Friday, February 4, 2011


Green Bay have turned it on the last few weeks, first needing to win to clinch a playoff spot (the lowly no. 6 seed), then taking a road trip to the Superbowl via Atlanta and Chicago. The thing that has impressed the most about the Pack this season though, is that they've done it all with an injury toll that would see a top 4 NRL side finish near enough to last.

Pittsburgh looked the business from the get-go this season. Missing Roethlisberger for the first 4 games, they still found a way to win 3 out of those 4, the loss to Baltimore no disgrace at all. It was then that I decided that the $12 on the 'Burgh was just too good to resist. They had all the ingredients back then, and they still have them now.

Green Bay are certainly a chance in this but the one thing the Steelers have shown this season is that you just cannot run on them. The Packers uncovered James Starks in the latter stages of the season as their running backs fell one by one, but I predict that he's going nowhere against this rushing defense. And that leaves it all in the hand of Aaron Rodgers; I'm not saying he can't do it pretty much all by himself, but it makes life a lot tougher for him with no run.

At half time, I'll be smashing this to the sounds of the Black Eyed Peas:

Yep, this is just about worth giving up a Monday at work...

I might be biased here, but I think Green Bay are false favourites. The Steelers are proven playoff/Superbowl warriors and they've had that sniff about them since before I backed them after week 4. The Packers smashed an underwhelming Atlanta, but then, after a couple of early strikes against a better defense in the Bears, came up with not much for the rest of the game. If Cutler wasn't injured, and Chicago weren't down to their 3rd string QB, I'd say the Bears at the very least get that Conference Final into overtime. I will also argue that the Steelers have played better teams, or at least better playoff teams, the last two weeks. In their second half against Baltimore (when down 21-7 at the half), they monstered a physical Ravens side all over the park. Against a Jets side who had just rolled the Patriots, they absolutely smashed them in the first half. As the Jets mounted a spirited comeback, they had 1st and goal at the Steelers 1 yd line. They ran 4 times. With two gun running backs in Tomlinson and Greene, they still couldn't get in for the touchdown. That epitomises a Championship outfit. Not to mention they've won Superbowls recently in 2005 and 2008 with some familiar faces. Another big point for me is that the Roth is much harder to get on the ground than Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Todd Collins or Caleb Hanie. All that said, Rodgers could bring the Pack home on his back...he is that good...

It promises to be one of the better Superbowls, so enjoy the game folks, whether you have a Superbowl RDO or you're catching the replay, or you're working a half day and going home at half time to watch it off IQ... I like how the Packers have done it, Mike McCarthy is surely Coach of the Year with daylight 2nd and Raheem Morris 3rd (next year Bucs!)...but head, heart and Betfair account says Steelers all the way!!!