Well, this is probably the best Super Bowl matchup we could have gotten. Sunday turned into the day of coronation for the favorites, as both Green Bay and Pittsburgh won similar games to clinch a spot in the big game. Now we’ll get to see Rodgers vs. Roethlisberger in the battle for the title of “best young QB,” as well as a clash between two of the most storied franchises in the NFL. But let’s save the Super Bowl preview until next week. This is about how they got here.
Green Bay started off quickly versus the Bears, scoring a touchdown on their first drive to set the pace. Mostly dominating the first half, the Packers had few problems with a Chicago team that seemed to be, finally, overmatched. Who knew that we were in for such a wacky fourth quarter? Bears QB Jay Cutler went down with a knee injury, inviting the hilarity that is Todd Collins into the mix.
After being predictably awful, Chicago turned to Caleb Hanie (who?), the third string QB from Colorado State, who made this into an exciting finish. After leading Chicago to a touchdown, Hanie had the ball with a chance to tie the game at 14, but his pass was thrown right into the hands of B.J. Raji, the very big man who rumbled his way in for a touchdown and, more importantly, an incredible touchdown dance. Although the Bears would score again and drive down the field, another Hanie pick sealed the deal as the Packers, my preseason Super Bowl pick, won and now head to their 5th Super Bowl. The late game also had the favorite dominating before a spirited comeback by the underdog came up short. Pittsburgh, they of the 6 Super Bowls, absolutely destroyed New York in the first half, jumping out to a 24-0 lead before going into the half leading 24-3. They held New York’s supposedly stellar running attack to 1 yard in the first half and looked well on their way to going to Dallas. However, they would not score again, as the Jets defense finally woke up while Mark Sanchez had a, dare I say it, great second half leading the Jets back. It was not to be, however, as Pittsburgh would run out the clock on their final drive after an inspired call to pass on 3rd down that gave the Steelers a first down and, subsequently, a trip to Dallas.
So there you have it. Green Bay against Pittsburgh. The early line put the Packers as the 2-point favorite, but honestly, this is as close to a Pick ‘Em as I’ve seen a Super Bowl. I believe it will come down to the quarterbacks, and just like last year, the new challenger (Rodgers) will overcome the past champion. Early pick? Green Bay 20, Pittsburgh 17.