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Carriveau's Super Bowl Prediction

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Carriveau's Super Bowl Prediction

Let me preface this by saying, I'm sorry Packers fans. I know many – nay, all – of you won't be happy with this.

I'll also say, I'm very conflicted. I originally mentioned on Packers Transplants and a couple radio interviews that my initial instinct was that the Packers would win.

And I wouldn't be surprised in the least if the Packers won today. I expect a close game between two good teams, but I'm giving the Steelers the edge.

Don't get me wrong. The Packers fan in me is going to be cheering as loudly and vociferously as anyone. My heart wants the Packers to win, but my brain says the Steelers will.

I give the Packers the edge in a few areas.

The Green Bay wide receivers against the Pittsburgh cornerbacks is a mismatch of epic proportions. I entirely expect the Packers to spread out the Steelers defense as much as possible and get them into their nickel personnel.

For one, the Steelers run defense won't be as stout in their nickel personnel as their base.

But I also see the Packers trying to take advantage of Bryant McFadden, Ike Taylor and William Gay. There should be plenty of short stuff – slants, and run-pass option passes – that will frustrate them to no end. And then just when they try to take away the short stuff, either Greg Jennings or James Jones is going to beat someone deep down the sideline.

The Steelers front seven is as impressive as they come. Make that the front nine when you add in safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark. I love their defense just about everywhere except the corners.

Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga have done a solid job throughout the playoff run, but I think the best pass rushers they've seen all season will be today. Clifton and Bulaga might be able to hold their own on 95% of the plays, but it's going to be the 5% that hurts them. Harrison and Woodley should be good for two sacks combined today, at minimum.

On the other side of the football, I like the four or five Packers who will line up along the line of scrimmage against the Pittsburgh offensive line, especially without Maurkice Pouncey.

But even without a great offensive line, they manage to be effective running the ball. And I believe Rashard Mendenhall is an underrated running back. The Steelers should see at least some success running the ball against a Green Bay defense that's been just average against the run this year.

Ben Roethlisberger is a difference maker, though. I don't like him as a person, but I have utmost respect for him on the football field.

He's big, can extend plays, and best of all, he has a quick release. His targets may not be Pro Bowl guys, but they're very reliable. Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Heath Miller are guys that can make a defense pay.

I realize the Green Bay secondary has improved a ton since the last time they faced the Steelers in 2009, but I just think Roethlisberger will protect the football. And like it or not, he's a winner with two Super Bowls to his name already.

If the Packers do win, it will be because of the secondary. And it will take an interception or two from Tramon Williams, Charles Woodson, Sam Shields or Nick Collins to do so. So they're the key to the game, in my eyes.

If I'm forced to pick a winner today, I give a slight, slight edge to the Steelers. Unlike their high-scoring affair a season ago, I expect it to be a low-scoring game. Not 9-7 low, but rather somewhere in the range of 21–17.

If it's any consolation, I believe the Packers are built for sustained success and have the chance to win a Super Bowl, maybe even a couple, down the road. I'm already convinced the Packers are the favorites to win the NFC again next season.

But I guess I'm resigned to be the guy you'll love to hate today. If the Packers win, feel free to hold this against me forever.

I hope I'm wrong.

Go Pack Go.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (19) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

jeremy's picture

My gut tells me the Packers are going to win. We can all share a bitter cup if you turn out to be right. But I believe they will win and when they are Super Bowl Champions your moment of doubt will be forgotten.

Packerhq's picture

First I have been in your spot all season Brain so Bravo for being honest as that's not easy.
Second this is a close ball game anyway you slice it up. The team that makes the fewest mistakes wins just that simple.
GB can NOT I repeat not come out and play we need a quarter to warm up football today.
With that said for the first time all year I am going homer and saying Packers 24-20 which now has many fans saying I just jinxed the hell out of us LOL.
4 quarters to glory.. Let's do it !

tyler21's picture

We will win...our vets want a ring and their gettin 1!

brett63088's picture

It's pretty simple for me...

We have 2 HUGE HUGE advantages in our favor, our passing attack vs their secondary and our pass rush against their Offensive Line. Flozell Adams vs Clay? Legursky vs Raji? Jonathan Scott vs Cullen Jenkins? Are you kidding me? I expect us to get after Big Ben all day long. We're the better team and that is why I believe we will win today, 31-21.

