ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The KMOX Sports team has made its picks for Sunday’s big game. Read through the picks…and then share your own in the comments below.
Final: Packers 30, Steelers 20
Prediction: If Packers QB Aaron Rodgers gets into an early rhythm, it’s going to be hard for the Steelers to keep up with Green Bay’s pace — unless Pittsburgh’s banged-up offensive line finds a way to block the Packers’ various defensive schemes.
Most important player: B.J. Raji, NT, Green Bay
Final: Steelers 21, Packers 17
Prediction: These two teams match up very well with one another. They’re both loaded on defense, they both have top tier quarterbacks and they both have outstanding groups of wide receivers. The difference between them, however, is the running game. The Steelers have one, the Packers don’t. That’s why the Steelers win Super Bowl 45.
Most important player: Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall
Final: Packers 20, Steelers 17
Prediction: The Steelers’ problems on the offensive line will help the Packers’ defense win the game.
Most important player: Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews. He will live in the Pittsburgh back field and get to Roethlisberger. Women watching will envy his hair.
Final: Steelers 24, Packers 17
Prediction: Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger can handle any blitz and and he can take hits. Green Bay will blitz from everywhere, but Big Ben will shred them.
Most important player: “Big Ben.” He will start getting his due as one of the greats. He just wins.
Final: Steelers 21, Packers 17
Prediction: Experience, pass rush and ball control will slow down Rodgers and the Pack.
Most important player: Steelers center Doug Legursky
Final: Steelers 38, Packers 17
Prediction: Troy Polamalu will show why he’s the best defensive player in the NFL.
Most important player: Troy Polamalu
Final: Packers 24, Steelers 20
Prediction: The primary reason I am picking that score is I have a 4 for Green bay and a 0 for Pittsburgh in one of the square pools I am in. Frankly, I am hoping for a 14-10 halftime score as well. This may change if I get into another pool and like the numbers more.
In all seriousness though, I think this game comes down to two factors. The first is the offensive line for both teams. Both teams have run the ball well in the playoffs and that is because their offensive lines have controlled the line of scrimmage. When there has been a breakdown, both QB’s have the athletic ability to scramble and make a play. Their third down big plays in the playoffs — because of their mobility — has been impressive. Both teams have terrific defenses as well, so to me this game gets won on the line of scrimmage. The team that allows their running back to gain yardage — especially on 1st downs — and allows their QB to make several key plays down field, wins. The team whose offensive line handles the other team’s D the best, wins.
The second factor to me comes down to the kicker. Too simple? Well, history is on my side. They may get all the knocks and jokes tossed at them, but how many times have you seen a game decided by 3 points or less? Plenty. Tom Brady won all three of his Super Bowls and lost a Super Bowl by three points or less. With both teams being good defensive teams, the ability to pick up points when a drive stalls between the 35 and 20 may decide this game.
While that is a very simplistic way of looking at it, I am not pretending to be a guy that has spent every waking minute the last 2 weeks looking for an edge even the “experts” can’t find. I think sometimes football gets over-analyzed and it still comes down to the guys in the trenches.
Most important player: I have no idea. Aaron Rodgers seems too easy of a pick since I am guessing the Packers win, so having put the Packers roster on a dart board and chucking a dart at it blindly… the MVP is… Charles Woodson. Frankly, that pick could make some sense.
Kerber’s Disclaimer: If having read any of this, you decide to use this as hard-core analysis, please make sure the only thing you place a bet with is your pet fish or the dust bunny behind your TV. Enjoy the game.