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Steelers-Packers should be lots of fun

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By Mike Cote

I guess there’s some sort of football game going on this weekend.
The folks over there in Dallas are calling it the “Super Bowl.” I’ve never heard of it, but I guess it’s a pretty big deal there in Big D. You know how wacky those Texans are about their football.
Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite days of the year, rivaling Christmas and Independence Day. Just like Independence Day, there are plenty of fireworks going off, and usually several scantily-clad women walking around — with the possible exception of this year, as neither the Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers have cheerleading squads — and just like Christmas, you never know exactly what you’re going to get.
Well, at least most people don’t. I do. Let me break it down for you:

Super Bowl XLV
Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers
Sunday, 4:20 p.m., Channel 2

First off, this should be a fantastic game. I’ve been a bit spotty over the last several years picking the winners of the Super Bowl, but for the most part, the recent Bowls have been among the best that have been played.
Oh, sure, I loved watching Denver get its teeth kicked in by San Francisco and Washington and cringed when Buffalo time and time again embarrassed itself, but many Super Bowls have been hard to sit through. Not so for the past several years.
Sunday’s game could be the best of the bunch.
First, there are the Steelers, who have a six-pack’s worth of Super Bowl trophies already in their possession, including winning twice in the last five years.
Then, there are the Packers, representin’ Title Town. The Packers have had one of the toughest roads to toe ever for a team making it to the Super Bowl and they’ve been nothing less than sparkling in getting there.
For the Packers, their defense will have to come up big. If they fall behind early in this one, the pressure gets dropped squarely on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers, who has been outstanding in the playoffs. I have to wonder if the law of averages is catching up to Rodgers, however, after a rather pedestrian second half in the NFC title game against the Bears.
The same holds true for the Steelers. Falling behind early could be disastrous for them, as their offense is rather lumbering in nature. Don’t expect any late-game miracles by Ben Roethlisberger if Pittsburgh doesn’t produce early.
Ultimately, this game will be decided by defense. Both defenses are good, but the Steelers’ is better. Rodgers won’t have time to pick apart the Steelers’ secondary, as he did against Chicago and Philadelphia, even with his dangerous scrambling ability.
Look for Pittsburgh to grab the lead in the first half and not to relinquish it. Steelers 24-20.