The end of the year has come to the National Football League. It is the Packers of Green Bay against the Steelers of Pittsburgh. Playing a role in all of this is the contract renegotiation between the players and the owners. A very thinly veiled shadow casts a pall over the festivities this week. A looming work stoppage in the NFL would be disheartening to all. Like most sports labor conflicts, it is the billionaires against the millionaires. Let’s hope all parties take care and nourish the golden goose. I see both sides brandishing various cutlery and a recipe on the table for roasted golden goose with gravy and stuffing. As usual, I will write this year the case for each team and then end it with my prediction. Team has never been a more appropriate word this year.
The Case For The Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers barely made it into the tournament. However, all the pieces came together in Atlanta and they ride the team concept for when the offense is not working, the defense can. The quarterback of the Packers, Aaron Rodgers, can perform and the question remains will he perform.
He does not have to. Unlike other teams that come into the final game of the year, the key to the Packers appears to be balance. A defense that can create a pick-6 and an offense that can run a little and throw a lot. But there are times when the offense disappears. Just look at the second half of the Chicago Bears’ game. How do the Packers not score 40?
The Packers’ defense is statistically the better half of this combination. The Packers’ defense was second in the league, allowing just 15 points per game. That pick-6 from B.J. Raji in the championship game was a glimpse into the talent on the defensive side of the ball.
The Packers have a back story as well, for it was only three seasons ago that future Hall of Famer Brett Favre was ushered out for the future that is Rodgers. Can the Packers win the Super Bowl the year Favre retires, and thusly prove to everyone the dismissal of the legendary quarterback was legitimate?
The Case For The Pittsburgh Steelers
When you think of Pittsburgh, you envision the “Steel Curtain” days of the 1970s and early 1980s. Not much has changed. The Pittsburgh Steelers still have a defense. They were No. 1 in the league in points allowed at 14.5 per game. They were 1st in the league in rushing yards allowed at 62.8 yards per game … come on! How are the Packers ever going to score?
The Steelers have a running game and complement that with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. His key traits are that he extends plays by holding on to the ball, moves around in the pocket and finds an open receiver long after the coverage has broken down.
The balance that the Steelers seek is simple. Beat you down on defense and have the quarterback make one more play than you can defend. It is not pretty, but the formula wins.
The Steelers’ back story is that they are going for an impressive seventh Super Bowl title.
The No. 2 defense of the Green Bay Packers against Roethelisberger and the Steelers’ offense.
The No. 1 defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers againsy the arm of Rodgers and the Packers’ offense.
The quick track at the Dallas Cowboys stadium is the deciding factor for it nullifies the defenses on both sides.
I go with the Green Bay Packers!
See you in August … Hopefully!
Have a safe spring and summer.
Tim can now be reached at email@example.com and welcomes your opinions on the “Diary of a Fantasy Virgin” articles.