Tommer's picture

For the past decade and a half, ever since SB32, I've always approached the Packer post-season with a glass is half empty outlook. The defense isn't good enough, Favre will make a critical turnover...you name it.

Somehow, this year is different. Even when the Eagles and Bears were driving in the fourth quarters of their respective games, it felt like the game was always in hand. There were just too many playmakers not to come out on top.

This game is no different. The Packer defense is as good as, if not better than, the Ravens and Jets. Their offense is head and shoulders above each. Steelers should have lost to Baltimore were it not for a few gimme turnovers. Their second half against the Jets was a yawner.

And so, if Green Bay plays the way they're capable of, this game isn't even close. Go Pack Go.

Cole's picture

I guarantee Mccarthy has a solid gameplan in place for woodley and Harrison. Four wide with Bjax in to block, add in screens and hurryup o, plus some delayed handoffs.

On the otherside of the ball I'll be suprised if
Pittsburg scores more than 14 points. We should get at least five to six sacks on Ben.

Aaron Biderman's picture

To me, the Packers have huge advantages in terms of the Packers WR's vs the Steelers DB's, CM3 vs Flozell and BJ vs Legursky while the Steelers only major mismatch it Woodley vs Bulaga (assuming Clifton plays like he has vs Trent Cole, Peppers and Abraham). It seems like everywhere else Pitt has a greatness (run D) the Packers don't really want/need to attack. The only thing stopping us from winning today is Ben breaking away from sacks and making plays on the run. If we can contain Ben we should have no trouble winning the game. My prediction is Packers win 17-14

John's picture

The Packers are winning this... better receivers + better QB = More chances of scoring.

So what if they have Harrison and Woodley, these guys can be blocked and I think people underestimate Clifton and Buluga and the job they've done.

Mendenhall... he'll get 70-80 yards, but we're aware of what he can do. Rememeber this is a team that see's Adrian Peterson twice a year... and he aint THAT good.

Rapes-a-burger - the guy rides on the success of his D. He'll put up 20 odd points, but Rodgers can dominate and from the sounds of McCarthy we're ready to roll!

I have absolutely NO fear of the Steelers and I'll be shocked if the Packers don't win. The Steelers can ride off the back of past successes all they want, but we aint the Cardinals and this is a whole new ball game!

keeley2's picture

Brian - We all appreciate your work. However, it's not like we are clamoring to hear your negativity today. As my mother was want to say, "If you can't say anything nice. . ." So let me start the hardy round of BOO's that should accompany your prediction: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

FITZCORE1252's picture

You are dead to me.

PACK - 28
squealers - 24

WHITEHOUSE ON THREE

WoodyG's picture

Maybe BC will retire after this season (And then unretire next fall) ...... Maybe BC has plans to start an 'exclusive Vikings blog' .......

BC ..... I sure hope you haven't been taking pics of yourself ...... LOL.

Ruppert's picture

Brian, I can't picture you being vociferous under any circumstances.

Didn't you pick the Jets, too? How did that turn out....?:)

I think the Pack will put up over 30, unless we gag repeatedly in the red zone. And we'll win.

Cuphound's picture

It would be super cool to win today. But, hey, we beat the Bears in the NFC Championship game this year. For me, after that game, the Super Bowl is frosting. I never expected to make it this far. Still, I'm hoping for the win. These teams are closely matched in my view and it ought to be a hell of a game.

GO PACK GO!!!

Rich Beckman's picture

Pack 35

Steelers 7

Steeler offense will not be able to stay on the field. Close game first half; second half Steeler defense begins to tire, Pack rolls.

Cuphound's picture

Glad you were wrong, Brian. So, I bet, are you!

GO PACK GO!

foundinidaho's picture

So, what DID Jayme say to you after the game? ;)

mel's picture

So how would you like your crow served today? Baked, bar-b-q, sauted??? Important this to eat the whole bird!!!! lol PACKERS ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!!

Wuscokid's picture

What did I tell you. The Packers have tooooo many receivers for them to cover.

JAY quitler's picture

THANK GOODNESS I DIDN'T SEE THIS TILL MONDAY OF COURSE WE DON'T BET BUT MY BOOKIE GOT KILLED BECAUSE WE ALL TOOK THE PACK AND THE OVER ALL PROCEEDS IF THERE WERE ANY GO TO CHARITY. ANY CHANCE WE CAN HEAR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AGAIN IT WAS AS GOOD AS YOUR PREDICTION

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