Rodgers, Driver will lead Packers to victory over Steelers

Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers fields questions about Sunday’s game in Arlington, Tx.


There isn’t much more one could ask for out of a Super Bowl match up. This year viewers get the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, two teams with storied histories, national fan bases and star quarterbacks.

In six of the last 11 Super Bowls, the game’s most valuable player came from the game’s most valuable position. The outcome of this game will have a lasting effect on the leaders of the huddle.

Much of the hype from Pittsburgh’s side centers on Ben Roethlisberger and how a win could be redemption for him. It was just about this time last year when everyone learned that he got busy in a Burger King bathroom. Media-types run with this narrative because it’s their job and he made it convenient for the agenda they like to continually push. But is it really interesting?

No. But the fact that if the Steelers win, Big Ben will have three Super Bowl rings and not yet be 30-years-old is interesting. The possibility that a Steelers’ win makes Big Ben a surefire pick for the pro football hall of fame is more interesting.

Seeing as his team has been to the Super Bowl before and how much of the offense goes through him, the pressure is really on Roethlisberger. This Steelers team is not like the first one he won a Super Bowl with. That team had a dominant rushing attack featuring Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis. This year, the onus has been on Roethlisberger to create plays himself on third downs whether it be buying time with his legs or throwing the football.

One the other side, Aaron Rodgers is more or less just enjoying the ride. The Packers didn’t even know if they’d be in the playoffs two weeks before the regular season ended, and the entire reason they’re in the Super Bowl right now is because of B.J. Raji’s interception return for a touchdown against Caleb Hanie.

The Packers have been full of surprises this year, from running back Ryan Grant going down on week one, to James Starks controlling the game against the Eagles in round one of the playoffs. A Super Bowl win would be just another obstacle that wasn’t tough enough for the Packers.

The Game: There haven’t been many spots in this game where I see an edge, but this is what you get with evenly matched teams. Two guys I like to have good games are Donald Driver for the Packers and Heath Miller for the Steelers. Last week the Bears kept their strong safety back allowing for the slant route to be open all game, if the Steelers secondary does the same then Driver could have a big day.

The Packers defensive secondary has been good at handling one or two receivers, but hasn’t been good against tight ends. Miller is a favorite target of Roethlisberger and will likely have his way over the middle of the field.

The baseball fan in me will not let me forget where this game is being played, which is indoors in Jerry’s World, the Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Tx.

So many times in football analysis, context is forgotten. Outside in freezing weather, there isn’t a quarterback I’d take ahead of Roethlisberger. In a dome, there is, and he’s standing on the other sideline. Rodgers is the last guy you want to face in a dome. All year we heard about how good the Falcons are and how nobody can beat them at home. Rodgers didn’t just beat them, he destroyed them.

*Nick’s Pick: Packers. * *
Staff Picks*

Arturo Rodriguez: I am picking the Pittsburgh Steelers, even though I like the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. I expect the Steelers to win the Super Bowl because they’ve got the experience, toughness, Big Ben and Troy Polamalu. Steelers are supposed to win this game, but if the Packers win I wouldn’t be surprised; they’ve been playing great football.

Ryan Larimore: It’s tough to pick against a team like the Steelers in the Superbowl, but I think Aaron Rodgers is just that good. The Packers have some great weapons on offense, and will match-up tough against that dreaded “steel curtain.” Brett who? Rodgers needs this win so everyone can forget about Favre. This should be one of the better games of all time, expect someone to win by a field goal. Green Bay Packers by three.

Jerime Crane: Although I would like to see the Packers win because Aaron Rodgers is the man, I think the Steelers will take it this year because for three reasons: 1 – They have been here recently and they are the better overall team. 2 – Ben Roethlisberger is one of those guys who always finds a way to win. 3 – The Steel curtain is going to be too much for the Packers rushing attack, and the Pack will be forced in to throwing all night. I see a MVP for Polamalu or some other Steelers defensive back.

Theodora Robinson-Jones My Super Bowl pick is the Steelers for a lot of reasons. 1 – Because I’ve been a Steelers fan since birth. 2 – I have a lot of faith in the Pittsburgh defense and Big Ben. 3 – The Steelers have a great running and passing game with receivers like Mike Wallace and running backs like Rashard Mendenhall. 4 – Pittsburgh may have lost Pouncey but their first-string backup did well against the Jets, despite one bad snap. We also have an experienced third-string center that will do well if he’s needed. 5 – Must I go on?

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