Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Steel Curtain

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
Pittsburgh 20

1 comment:

You are a Baffoon said...

The team with the better matchups on the offensive and defensive fronts wins this game, period end of story. My feeling going into this game is that the Steelers have not seen a defensive front like the Packers yet this season which bolds well for the Pack. The types of personnel and players that Dom Capers puts into motion is something that has been very successful all year long. Also, the fact that the Steelers are banged up inside missing Pro Bowl center M. Pouncey is going to be tougher than people think to replace. That guy might be a top five center in the NFL only in his first year. If the Packers can get any sort of a lead on the Steelers early, look for Capers to open up different blitz packages on the Steelers in hopes of rattling Big Ben.

On the other side of the ball, I cannot see the Packers being held out of the endzone in this game. In fact they will score at least three touchdowns and use multiple formations to get the matchups they want on the outside, it'll be too much even for a very good Steelers defense.

My Prediction: Packers 31 Steelers 21

The Magic Carpet Ride is complete!