Super Bowl XLV Predictions: Steelers vs Packers

ARLINGTON TX - JANUARY 30: The outside of Cowboys Stadium on January 30 2011 in Arlington Texas. Cowboys Stadium will host Super Bowl XLV on February 6 2011 between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

I'll admit that I'm actually pretty excited for Super Bowl XLV. How can you not be? Two storied franchises. Two immensely talented quarterbacks. Two of the top five defenses in the NFL. Green Bay Packers. Pittsburgh Steelers. This should be fun.

While I'm far from an expert on either of these two teams, I figured I might as well start the discussion by just highlighting two aspects of the game. My prediction follows. And, hopefully, your predictions will follow as well.

When the Steelers have the ball

You have to imagine that Mike Tomlin and the Steelers will look to establish the ground game early. Rashard Mendenhall is coming off of a hell of a game against the Jets two weeks ago and should be refreshed and ready to go on Sunday. Running should be much easier for Mendenhall and the Steelers, too, going up against Green Bay's 18th ranked rushing defense - a unit that allowed a whopping 4.7 yards per carry in the regular season, the 2nd highest figure in the entire league.

When the Packers have the ball

The Packers will probably look to do the very opposite of Pittsburgh. They will put the ball in Aaron Rodgers hands and ask him to beat the Steelers through the air. I really believe that Green Bay matches up well with this Pittsburgh defense. On a fast track in Dallas, the Packers should be able to spread the Steelers out with four and five receivers and have opportunities to make some big plays. But their offensive line, however, must protect Rodgers - especially if they do try to spread out the Pittsburgh defense.

Pick

Back before the season started, I had the Packers defeating an AFC North team in the Super Bowl. I just didn't pick the right AFC North team. But I believe I selected the correct champion. The Packers are going to find a way to win this game, likely courtesy of Aaron Rodgers - who is my MVP pick.

Packers 27 - Steelers 24

Your picks below...

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