Well, here we are. Super Bowl XLV is now within our grasp, and my nerves are taking over my body more and more a little every day. It's only a matter of time now before we'll know if this improbable season will be capped with the ultimate prize, or if we'll be left to wonder what could have been. Just what are we expecting from the game come Sunday night? The Bucky Channel staff weighs in with their predictions:
What can you say about this season? From crippling injuries, to last second defeat, to winning winning five straight road games, this season has been a roller coaster ride. But usually when that roller coaster ride is done, you get out of your seat and you express your what you feel. From nerves, to pain, to thrill, and all the way back around to joy, this season has truly been a wild ride.
Now, how hard would it be for me to say (and how much heat would I take) that the Pittsburgh Steelers are going to win this game? Answer, a lot. The thought lingers in the back of my mind. The experience, the "Ben there" (Pun!) attitude, a hard mouth, hit you when you're down, bring the fury, crush your dreams kind of football team that knows when it's on the field, it's all out on the field.
But I can't. I can't have any thought in my mind where the Green Bay Packers lose this game. I was just seven years old when the Packers played in the Super Bowl last and I look back to how lucky I was to see my team, the green and gold play in back to back Super Bowls. But I was only a child, who took it for granted. Yes I loved football, but you don't understand how deeper it can run than just "something to watch on a Sunday" when you are that young. I snap back to current times and think how lucky I am to be here right now, watching the team that I love play for the Lombardi Trophy.
We're here, we're here now, the time is NOW and nothing is going to take that away. This team is special, this team runs deeper than football, and in just two days I am going to see my favorite team bring back the trophy home to where it belongs. It's going to taste sweet, it's going to be so god damn sweet.
Green Bay 27, Pittsburgh 19
I keep waffling (mmmm, waffles, gahhh) on how I think the game will go. I keep wanting to say it'll be a Packer blowout but then again, it's the Steelers.
Green Bay 27, Pittsburgh 20
This is one of the hardest Super Bowls to pick in a while, so this is going to be tough. It will come down to three big factors. First, Aaron Rodgers has to have a good game. Second, both teams will have to convert those third downs with five yards or less to go. Third, will Mendenhall run wild Sunday night in Dallas? Looking at those things I would have to say that the odds are in the Packers corner. Michael Turner is the last running back to run for 100 yards or more on the Pack, and that was back on November 28th. And the last game Rodgers played in a dome was against the Falcons defense, and we all know how he did in that one. Really, I think it's coming down to those third down conversions, and I have to give the edge to the Pack. It might be the race to 28 points come Sunday night.
Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 27
Tony is going sans an actual prediction, but he did just do a preview of his own over on his blog, Big Dunc. There, you will find his reasons as to why he thinks the Packers will win the game, as well as the reasons why the Packers might lose. To balance things out a bit, let's post his reasons why the Packers might lose (be sure to check out the previous link for the rest of his preview).
Why the Packers will lose if they lose (aka things that worry me):
- Special Teams - this was a huge positive against the Bears, but I'm still not sold. Longwell cannot seem to kick it deep, and a "good" kickoff spot for the Packers is like the 35. Oh, and let's not forget that offensive lineman;s return against New England.
- Short Yardage Situations - I know all the fans, myself included, love Kuhn, but in my opinion, the Packers have been pretty poor in short yardage situations, especially near the goal line. The Steelers had that big stand against the Jets. Look for this to be key. Getting 3 instead of 7 or having to punt from the 40 or 50 is huge in the Super Bowl.
- Tight Ends - If one put together a list of the best tight ends over the last 5 years, I don't think Heath Miller would be on many people's lists, but the guy is good. The guy is consistent. He's played in big games. And the Packers are susceptible against the Tight End, especially down the middle which is the bread and butter of Miller. If Miller gets going, those safeties cheat toward him then Wallace is gone. And, of course, the tight ends for the Packers are not much. Hopefully they will not be a liability.
- Drops - There is nothing like a dropped pass to kill a drive. It frustrates the fans to no end and kills momentum. I don't have to tell you that despite the greatness of the Packers receivers this season, drops have been a problem.
- Fumbles - I'm not sure why I put this one in. Maybe because I feel good about Rodgers not throwing and INT, but I'm leery of fumbles. I guess its from years of watching Ahman Green and now Brandon Jackson and Ryan Grant. Hold on to the ball.
- Inability to close - If the Packers let the Steelers stay in the game, they will take advantage unlike the Eagles and Bears. Outplaying a team does not matter if you don't put the points on the board.
Bear (in his triumphant Bucky Channel return)
I think the score will be 27-21, Packers. Tight ball game in the end with Packers getting out to an early couple score lead. Steelers make a comeback late, have a chance to tie/win with a TD on the final drive, only this time Big Ben comes up short.
Rodgers - 295 yds, 2 TD's, 1 INT, 25 yds rushing
Starks - 65 yds on 18 carries
Kuhn - 13 yds on 4 carries, TD
Jennings - 110 yds 5 rec, TD
Nelson - 40 yds, 3 rec, TD
Jones - 50 yds, 3 recs
Driver - 40 yds, 3 recs
Matthews - 1 sack
Bishop - 1 sack
Williams - 1 int
Hawk - 1 int
Roethlisberger - 210 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT
Mendenhall - 115 yds on 22 carries, 2 TD's
Wallace - 80 yds, 3 recs, TD
Ward - 40 yds, 4 recs
Miller - 60 yds, 5 recs
Clark - 1 int
Harrison - 1 sack
Woodley - 1 sack
Green Bay 27, Pittsburgh 21
Shep (in his triumphant Bucky Channel debut)
Packers, with a late int return for a TD by Woodson to end a dramatic last second drive by "The Rapist for 100, Alex". This is not just a prediction. I saw this in a dream Tuesday night... and yes.... it was a black and white dream.
Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 21
Of course, I save myself for last. Ego, anyone? As I've said numerous times on the site, I don't look at matchups when I make predictions, I go with my gut. And all postseason long, I've been feeling very good about Green Bay's chances, with the caveat that they would end up losing in the Super Bowl. But now that we're here? I feel more confident about a win this weekend than I have all playoffs. And that is ultimately what scares me.
Not to get too personal here, but I feel like my life has been a lot of me getting my hopes up only to be heartbroken once my dreams are not realized. I can't have that happen this weekend. It's been an insane journey as a Packer fan from when we last hoisted the Lombardi to up until now, and I need this victory. I need Rodgers to tie Favre in Super Bowl titles, I need a Wisconsin sports to finally clutch up and win something, and I need this for my own personal life. I do think that this Packers team is built to make it back to the Super Bowl a couple more times, but I don't want to bank on that. I need it now.
And I think we're gonna get it. I really do. I can't even imagine a scenario at this point where the Packers lose, and I know I am setting myself up for a really big fall. But I'm feeling it. I'm ready to celebrate. I'm ready to crank Packers songs on the jukebox all night after a win. I'm ready to start a "White House, White House, White House" chant for Charles Woodson as the time expires. I'm ready to have a great night with friends and family. Please, please please Pittsburgh, don't take that away from me.
We're in Texas. It's time to go big or go home. And I'm going big.
Green Bay 34, Pittsburgh 16