Sunday, January 23, 2011

An early Super Bowl prediction

That was a fine Sunday of football, if you didn't have a rooting interest and are talking strictly about the game played at a high level by four very good teams.

I don't have a rooting interest, so I was free to watch "Championship Sunday" objectively and came away believing that the two teams that were clearly the best won the NFC and AFC title contests. Neither Green Bay nor Pittsburgh ever trailed in their respective championship games, and both of them earned the right to play in the Super Bowl Feb.6 in Texas -- Green Bay beating Chicago 21-14, and Pittsburgh holding off the Jets, 24-19, after nearly losing all of a 24-0 lead.

My pick for the 45th Super Bowl? Pittsburgh, 20-16.

I think the teams are close to even, but to me the Steelers' version of the blitz-happy, in-your-face, 3-4 defense is slightly better than the Packers' version of the same thing.

And despite how well Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has been playing throughout most of these playoffs, there's not much sense in picking against Big Ben Roethlisberger in big games.

Big Ben's stats were thoroughly unimpressive Sunday (only 10 completions and two interceptions) but he still made the biggest play of that game with the third-and-6 rollout completion late that kept the Jets, trailing by only five, from getting the ball one last time.

If it turns out the other way, I'll be happy for Dom Capers. The Panthers' first coach is now Green Bay's defensive coordinator and has done a terrific job there. Would be glad to see him get the ring, for Capers is a great guy.

But I think the Steelers (6-for-7 in previous Super Bowl appearances) will win the big game for the third time in Roethlisberger's tenure as starting QB. You can understand why Panthers owner Jerry Richardson says he tries hard to model his franchise after the one the Rooneys run in Pittsburgh -- although the Panthers have been nothing more than a pale imitation of the Steelers for the past couple of years -- because the Steelers have done it the right way for a long, long time.

Incidentally, the ticket scalpers have to be really happy about this one. Pittsburgh and Green Bay are two of the NFL's most storied franchises and boast incredibly rabid fan bases. Even in this economy, I can't imagine the markup the seats in Texas are going to get.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jerry Richardson "tries hard" to model after the Steelers? That's a joke. He tries hard to pad his own wallet. The Steelers model works for winning games & championships. Richardson's model works for making him more "Rich"ardson.

Trains O Scale said...

Guys, listen. I’m on OUR side. I think. But Allie was questioning Cutler and than defending him against other posters. I said I do the SAME THING. My point was we can ALL be hypocritical. And we (meaning you j/k) can call people out for it. I guess I’m actually VERY upset by the way that our fans posted overall. The trolls rolled in and out and things got ugly. But let my favorites try their best to remain pure in my in game threads.

Anonymous said...

wrong thread, trains?

F Jerry Richardson said...

Once again the "Yes" men at the Charlotte Observer tell us how commited Richardson is. Is he paying you by the lie, or or the whole season?

Anonymous said...

Hey JR--

Would the Steelers trot out Jimmy Clausen at QB?

CASE CLOSED

Anonymous said...

"Jerry Richardson tries hard to model his franchise after the one the Rooneys run in Pittsburgh..."

I'm sorry, but I haven't laughed that hard in quite a while...hey Scott, keep serving up the zingers!

EQ said...

I'd much rather that the team tries to build its OWN identity instead of modeling one after another. Talk about a copy cat league. Nothing like being...I dunno, original? I suppose if the Packers win, JR will be completely confused as to what to do?

Anonymous said...

Steelers are nothing but a despicable cocky bunch of ego heads like their fans. Jets shoulda won. Go PACKERS.

SICK OF STEELERS.

Anonymous said...

F the Steelers ,go PACKERS!

Anonymous said...

Easy to be a Steelers hater when they are the greatest franchise in football. It is going to be oh so sweet to win our 7th ring in Dallas' back yard. Iron City Baby!

Anonymous said...

STEELERS SUCK LIKE THEIR FANS.

Anonymous said...

Richardson is not a cheap owner, he simply let people go because of the labor uncertainty and honestly it was a savvy business decision. Why potentially re-sign players and pay them $5 million for doing nothing? It's not like we were knocking on the doorstep of the super bowl with peppers or anyone else they cut. Once this labor mess gets rectified, Richardson will spend the money it takes to win. The panthers will be back in the playoffs in 2012 or 2013.

Anonymous said...

Interesting . . . the Cowboys two biggest Championship Game Villains playing the Superbowl in Big D!! Does God have a sense of humor or just like rubbing it in to America's Team?

J said...

Anon 1:21 - I like the way you put that, since most Cowboys fans think God is exclusively a Cowboys fan and therefore, by definition, all other teams are spawn of Satan.

Scott, I do have to take issue with the "model after Pittsburgh" thing. I too have heard JR say that. The difference is that the Steelers actually draft talented players, and have coaches who can actually develop that talent. Obviously, we should give Rivera & the new staff time to work with our players. But how many top-of-the-line players has the current front office obtained? Steve Smith, Jon Beason, Jordan Gross (at least up to 2009), and the 2 RBs - that's about it.

You know the "top 10" shows NFL Network is always running? They have 3 now devoted to a single team - the top 10 Cowboys, top 10 Raiders, top 10 Steelers. Try to come up with a list of the top 10 Panthers of all time. You're not going to find any "all-century team" players on it.

It's great to want to emulate a model franchise. But if you don't have the ability to implement the vision, you have a real problem.

Anonymous said...

steelers are pigs oink oink

Anonymous said...

Steelers fans look like meth addicts

Jimmy Clausen is waste of air space

Anonymous said...

Maybe the NFL needs to put a limit on Super Bowl contestants.

Lets say that if you win a big one then you are dis-qualified from participating for the next 10 years in the playoff system.

This way there can be no so called dynastys and other teams can be allowed a shot.

Eliminate the hogs and pigs. Give the clean run honest decent programs a chance.

Why? Because we hate swine... snort snort... Stay away from pig meat. It clogs arteries and kills.

This is the way any good fair minded capitalist-socialist sports league should operate.

In addition all players should make the same exact salary. No exceptions. Make one million a year.

Why? There is NO player on the planet worth more than a million dollars a year.

Anonymous said...

For the pussy NFL Union going on strike whining about 18 games instead of 16 why not have the NFL play 52 weeks a year instead of only 16? People have to work 52 weeks a year dont they? Who gets to take off 70% of the year?

Real football fans would love the NFL year round since fans have to work year round to pay for tickets cable etc.

Anonymous said...

wow. Year round pro football, pro basketball, pro baseball, pro hockey, pro racing etc etc...

sounds like a great idea. pro sports heaven ...