Question of the Day: Who will win the Super Bowl? [Updated]
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
More than any Super Bowl in recent years, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers are remarkably evenly matched. They both have explosive offenses and dominant defenses, and each has a quarterback who's among the five best in the league. Fittingly, I see the game being very close and hinging on one or two plays, or maybe a turnover.
I have to give the Steelers the edge based on their Super Bowl experience. Whereas Aaron Rodgers picked up his first postseason victory this year, Ben Roethlisberger already has two rings. As long as Roethlisberger doesn't hang on to the ball too long, and he avoids the big interception, I see the Steelers winning, 28-24.
Steve Svekis, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Aaron Rodgers will continue his torrid ascendancy to the top of the NFL's quarterback class with a Joe Montana-like mix of precision passing and smart, devastating runs in key spots. The Packers have averaged 30 points a game in the playoffs, but the Green Bay defense has been just as impressive, forcing 16 turnovers and registering 17 sacks in the last five games.
As if things weren't difficult enough for the Steelers and their injury-riddled offensive line, fine rookie center Maurkice Pouncey is extremely doubtful to play. At some point that has to catch up with a team.
If anything, the indoor setting should only help Green Bay, with its speed and depth among its wide receivers and in the pass rush. If James Harrison scores another Super Bowl touchdown, however, all bets are off. Packers 34, Steelers 17.
[Updated at 12:08 p.m.:
Kevin Van Valkenburg, Baltimore Sun
Are you ready to live in a world where the Pittsburgh Steelers have seven Super Bowl trophies? Where Ben Roethlisberger is considered Tom Brady's equal? Because that's where we'll be Sunday night.
I'm not sure I'm ready. I don't know that I can handle the obnoxious claim that "no one believed in the Steelers," especially because just uttering that statement implies I should be ashamed if I doubted a team whose quarterback got himself suspended the first four games of the year.
But I'd better get ready, because I'm convinced it's going to happen. The Steelers seem to be the perfect blend of style and grit. Their quarterback, whatever personal misgivings I may have about him, is a winner on the field. Their defense is littered with playmakers. Their coach is a man of principle and discipline. The organization is arguably the best in football, from top to bottom.
Green Bay will put up a fight, with Aaron Rodgers swashbuckling to the end, but ultimately Pittsburgh walks away with another trophy, and wins 24-17. ]
Left photo: Ben Roethlisberger. Credit: Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press
Right photo: Aaron Rodgers. Credit: Rick Wood / MCT