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Super Bowl Strategy

February 4, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

My beloved Pittsburgh Steelers will meet the Green Bay Packers this week in Super Bowl XLV.  As a die-hard member of the Steeler Nation, I’ll be pulling for my Boys in Black.  As a strategist, however, I must take a more pragmatic view.

I believe the Steelers are the better team, however, I believe the Packers may be playing better football.  They are peaking at the right time, which is obviously advantageous in the playoffs.

Green Bay won their three playoff games in convincing fashion and on the road, including a 48-21 blowout of top seeded Atlanta and a 21-14 over second seeded Chicago; a game which was not as close as the score indicates.  In contrast, Pittsburgh squeezed out two wins at home with margins less than a touchdown.

So, what do the Steelers have to do to win?  I see two keys.  

First, the Steelers must stop Aaron Rogers.  The Packers can’t and won’t run.  They finished the season at a dismal 24th in league in rushing, and the Steeler run defense was the best in the NFL.  No, the Packers will pass and pass some more.  They had the league’s 5th best passing offense, while the Pittsburgh pass defense came in at a mediocre 12th.  Rogers has more or less been able to do whatever he wanted vis a vis the passing game.  The Steelers must shut him down.

Second, the Steelers must win the psychological battle early.  The Packers are winning because they are in “The Zone.”  They are playing sharp, synchronized, and confident.  The Steelers must disrupt the Packer offense and bring them back down to earth.  The best way to accomplish this will be on defense.  The Steelers must blitz Rogers early, get some hurries, hard hits, and sacks to make him nervous in the pocket.  They need to force Rogers to hurry his throws and make bad decisions.  An early interception will shake the Packer’s confidence and throw them off their game.

The other side of the ball won’t matter as much for either team.  Ben Roethlisberger and the Steeler offense will score some points, and the Packer defense will play well but not spectacularly.

In contrast to all the predictions of a tight game, I see the game being decided fairly early.  If Pittsburgh is able to shake the Packers’ confidence and throw them off their passing game in the 1st quarter, it’s a good bet there will be a 7th Lombardi trophy in Steeltown.  However, if Aaron Rogers gets good protection, stays confident, and has time to work through Super Bowl butterflies and settle into a groove, it could be a long day for the Steelers.

That said, GO STEELERS!

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Categories: Current Events, Strategy
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