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You always hear the term, “Defense Wins Championships”. One of the most true sayings said in the world of sports. But lets keep it to football, specifically the Super Bowl XLV showdown between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers.
Start of with Pittsburgh. They allow 23.4 PPG, which is good for 12th in the league. They allow 120.2(11th) rushing yards game, 225.1(14th) pass yards per game, and totals by allowing 345.3 YYG, good for 14th in the league. This defense gets after you. Good luck to Green Bay trying to get Starks going like he has through the playoffs. In the first half of the AFC Championship, Pittsburgh only allowed ONE yard of rushing to the Jets, who clearly have a better rushing attack. It might have helped that Pittsburgh jumped to such a big lead, however. Packer’s coach McCarthy has said all year that, “It’s not necessarily how many yards you get rushing, but just the attempts. The attempts will lead to some great play-action passes.” Pittsburgh is full of experienced players that won’t be so fooled. Dick LeBeau always has this defense prepared, and knows how to run a great 3-4 defense.
Speaking of the 3-4, the Packers have a defensive coach that isn’t so bad at coaching the scheme himself. In fact, back in 1992, Dom Capers himself installed the 3-4 zone blitzes to Pittsburgh’s defense. But enough history. Green Bay’s defense allows 24.2 PPG, which ranks them at 10th in the league. They allow 358.1 YYG, ranking them at 9th in the league. They allow 110.4 rush yards per game, 24th in the league. There’s the weakness right there. (Enter Mendenhall.) They are 5th in the leauge in passing yards per game by allowing 257.8 yards a game.
Pretty close numbers if you ask me. Both defense’s are very similar. Pittsburgh’s defense is full of experienced talents while Green Bay has more younger talents who haven’t been in the Super Bowl.
It’s going to be a great game, but don’t expect so much of a shootout like the last time these two teams played. A 37-36 Pittsburgh win in which Big Ben threw for 503 yards and three touchdowns, one of which was the game winning touchdown as time expired. Rodgers threw for less but shined the same with 383 yards, throwing 3 touchdowns and running in for another.
It won’t be a shootout, but it also won’t be a defensive standoff either. Rodgers and Big Ben are both too good to get completely shut out. Whichever defense can creat the most turnovers and have the most stops will win this game. Will it be LaBeau and that power-hungry Pittsburgh defense, or Capers and the crafty Green Bay D?