The 45th installment of the National Football League’s premier game is merely a few days away. Arlington Texas’ newly erected Dallas Cowboys Stadium will be the stage in which the Super Bowl 45 champions will be determined. While the host team will not take part in this year’s finale, its home field aligns perfectly with the two teams that will battle for the NFL’s most coveted prize.
Whether you like it or not, Dallas is a storied franchise. It holds five Vince Lombardi trophies in its trophy case. There would be seven, if not for one of this year’s Super Bowl combatants.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have six Super Bowl trophies, which is tops in the league. One area that was and remains a constant in its championship success is defense. Be it statistically or physically, Pittsburgh’s defense, if nothing else, will always leave an impression on opposing offenses. Legends like “Mean” Joe Green and Jack Lambert lit a torch of grit and nastiness that continued to illuminate in the hands of guys like Rod Woodson and remains lit in the care of current neanderthals like James Harrison and Troy Polamalu. The Steelers have also been a team that pounds the ball offensively, placing the ball in the hands of such carriers as Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker (when he was Fast Willie) and now Rashard Mendenhall. Under the stewardship of head coach Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh has balanced out its offensive attack by implementing passing into its approach. While these may not be the Steelers that football fans have become accustomed to, they’re still able to achieve the ultimate goal. Think about it…they’re trying to win their third Super Bowl in six years, and seventh overall.
On the opposite sideline is the Green Bay Packers. If nothing else, this team can be deemed the pioneers of the Super Bowl era. They won the first two of that magnitude. Led by coaching icon Vince Lombardi (who the Super Bowl trophy is named after), Bart Starr, Paul Hornung, Willie Davis and Henry Jordan, Green Bay established its winning tradition early. After a 29 year drought, Green Bay once again found itself in championship glory thanks to the likes of coach Mike Holmgren, Brett Favre, Reggie White, Keith Jackson and LeRoy Butler. Green Bay would go on to make playoff appearances, but could not measure up to standard of the Steelers. After the departure of Brett Favre, the organization found itself in a place of uncertainty. Not all “Cheeseheads” were ready to buy into Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback of the future when he was named starter in 2008. Fast forward a few years and the question should be, “Who in Packer Nation doesn’t believe in Aaron Rodgers?”
Two historic franchises meet in a storied football city, aspiring to bolster their respective legacies.
Looking at the game itself, I see the Green Bay Packers keeping “Steel Town” from getting “Lucky Number 7” in its trophy count. While it is common knowledge of what Pittsburgh’s defense can do, one fact is being overlooked. Green Bay’s defense is just as formidable and actually, it has an added luxury. It is able to score on turnovers. It would behoove Ben Roethlisberger to be as careful with the ball as possible. Even if he does protect the ball well, there is still the question of Pittsburgh’s offensive line, which can be penetrated. Finally, Green Bay’s offense is the more balanced of the two with its top-tier passing attack and the emergence of rookie running back James Starks. In this battle of tradition, I’m taking the Green Bay Packers to earn its fourth Super Bowl win and become only the second sixth seed to win it all since the 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers.
It’s been a blast predicting games for Take No Prisoners. Some weeks, I was on and others not so much. With that, you, the TNP Nation have checked in week after week. Your loyalty is truly appreciated. Continue supporting the site, as there is so much more will be happening during the NFL’s offseason. Keep your eyes and ear open!
By Antoine Hoffman