Packers vs. Steelers in Super Bowl XLV – Get Ready for a Shootout

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Roethlisberger and Rodgers are too good to be contained in Super Bowl XLV.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers rank No. 1 and 2, respectively, in points allowed this season. So why do I feel that Super Bowl XLV will be a shootout?

The biggest reason I’m leaning toward a total score that easily surpasses the current over/under of 45.5 is the quarterbacks. Both have something to prove. Ben Roethlisberger is already known as a big-time quarterback, but wants to reestablish himself after rape accusations tarnished his reputation. Aaron Rodgers took the next step up the quarterback ladder this postseason, but wants to get all the way to the top. The only way to do that is win a Super Bowl.

The speedy Packers receivers thrive indoors (besides the Lions game) and create matchup problems for any defense, even a defense as stout as the Steelers. The Packers receivers are overshadowing a talented Pittsburgh group, led by the scary-good Mike Wallace.

Both defenses showed cracks in their conference title games, especially in the secondary. The Packers left a few receivers open downfield in the first half, but were bailed out by Jay Cutler’s inaccuracy. Then the Bears third-string quarterback led a second-half rally by connecting on long passes to Johnny Knox and Earl Bennett. Mark Sanchez finished with a QB rating of 102.2 and threw for about 175 yards in the second half against the Steelers.

I just get the feeling that once both of these offenses ditch the run and start spreading the field (probably sometime early in the second quarter), we’re going to be in for an aerial show. Of course, there are several reasons why I am probably wrong:

  • Both team’s pass rushes can force any passing game off track. The Steelers will be especially vulnerable with four of their five opening day lineman injured.
  • Mike Wallace is “scary-good?” Huh? He had one catch for six yards against the Jets.
  • The Packers receivers thrive indoors? What? They couldn’t even reach the end zone against the Lions.
  • Neither team scored an offensive touchdown in the second half of their respective title games. Both quarterbacks didn’t even pass for 100 yards in the second half.

Did I just talk myself out of my shootout prediction…nah. These quarterbacks are too good and their receivers are too talented to be held under 20 points.

I reserve the right to change my mind, but I’m seeing a lot of passing yards and at least seven touchdowns combined next Sunday.

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Adam Czech is a freelance reporter and a Packers fan living in the Twin Cities. Follow Adam on Twitter. Read more of Adam\\\'s writing on the Packers here.

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  • http://www.wcoffensive.blogspot.com/ Tom Freeman

    I don’t see a shootout. That would be a replay of sorts of the 2009 game. Both defenses are playing MUCH better since then. The Steelers were missing Polamalu in that game, and he is a playmaker. The Packers, despite the injuries, have upgraded their defense and are playing better. (Just consider that Jarret Bush was a starting DB in that game.)

    • http://allgbp.com Jersey Al

      Right now, I’m leaning towards a score in the 20’s for both teams…

    • ray reynolds

      Yes but Troy’s still hurt. I’ve never seen him miss as many plays as he has lately.

  • Pete Kliman

    The score will be hard to predict.However,one thing is certain ,the QB’s will be under great pressure.This could keep the score down as hurried throws lead to int’s and short gains. We do have an advantage here as our rec.are excellent in YAC.

  • Taryn

    IMO,there is no way the Steelers ditch the run game early and try and go pass for pass with the Packers.
    The best defense for the Packers is to bait,as best possible,a run version of a bend don’t break pass defense and get them to feel secure in attempting the pass.
    Yes,I hear the typing going amok already.

    IMO,the Jets could have done a much better job against Mendenhall early but,they seemed to be more directed to stripping the ball instead of tackling which would have changed the “made to look easy running on them”.

    The Jets,due to an offense of much less quick strike ability than the Packers,needed to or felt a strong need to create turnovers via Pitts run game for a better chance for scoring.

    The Packers offense does not impel the defense to create a run turnover but can play the run hard enough to get Ben,which he will do,hold the ball and toss the INT or fumble due to a pending or absolute coverage sack.

    We haven’t played panic defense all year,it would be a shame to put stripping Mendenhall over simple tackling as the Jets did and didn’t.

    If there is one thing of a drastic change from last game to what the Packers are this game,is we don’t let teams jump out big on us as last year.IDK for sure but didn’t Pitt go up 14-0 in 5 minutes last game.

  • Adam Czech

    A shootout doesn’t have to be 38-35. A final of 28-24 with both qbs racking up yards easily surpasses the over/under and hits my guess of seven total TDs.

    • Taryn

      I’m expecting 3 TDs on pick6-INTs and I’m feeling 2 coming via the turn you inside out W & W boys.
      Packers 23-17.

  • Ryan

    Oh man, look at this . The Steelers have their own comic strip now at “Fans N’at” at http://fansnat.com (or steelercomics.com).

  • BubbaOne

    The shootout will be by the Packers (31)and the shoot foot will be by the Steelers (16). Here’s how we score 31:
    -Steelers DB’s mediocre and Polamalo at 75%
    -AR is the best blitz passer in the NFL
    -MM’s game planning
    -Bjax blitz pickup and catching screen passes
    -some semblance of a run game w/ Starks
    -turf field gives Packers WR’s the edge
    Why Steelers score 16:
    -They didn’t look good in either playoff game; could easily have lost both
    -They abandon the run b/c AR and Co. score early and often
    -Can’t win a shootout w/ that O-Line esp w/ Pouncey out
    -Our Db’s are better than their WR’s
    -Dom Capers game planning

    I don’t think the Steelers can score 4 times on our D. I give them one TD, two FG’s and a third FG is scored b/c of a Packer turnover deep in their own territory.

  • http://httl bill from jersey

    i think the steelers oline will get ben in trouble all day….if we play our game its no contest,i was afraid of baltimore…not pitt…..packers 31 -17