One area that doesn't seem to get as much attention as it probably should, is the fact that we're playing this game indoors. Much of the attention is going to the Pittsburgh defense, and with good reason obviously, but the road through the AFC was all outdoors and in wintry conditions....something that specifically caters to the style of play that the likes of the Steelers, Jets, Ravens are built for.
Conversely, while it seems that Green Bay should also use this slow, grind it out in bad weather style considering they play outdoors in Green Bay, Teddy has actually gone against the grain and put together a team specifically designed for the fast track, and it could pay off dividends come Sunday. Do the Steelers have a tough defense? Absolutely! However, does the spread 'em out style of the Packers prevent what Pittsburgh typically likes to do on defense thus somewhat neutralize a typical strength of theirs? Many are scratching their heads at why Las Vegas calculates the 6 seed and inexperienced Packers as 2.5 pt favorites versus the 2 seed Steelers that have 2 recent SuperBowl appearances. I suggest it's the location that seems to cater to what Green Bay tries to do offensively that tips the scales in Green Bay's favor. While I concede that Pittsburgh's defense is outstanding, I also think that Green Bay's offense is too good to stop on a consistent basis when the game is played indoors. Take a look at what Green Bay has done this season in domes and the offensive numbers will speak for themselves. That said, the outcome won't be decided as much by Pittsburgh's defense as it will be by Green Bay's defense. Rodgers is going to put points on the board, no doubt......it's just a matter of whether or not we're going to prevent these long 12+ play scoring drives that Pittsburgh likes to produce......something that can wear out a defense and also keep Rodgers on the sidelines.
First prediction: Green Bay 27