Are you prepared for perhaps the highest rated SuperBowl the NFL has ever seen? I am and so is the NFL, who have to still be high-fiving each other and slapping backs after watching two of the leagues most storied and most popular teams, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, advance past the Championship games and book their flights to Dallas in two weeks.
Having watched both games, I can honestly say that these two frigid games were not the best executed but they did give you drama up to the very end and provided the sports nation with enough story-lines to fill papers for weeks to come. I can also tell you that in two match-ups that showcased decisive quarterback battles, it ended up being defenses that decided these games, for better or for worse.
In the first game yesterday, the Packers-Bears one, it was a tale of two halves as the Pack jumped out to a 14-0 lead only to have the Bears storm back behind third string quarterback Caleb Haine to make a game of it. Chicago managed to contain Green Bay Phenom Aaron Rodgers in the second half, holding the Packers offense to no second half points while the Bears scored 14. The only problem, however, was that the Chicago offense also threw a crucial pick six that decided the outcome of the game.
The biggest controversy that came out of this game was when Bears QB Jay Cutler removed himself from the game in the third quarter, citing a leg injury that left many across the nation questioning the toughness and will to win of the young QB. Just quit pestering Chicago coach Lovie Smith about it because he is sick of answering the questions.
"He hurt his knee and he was out, all right?" Smith said. "There’s nothing else for me to tell you on that. I don’t know exactly when it happened, he couldn’t go and that was that."
The second game of the day, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets, was also a game of two halves as the Steelers used a smothering defense and an opportunistic rushing attack to break out to a 24-3 first half lead. However, the Jets made some half time adjustments that left the Steelers flummoxed on both sides of the ball and left them down only by 5 late in the game.
That’s when Ben Roethlisberger said enough was enough.
Faced with the chance to end the game on their terms, the Steelers used some gutsy calls and the big play ability of Roethlisberger to eat up the final 3 minutes of the game, keeping the suddenly surging Jets offense on the bench watching helplessly as their SuperBowl aspirations were rudely ended.
The win puts the Steelers in the SuperBowl for their 8th time and gives Roethlisberger the chance to win his third SuperBowl in his young career, a feat that would put him alongside Tom Brady and two ahead of Peyton Manning.
We have two weeks to go until we get to see the Green Bay-Pittsburgh game, and it’s sure to be a looong two weeks, but for now we can just sit back and bask in the match-up everyone wanted and everyone will be watch.
In the immortal words of the Jets Bart Scott…”Can’t wait!”.