The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most successful franchises in the history of American football. A number of Super Bowl titles, including two this decade, point to a club that has plenty of experience in big games.
That experience will be key this Sunday when the side takes on the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. The two squads are facing off at 6.30pm on FOX inside Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas. Green Bay is making its first trip to the National Football League’s biggest match since the Brett Favre era over a decade ago.
A point of concern for the Steelers is the man in Favre’s place, Aaron Rodgers. Aside from his production on the stats sheet throughout the season, Rodgers has showcased great toughness and leadership. It’s not secret he has suffered a number of concussions the last two seasons and willed a team to the players that lost some 15 starters due to injury. He had help on the defensive side from a pair of players in linebacker Clay Matthews and cornerback Charles Woodson that earned Pro Bowl considerations.
Those facts have convinced many to make the Packers the favourites on Sunday. Which is normal for the Steelers, a team that was counted out before and throughout the season. From quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being suspended for the first four games to James Harrison being the poster boy for improper hits, the Steelers have had more than their fair share of distractions.
Yet through it all the Steelers persevered and rose to the occasion. They won a tough American Football Conference North division ahead of a good Baltimore Ravens side. In the playoffs they got past the Ravens and a team talented enough to win the Super Bowl in the New York Jets. If anyone can defy the experts one more time it’s Pittsburgh.
For all of Green Bay’s resilience as a sixth seed, the 2010-2011 NFL season has always felt like the AFC’s year to me. My Jets may have fell short but I feel the Steelers will not. Pittsburgh should hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy after a victory by a touchdown.