I was at the New Orleans game, and the New England game. I know what great quarterbacks and passing games that have it together can do to this secondary.
I'm picking the Steelers, anyway.
It's got more to do with attitude than alignment, more to do with intangibles than the intricacies of the Dom Capers-Dick LeBeau defense and which team executes it better.
Because when you get down to it that's what this season has been about for the Steelers more than anything else.
Ever since the Ben Roethlisberger suspension the Steelers have been determined not to let a perceived injustice ruin their season. The motivation has been to overcome, to stick it back to Roger Goodell and the NFL, to persevere until there was nothing left for them to prove.
And now they stand poised to actually pull it off, one game away from mission accomplished.
It started with Roethlisberger.
It continued with the rules crackdown and all of the fines and flags.
Super Bowl XLV provided the capper, the Peter King-Goodell-S.I.-dot-com revelation that according to Goodell none of the Steelers would stand up for Big Ben.
It doesn't matter that Goodell's statement was misinterpreted.
The Steelers, according to Max Starks, emerged "galvanized" and "pissed off."
And those are powerful emotions when a trophy is at stake.
The Packers want the Lombardi. But the Steelers want to force-feed Goodell "humble pie." And in a game featuring two otherwise relatively evenly-matched teams, why wouldn't emotion decide it?
That's not much to go on, I know. You'd rather be able to hang your hat on something tangible, such as Bryan Bulaga not being able to block LaMarr Woodley or Charlie Peprah not being able to cover (insert name of a Steeler here).
But for every matchup that seemingly favors the Steelers, the Packers have a counter advantage (start with that secondary against those receivers and go from there).
So emotion is pretty much what the Steelers have going for them over everything else.
And in this game at this time, emotion ought to be enough.
Steelers 37, Packers 34.
Roger, over and out.