Commish Picks: Super Bowl XLV

Posted on February 5, 2011 by

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After painstakingly suffering through last Sunday while watching the Pro Bowl, football fans can rejoice in the possibility of some actual football being played again this Sunday in Super Bowl XLV.  Check out what The Commissioners have to say on the outcome.

Commissioner Quillin:

The time honored American tradition approaches us once again. Super Bowl XLV is a matching of the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I am going to conditionally pick the Green Bay Packers to take home the trophy this year and my conditions are as follows.

1. Clay Matthews = X-factor.

This guy is a beast among bambis. With Roethlisberger’s unfailing and maddening ability to escape pressure and scramble to make slop play after slop play, Matthews must be sure to contain Roethlisberger to the pocket. He does not necessarily need sacks or tackles for a loss on this one. I say, make this “Big Ben” tool-of-a-QB beat you with his arm in the pocket. With Charles Woodson in your backfield, I am completely content putting the game on Roethlisberger’s arm.

2. Aaron Rodgers v. Steelers Defense

Aaron Rodgers will have to be on his best game if he really wants a championship belt.

Aaron Rodgers has proven he has what it takes to get to the big show, but does he have what it takes to bring home the biggest “W” of his career? With the stingy defense of the Steelers, which they pride themselves on, it will be interesting what sorts of offensive schemes Green bay produces to combat the relentless, hard-hitting defense that stands between them and victory. Rodgers has quite a high football IQ and he will need to tap it for success in this match-up. His performance is what I am going to call a “game-hinging” factor. Rodgers plays well, Green Bay wins. Rodgers shows up in a comatose, Green Bay loses.

Side Note: Given the hit-to-the-head-happy Steelers defense, I will be interested to see how the referees and the league handle issues throughout this game. There are no suspensions. Fines seem useless, let alone at this point in the season. If ever there was a game to have a reason to hit harder than these guys have all year, then it is this one.

Commissioner Byrd:

The simple reality is that the Steelers will be hoisting the Lombardi…yet again to the dismay of both myself and seemingly every other non-Pittsburgh fan.  Here’s why:

1. Unmeasurables.

For the most part this Pittsburgh Steelers team has been here before.  Not only have they been here before, they been in a very tight Super Bowl before where the team they played had a high powered offense and much to my own personal disgruntlement the Steelers prevailed.  In the concrete stats department, there is quite the large amount of love for Aaron Rodgers, and rightfully so.  However, what many seem to be overlooking is the strong numbers that Roethlisberger put up…in less games.  Rodgers passed for 3,922 yards, had 28 TDs, and 11 int over 15 games.  Meanwhile, Roethlisberger put up 3,200 yards, 17 TDs, and 5 int over 12 games.  Their completion percentages and average yardage per completion are near identical (Rodgers completes 65.7% of his passes for an average of 8.3 yards while Roethlisberger completes 61.7% of his passes for 8.2 yards per completion).  So what’s the difference?  The unmeasurable clutch factor.  Rodgers is a standout quarterback no doubt, but is he clutch?  I would say his inability to close out the limping Chicago Bears in the NFC Championship is the standard of proof as of now.  In contrast Roethlisberger is most certainly clutch.  If his last Super Bowl wasn’t proof enough and his uncanny ability to dodge a sack, just look at how he dodged a rape charge.  The only other person to dodge a rape scandal like that end up hoisting multiple trophies…Kobe Bryant anyone?

2.  Watch out for those hits!

Harrison played a massive role in the last Super Bowl victory for the Steelers, I predict more hits and who knows maybe even another unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

As Commissioner Quillen already stated above, the Steelers play with a certain disregard for other players.  Yes you can call it part of the game, but there is certainly a line and I would say a specific moment in Super Bowl XLIII was the clear definition of the line.  Yes, James Harrison, complain all you want about how a chop block is “cheap” but something tells me Mohamed Massaquoi would agree that your hit was pretty cheap.  Oh by the way chop block, legal.  Your head shot, illegal.  Just saying.  Keep in mind that Aaron Rodgers has already missed time this year for a concussion and I will be willing to bet that if he’s flushed from the pocket his unique helmet will have a giant bulls-eye on it; it’ll probably be around the facemask, earhole, or even the Green Bay “G” .

Final Verdict:  Football is a brutally physical game and the Steelers are recklessly physical.  If they keep playing at that level they will most assuredly win.  While the Packers have a strong offense, it is defense that wins championships and the Steelers just have the edge there.

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Posted in: Commish Picks, NFL