!
Super Bowl XLV Commecials
After the dust settled at Dallas Cowboy Stadium on Super Bowl Sunday, the Green Bay Packers were left standing with the Lombardi Trophy held high over their heads. Young quarterback Aaron Rodgers led his team to a 31-25 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers and was awarded the games MVP award for his outstanding performance. Super Bowl XLV set the record for the most television viewers in American history, and Cowboy Stadium set the record for most tickets sold to the game (although they fell short of securing the attendance record because of a temporary seating issue).
The 2011 Super Bowl was a game that will not soon be forgotten. This years celebration set a new standard for the tradition of the Super Bowl which will continue to grow in the United States and hopefully throughout the world.