Ok so it’s the bye week and there is no upcoming game to chat about. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun. This year’s Green Bay team remains the only unbeaten team and they look pretty unbeatable as well. The question I ask you Steeler Nation is, if we replayed Super Bowl XLV this year with a healthy team on both sides, could we take them?
What’s the best way to break down the outcome of a game that hasn’t taken place and might not happen? Leaves me with quite a lot of room to exaggerate so that’s good for me. Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses for each team and see who comes out on top. There’s no looking back to last season or the Super Bowl. Just what each team has either done or not done so far this season will determine the probable winner. Keep in mind that I’m totally and unapologetically biased towards the Steelers.
These guys can score like nobody’s business. They are ranked 1st in points scored, 4th in offensive yards, and 3rd in passing yards. Aaron Rogers leads the league in touchdowns and is just about even with Ben Roethlisberger in passing yards. Did I say that right? Yes I did. Rogers has 2,869 passing yards after playing 9 games and Ben has 2,877 after 10 games. One thing Rogers has over Ben is accuracy. Rogers is completing nearly 75% of his passes which is a scary number. To put it in perspective, let’s just take another random quarterback out of nowhere, say Joe Flacco. Mr. Unibrow is completing just about 55% of his passes. Staggering isn’t it? Ok back on topic. The Packers offense is scary. They might not run the ball all over the place, ranking 21st in rushing, but Rogers has found his rhythm and is being hyped like he’s an Uggs model or something. The NFL has turned into a pass-happy league and the Packers are sure taking advantage.
One thing the Packers also have going for them is the drive. It seems silly and isn’t a measurable statistic but there is a clear pattern for Super Bowl teams on either side of the Lombardi trophy to not do so great the following season. It’s very difficult to repeat as Super Bowl Champions, almost impossible in today’s NFL where anything can happen any week of the season. The Packers have 15 players on their roster this year that were on IR for last year’s Super Bowl run. That’s a whole lot of players that feel like they want to earn that bling they are walking around with. The Packers also have the advantage of veterans. None of the key players or coaches is new to the system and is trying to learn anything. These guys are executing plays they know by heart and they are executing them well.
I’ll go ahead and pay respect to Lambeau Field and offer that as a strength for the Packers. With all due respect to the football gods that place is a land mark. Those crazy Packer fans love putting cheese-like things on their heads and shiver in the snow for their team. One could argue that home field advantage is an advantage for any team but there are a select few that take it to another level and Green Bay is one of those teams. If this imaginary game had to be played in Wisconsin instead of a neutral site, the Steelers would be in trouble.
The Packers have one glaring weakness to their perfect season they have going so far. Their defense is seriously suspect. I’m not giving into the talk that they’ve turned the tide just because they hammered the lowly Vikings on MNF. The Packers rank 31st in defending the pass and 28th in yards allowed. They haven’t come across a defense that could stop their offensive attack so that’s why those rankings can be tied to a 9-0 team. In all fairness the Pack are 8th in stopping the run and 13th in points allowed but if you average almost 390 yards on you in a game, you’re bound to lose eventually. Keep in mind though that these rankings already have the Vikings game averaged in. The defense is the Packers major weakness. The Steelers proved against the Patriots that they can expose a faulty pass defense and I would bet it would be the same outcome here.