Quick Slants: Superbowl Special
Green Bay Packers
|Aaron Rodgers(12) beats Daniel Manning(38) to the pylon.|
- Aaron Rodgers had his first struggles in a postseason game throwing 2 interceptions and 0 touchdowns but ran for a touchdown. Neither pick was necessarily his fault but Rodgers will still need to return to his previous playoff standard in two weeks if the team is to win the Superbowl.
- The Packers are the first 6th seed from the NFC to make the Superbowl. The Giants were the 5th seed in 2007.
- Unheralded names have been making big plays for the Packers throughout these playoffs as Sam Shields, an undrafted cornerback, came up with 2 interceptions and a strip sack last night. James Starks has been putting up solid numbers throughout the playoffs after being inactive for most of the regular season. Tramon Williams' reputation had been growing throughout the season but nonetheless, many people would not have known him before his two picks of Matt Ryan in the divisional round.
|Sam Shields(37) celebrates after BJ Raji's(90) touchdown.|
- Aaron Rodgers is sure to face questions about Brett Favre's legacy approaching the Superbowl, however Rodgers has the chance to equal Favre's Superbowl total should he win his first.
- The Packers have made the Superbowl with 17 players on Injured Reserve, reversing the believe that the healthiest team is often the best team in the NFL. The Steelers and Packers combine for 29 total players on Injured Reserve consisting of at least 12 players that had been scheduled to start or had started at some point this season.
- The Packers are the 4th team to win 3 consecutive road games to get to the Superbowl('07 Giants, '05 Steelers, '85 Patriots).
- The Packers have no players that have previously won a Superbowl with the team however fullback John Kuhn owns a Superbowl ring from his time with the Steelers in Superbowl XL.
- Flozell Adams at 35 years of age was deemed not good enough for the Dallas Cowboys, and not resigned to the team, before this season. Adams will now play his first ever Superbowl at the home of Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys for their historical rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers.
|Mike Tomlin during his team's victory over the Jets.|
- Mike Tomlin is now the youngest Head Coach to take his team to two Superbowls at 38 years of age. He is the only head coach under 40 to do so as well as already being the youngest head coach to win a Superbowl after the 2008 season.
- Hines Ward previously stated that he would retire after one more Superbowl victory. Will this victory lead to the end of a Hall of Fame career?
- Maurkice Pouncey's value to the Steelers offense grew with every snap in last nights game, his status is up in the air for Superbowl XLV due to a high ankle sprain.
- Rashard Mendenhall is a huge reason why the Steelers are going to the Superbowl and will likely have a big impact on the game itself. Mendenhall already has a Superbowl ring from his rookie season but missed the whole of the postseason that year. Mendenhall ran for the most yards against the Jets in a single game in the AFC Championship game with 127 yards.
|Rashard Mendenhall(34) breaks away from Jets defenders.|
- Mike Wallace caught a touchdown with no time left on the clock the last time these two teams met to give the Steelers a 37-36 victory. Don't expect such a high scoring game as the Steelers have the top ranked defense from the regular season and the Packers have a top five ranking in the same category.
- Should Maurkice Pouncey not be able to play in the Superbowl, the Steelers offensive line will play the final game of the season with only 2 starters from their opening day lineup; Chris Kemoeatu and Flozell Adams. Whether Pouncey plays or not, the team still has only 1 starter remaining from it's lineup coming into training camp; left guard Chris Kemoeatu.
- Aaron Smith is expected to return to the Steelers after being injured early in the regular season(Week 7 @ Dolphins). The Steelers carried Smith in the hope of reaching the Superbowl, highlighting his importance to the defense and team overall. Ziggy Hood's performances in his place will make Smith's role in the Superbowl an interesting subplot.
- The Steelers have 19 players looking to win their third Superbowl ring with the Steelers.