Today is Part 2 of SKOHRboard's 3 part Super Bowl Preview. For Part 1 just follow this link. This article will focus on when the Green Bay Packers are on Offense. Part 3 is coming tomorrow morning and will reveal the winners of these individual match-ups and who will ultimately win Super Bowl XLV.
There are so many reasons why this Super Bowl is being hyped as maybe one of the best ever. One of the main reasons is the fantastic match-up of one of the year's top QBs, Aaron Rodgers against the Defensive Player of the Year, SS Troy Polamalu. This is going to be a great battle to watch as the game goes on tomorrow. Rodgers was third in the league in passer rating (101.2) and came in at fourth in DYAR and DVOA according to Football Outsiders. While Polamalu was the DPOY and he is maybe the most ubiquitous player in the NFL and always seems to make a big play when his team needs it most.
With the help of Rodgers four terrific WRs the Packers are going to bring a very potent offense into Dallas. Led by Greg Jennings, this group includes Donald Driver, James Jones, and Jordy Nelson. During the regular season Jennings was fourth in the League in receiving yards and second in TDs with 12. All four WRs are big and fast which can cause problems for any defense but with a QB as accurate as Rodgers it's very tough to defend against so many quality targets. Fortunately Pittsburgh has some great players in their defensive backfield in CBs Bryant McFadden, Ike Taylor and Safeties Ryan Clark and previously mentioned Troy Polamalu. Those guys have a big job on their hands as the Packers specialize in moving the ball with the passing game and will look to really stretch the field against Pittsburgh's Cover 2 defense.
In order to stop Rodgers from ever getting a chance to connect with those guys, the Steelers are going to come at him with lots and lots of blitzes. With such an aggressive 3-4 defensive front the Steelers can come from all sides of the line with guys like James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley who each had 10 sacks this season and have combined for 5 more in the playoffs. But Pittsburgh's pressure isn't limited to just their outstanding OLBs, their DBs have added 7 sacks of their own this season. The OTs for Green Bay, Chad Clifton and rookie Bryan Bulaga, will be responsible for protecting the perimeter of Aaron Rodgers pocket against that ferocious Steeler attack that led the NFL in QB sacks this year.
Another rookie with a lot of responsibility in tomorrow's game is Packer RB, James Starks. Despite missing most of the year while recovering from a shoulder injury and only 29 regular season carries, he has averaged 23 carries and 88 yards per game in the playoffs. Not only is Starks going to be the primary RB for the Packers tomorrow but he will be asked to pick up those Steelers blitzers when Rodgers drops back to pass. If he has a good game both running and blocking, the Packers significantly improve their chances of winning. Steelers' tackling machine, Lawrence Timmons will be tasked with tracking Starks tomorrow while their big guys up front will try to clog up any running lanes. Ziggy Hood, Casey Hampton, and Brett Kiesel have formed a very stout defensive front which helped the Steelers allow the fewest rushing yards per game in the NFL this season with only 64.
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