The last time we’ve ever seen a Superbowl rematch was 1994 as the Cowboys took on the Bills. Cowboys won both Superbowls and the Bills choking curse continued to live on. In the start of week 11, I haven’t seen a time that it was this close of happening. The Packers are clear favorites to go to the Superbowl, unless something dramatic happens. They have virtually already clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Steelers, on the other hand, are in all likelihood a wildcard contender this year as they are one game behind the Ravens and the Ravens have the tie-breaker edge. So it would be like the Packers vs. Steelers last year except nearly flipped 180.
The only teams that can match-up against the Packers in the NFC are the Saints and Bears. In fact, I actually thought the Bears had a great shot of beating the Packers in the regular season, if not the post-season the way they were playing football around Jay Cutler. Now, their entire season is up in the air, and it’s questionable whether they will even make the playoffs. As seen, the Saints can go toe-to-toe with the Packers. But if they meet again, it will be not in a dome, it will be most likely cold, and those are all areas the Saints don’t excel in. It’s just hard seeing that happen. I know a lot of people are going to ask me about the 49ers, but I believe the 9ers just match up terribly against the Packers. Their offense is solid but nothing close to explosive and Rodgers and his 10,000 options would really expose that defense.
The Steelers have a higher hill to climb than the Packers, as they won’t be able to get home-field advantage (unless they face the 6th seed) and will have to play in the wildcard game. However, this team is built for climbing hills. They’re very experienced and they know how to bounce back from anything. The Raiders, Broncos or Chargers (I’m guessing Raiders) will play them in that game. The Raiders are a tough match-up for the Steelers. They’re much better off if it they can losing a few games to face the Texans….we’ll see how that works out, but still, the Steelers are more elite than the Raiders. Then, as it seems, they will face the Ravens, a team that’s beaten them twice. Honestly, I don’t know why they did other than the fact that Steelers weren’t 100 percent into those games. I mean the first game was obvious the Steelers’ minds weren’t in it to win it, and then the second game they came off an emotional win against the Patriots. Not trying to sugar coat Raven’s performances, but the Steelers match-up in almost every spot better. I’d say Raven’s defense is better by a few inches or two, but Steelers’ offense is in another battlefield than the Ravens. Big Ben is an elite QB with some of the best and fastest WRS/TES in the game, plus he also has a solid running game as well. It’s almost a flawless offense if you ask me. On the other hand, the Ravens offense is up and down. Joe Flacco isn’t elite. He doesn’t have the poised to win the big game and even though his WRS are talented, he doesn’t throw well to them. Inconsistencies and choking will not win any team a Superbowl; I don’t care how great your defense is. As a big Patriots fan, it’s hard to say this, but because I’m saying it that should show you that the Steelers are a very great football team, the Steelers will beat the Patriots again to get to the Superbowl. Like I said before, the Steelers are a complete team. The Patriots are far from that. They have one of the best QBS to ever play the game, but he doesn’t have the supporting cast needed on offense. He has everything great for the 10-20 yard throws, but when you’re talking 40+, he has nobody. If you take the short-routes out of Brady’s passing game, put pressure on him, there’s simply nobody to throw to. It’s almost kind of easy to stop the Patriots passing offense. While the Patriots running game has improved, the Steelers love stopping the run and the last game they played the Patriots didn’t even dare to run on the Steelers, making the offense very predictable and vanilla. On the other side of the ball, the Patriots defense has improved…but some people are acting like they’re the next Steel Curtain. Not even close. They’ve given up just 20 points in the last two game, but against who? Oh right, Mark Sanchez and Tyler Placko, two QBS who don’t have the kind of arm to spread out the field. However, Big Ben has the arm and he has the WRS that can beat man and if you play zone they have experienced players who can find the zones. The way the Steelers complied that gameplan was just utterly brilliant and their execution was flawless. Bill Bellichick is hard to out-coach twice, but this is just a personnel miss-match that I believe Bill Bellichick cannot do anything about.
The last question remaining now that I’ve established why these teams will make it to the big game in February, it’s time to answer. The Packers style in a dome is hard to stop, one of the main reasons why they beat the Steelers last year. However, the other reason was because the Steelers secondary was a flaw in their defense. This year they are playing much, much better. There is no such thing as running the ball against the Steelers, especially when the Packers have a little running game to begin with, and the Packers also have a flaw protecting the QB. The Steelers love to blitz and they get pressure on QBS fast. The Packers defense has been improving but it’s nowhere near their defense last year, and the Steelers are playing great on the offensive side on the ball. If you were wondering if I was favoring the Steelers in this game, then you are wondering correctly. The Steelers, if everything holds up as I predicted, will beat the Packers and hand them their first lost of the season in the game that matters the most.
Let’s see how accurate I am, hold me on this column. Until then, have a fun weekend and enjoy the games.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Baltimore Ravens, ESPN, New England Patriots, NFL, Packers, Steelers