The League

Brandon Benson
Packers Blogger

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson is the lead blogger at Acme Packing Company.

Packers will take flight

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As a huge Green Bay Packers fan, I'm a believer and I expect that they'll win. But the more I think about the upcoming Super Bowl, the more convinced I am that it will be a close game. The Pittsburgh Steelers are too good to get blown out by the Packers.

The biggest stat discussed this week is that the Packers are second in scoring defense, and the Steelers are number one. While that's really good, it's also one of several stats showing how closely matched these teams are. The Steelers defense is number two in yards allowed per game, and the Packers are number five. So the Steelers have the slight edge on defense under those two categories.

But on offense, it's the Packers offense that is number ten in scoring offense, while the Steelers are number twelve. And the Packers offense is number nine in yards per game, while the Steelers are number fourteen. Now it's the Packers turn to have that slight advantage.

Even the strength of schedule is similar. Both teams played against the toughest AFC East teams (Patriots and Jets) and both played the Falcons. Even their conferences provide a similar strength of schedule with two top teams (Packers, Bears vs. Steelers, Ravens) and two teams somewhere in the middle (Vikings, Lions vs. Bengals, Browns).

The only clear advantage may be on special teams. While the Steelers are currently on their second string field goal kicker and punter of the season, including former Packers punter Jeremy Kapinos, they also have the most dangerous return man in the game for either team, Emmanuel Sanders. In a game this close, field position might become the most valuable commodity. If the Steelers have a key punt or kick return that could flip the field position battle, it might give them the edge to pull away in the game.

Another school of thought is that with teams this evenly matched, the one with the best player will win the game. While I'd pick Aaron Rodgers over any other quarterback in the league, Ben Roethlisberger is very good too. Overall I'd give the advantage to Rodgers, but this is only one game, and it depends entirely on the opportunities these players will find themselves in as each play unfolds.

As important as defense is to win championships, I've recently wrote at The League on the reasons why the most important weapon in the modern NFL is the pass offense. In a matchup between two equal teams, the advantage the Packers gain from having Aaron Rodgers and their passing attack will be the difference in the game. Packers Win!

By Brandon Benson  |  February 2, 2011; 12:17 PM ET  | Category:  Green Bay Packers , Pittsburgh Steelers , Super Bowl Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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