What More Could You Want?

Well, I got half of my prediction right for the Super Bowl. The Green Bay Packers will be representing the NFC in Dallas, Texas, while representing the AFC will be the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was so close on my New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers re-match, but not much is better that the Packers and the Steelers. Two teams who used to be fierce rivals with the Dallas Cowboys, some argue the rivalry is still very much alive, now battle in the Cowboys' home stadium in Arlington, Texas.
The Steelers come to town after their defeat of Rex Ryan and the New York Jets. A very emotional Rex Ryan after his team's second straight loss in the AFC Championship game stated that the Jets will continue to chase the Lombardi Trophy until they get it, then chase it again. As much as I can't stand Ryan and all of his trash talk before the games one thing is for sure, he is a master motivator. Just listening to him in a press conference, you can see why players are so defensive of him and go to war for him. The charisma he brings to the table for the Jets is sometimes overlooked. He talked the talk against the Patriots. Oh did he talk, and talk, and talk. He pitched that the game against the Patriots was a battle between himself and Patriots' head coach Bill Belichick. A New York paper went as far to portray Rex Ryan as Han Solo from Star Wars against the sith lord (Belichick) and Lord Vader (Brady). A lot of talk for a team that had just lost to the Patriots 45-3 just weeks earlier. Although the Jets had been humiliated by the Patriots, all of the intangibles were there at the start of their game against the Patriots. The fairly young Patriot team seemed to be a bit awe struck coming on to the field. It could be argued that the Patriots were timid, or that they were in fact very calm, taking on the personality of their head coach and quarterback. Either way, the Jets were amped up and ready to play against the Patriots. One of the things that is often overlooked in determining the outcome of a game is heart, and the want and will for a team to do anything in its power to win the game. The Jets had this going for them and they flat out wanted the game more than the Patriots. Things started in the wrong direction for the Patriots as soon as they took the field, simply because Belichick had chosen to discipline slot receiver out of Texas Tech Wes Welker for his comments before the game. Welker had made 11 foot references in a span of just a few minutes in a press conference in the days leading up to the game. (These references were of course poking fun at Jets head coach Rex Ryan whose wife had reportedly become a YouTube sensation for her apparent "foot fetish".) The Patriots came out flat the Jets didn't so the Jets won the game. After the high of this win, the Jets went into Pittsburgh and didn't bring the same energy as they did against the Patriots for the first two quarters of the game. Subsequently, the Jets lost that game to the Steelers who had built an insurmountable lead during the first half that the Jets could not overcome. Not to take anything away from the Steelers though, who beat a very impressive Baltimore Raven squad on the sole fact that they won the turnover battle in the second half. When it comes down to it, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is clutch in the 4th quarter and used his ability to close out games to seal the victory and a trip to Arlington, Texas against both the Ravens and the Steelers.
The Green Bay Packers are going to the Super Bowl!...was not what people were talking about after their enormous victory against their arch rival the Chicago Bears. No, the headline was weather or not Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was really injured when he came out of the game. You can say what you want about Cutler and his toughness, but most of those commenting on the matter haven't watched him, or the Bears most of this season. The offensive front for the Bears has been satisfactory at best for Cutler who is constantly under pressure and being thrown to the ground, but getting right back up after every sack and knock down. After the official report, Cutler had a grade 2 MCL sprain. I don't know if you have ever torn a ligament, especially in your knee, but they make it difficult to walk, much less scramble for your life behind the Chicago Bears offensive line. Nonetheless, the Green Bay Packers played a great game and had another fantastic performance from their starting quarterback out of Cal, Aaron Rodgers. It seems like every time you look up Rodgers is throwing that quick slant perfectly where it needs to be Jones, Driver, Nelson, Jennings, you name it. The Packers have arguably one of the best receiving corps in the NFL right now, and arguably a top tier quarterback in Aaron Rodgers throwing them the ball. Not to mention MVP candidate Clay Matthews on the defensive end as well as former Heisman Trophy winner as a defensive back, Charles Woodson to anchor the stout Green Bay defense. I would mention the previous round for both teams that participated in the NFC championship game, but I really don't think anyone kept watching after the first half of the beating Green Bay put on Atlanta, and the pounding the Bears put on the Seahawks. Although Seattle did make it close late against the Bears, the game was much more lopsided than the scoreboard showed. Still, as for the Packers, there is one guy you put your faith in and you should absolute confidence in whenever he touches the ball, and that is Aaron Rodgers. Good things happen when he has the ball. Dare I say he looks like Tom Brady in the regular season right with his efficiency? Call me crazy but yes, he has been THAT good.
I can't wait for the Super Bowl. Two of the most clutch quarterbacks in the league today against defenses that have play makers everywhere. Two teams that have been there before and are very prestigious. The Pittsburgh Steelers' fans will be coming down to town waving their terrible towels (Ironically made withing 100 miles of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, oh by the way) meet the cheese heads of Green Bay. Two great franchises that have a lot to play for. Aaron Rodgers vs. Ben Roethlisberger. Charles Woodson vs. Troy Poalomalu. Mike McCarthy vs. Mike Tomlin. What more could a fan ask for? I guess a fan could ask for his home team to at least make the playoffs and show up every Sunday and not have to fire their head coach and hire the guy thats been in waiting for the past 3 years to get the point across. Or to maybe at least make the playoffs, or at least go 8-8. The Cowboys disappointed me, if you didn't catch on. But, despite the Cowboys and their losing ways, the most exciting and meaningful game in Jerry World Stadium's history will take place on February 6, 2011 when the Green Bay Packers meet the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Lombardi Trophy. The stage is set and I can't wait for it to get under way. My prediction is to come a little closer to game time but I have a feeling its going to be a close game where the team with the ball last will win the game. The Super Bowl is almost upon us and I can't wait. I may have only gotten half of my prediction right, but despite what I thought, the two best teams in the NFL will play each other just eleven days from. Getchya popcorn ready Dallas, its gonna be a show.

-Colby

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