Edited by Russ Bliss (1-28-11)

We're finally down to 2. We finally have our two combatants in Super Bowl 45. The Green Bay Packers will face the Pittsburgh Steelers. My Super Bowl prediction and MVP is up in my blog and our Lineup Analyzer's Super Bowl prediction is up in our articles.

But one thing I've always said on my radio shows over the years is that my opinion is just that: my opinion, and as witnessed in my original NFL playoffs predictions, I get things wrong all the time. So I invited our Forum Moderators here at Fantasy Football Starters to submit their own thoughts on the Super Bowl and how they see it playing out. I also asked them to give a prediction on who the Super Bowl MVP will be. I have said many times that I believe we have some of the keenest football minds amongst our Moderators here at FFS and I have the highest respect for their opinions. As well as providing additional insight on the biggest NFL game of the year, getting their opinions here will provide some good natured bragging rights amongst us.  

One of our Moderators (our IDP Guru, Robert Kirlin) posted his prediction in the forums, but here are Forums Moderators, Michael Arnaud, James Kelly, Eric Pradin, Jeff Radatz, and Stephen Toumi with their predictions for Super Bowl 45:

Michael Arnaud:

Super Bowl Prediction

Steelers over the Packers 31 - 24

7 come 11 boys and girls this is a case of been there, done that!  The Pittsburgh Steelers simply have too much experience for the Green Bay Packers to overcome.  Aaron Rodgers, while certainly a very, very good QB has what I like to call, the "Pucker Factor" and historically hasn't performed well on the big stage.  Yes I know they've won three straight road games and certainly Rodgers performed well against Philly or did Philly perform badly against the Packers? (Hmmm) Now when he is on like he was vs. Atlanta it's Hall of Fame numbers but when he puts up a stinker like he did vs. Da Bears (17-30, 244, no-TD's and 2-INT's) well... the Steelers ain't the Bears! The Steelers will expose the lack of running game and will exploit their own running game.  They'll get up early and will force Rodgers into mistakes with Troy Polamalu lying in wait!  Big Ben will be the MVP (15-20, 236, 3-TD, 1-INT) and the Steelers will get number seven!

James Kelly:

And the Super Bowl Champion is?

Now that this long fantasy football season has nearly come to an end, what is left for us is a potentially great matchup for the Packers and Steelers to do battle for the title of Super Bowl Champion.

How incredible is it that if you're the Green Bay Packers and lose 15 players to the NFL's Injured Reserve List and can still be playing in the Super Bowl? This is a testament to Mike McCarthy's great coaching staff in Green Bay. He guided a young team with very little experience and turned them into a juggernaut franchise.

We can't forget about Steelers coach Mike Tomlin though. Forced to play with third- string quarterbacks the first quarter of this season while starting QB Ben Roethlisberger sat out for weeks due to off of the field conduct. Tomlin was masterful at motivating his defense to take over games and win early and often, surprising everyone with their success.

You would think that the Steelers have a clear advantage to win with 5 to 6 future Hall of Famers on the squad right now compared to a very young Packer squad who has very little experience playing in these circumstances. 

I think the X factor in this game has to be the high-ankle sprain injury sustained to All-Pro Rookie center Maurkice Pouncey. These types of injuries usually take 3 to 4 weeks to heal properly, sometimes longer, and even if Pouncey plays you know he will be limited in the things he can do and the Packers will put heavy pressure on the interior line with blitz packages thrown at the running attack. With BJ Raji and Clay Mathews hammering away, this will all but immobilize the run attack of the Steelers, forcing Ben to go to the air more than he wants to.

I predict that the Packers will beat the Steelers in a close, relatively low scoring game. The kicking game will be an important factor as well. Green Bay has a definite advantage especially in a low scoring game with Mason Crosby as yet another scoring threat for the Steelers to contend with against a team loaded in offensive weapons.

Green Bay Packers        24

Pittsburgh Steelers       19

Eric Pradin:

Forget about the NFC and AFC championship. This game will be played in a dome with perfect weather and a perfect playing surface. Does everyone remember the last time Green Bay played in these conditions? When they went to Atlanta and pounded them 48-21. I see another huge game from Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Pack. I predict Green Bay to win 34-20 over Pittsburgh. Aaron Rodgers will be the MVP.

Jeff Radatz:

The first thing that comes to mind for Super Bowl XLV is experience.  The Steelers have it and the Packers do not.  The Steelers are playing in the Super Bowl for the third time in six years.  This is a team that knows how to win and knows how to handle the attention that a game like this brings.  I am not sure how the Packers will handle it.  Plus Ben Roethlisberger's playoff record is (10-2); Aaron Rodgers is (3-1).  I give the advantage to the Steelers.

Next I think about defense and in particular the Steelers run defense!  I do not think the Packers will be able to establish any type of run game against the #1 rush defense in the league.  Now if the Packers cannot run the ball that makes their offense one dimensional.  That bodes well for the Steelers which allows them to play the type of game they are accustomed to, which is stop the run and get after the quarterback.

I think this is going to be a closely contested ballgame the entire time, but I have to give the advantage to the Steelers.  My prediction is Steelers 24 - Packers 20.

My MVP prediction is Big Ben with rather unimpressive numbers but he just gets the job done.

258 Passing yards

2 Touchdowns

0 INT's

Stephen Toumi:


After watching the Conference Championships it struck me as odd that neither of the eventual winner looked dominant for a full 60 minutes. Green Bay put up 14 points in the first half, while Pittsburgh jumped out to a 24-3 halftime lead. One of these teams will have to step up and play the full 60 minutes in order to be victorious on February 6 in Dallas, Texas.

I still subscribe to Coach Paul "Bear"¯Bryant quote, "Offense sells tickets; Defense wins championships".¯I think that speaks volumes for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they go up against a good offense led by Aaron Rodgers. The only question on offense is that of the rushing game. James Starks has been good in sin the playoffs. Games of 123 yards, 66 yards and 74 yards shows that the kid does have the talent to lead the way, but will he be able to break through the Steel Curtain?¯

The Jets had a good rushing game, but the Steelers were able to shut them down and force Sanchez to throw. While Rodgers is a higher caliber QB than Sanchez he played much of the season with a very average backfield after the loss of Ryan Grant. Thankfully Starks has stepped up his game during the playoffs and could be the player the Packers need to have come through if they are to be a real force offensively.

For Pittsburgh Mendenhall played arguably one of best games of the season last week against the Jets. Much like Starks, he too is the focal point of the Steelers offense. The Packer defensive line will have their hands full with Mendenhall. Looking at Roethlisberger's 10-19-133, 2 INT performance it was an ugly stat line, but what the line doesn't show is how effective those 10 completions were. But he will have to take his game to a higher level in the Super Bowl.

As for my winner, I am selecting the Steelers based on the strength of their defense. I feel they will dominate the game, stop Starks and force Rodgers into a few mistakes, as well a number of sacks. As for my choice for Super Bowl MVP, I will give a game ball to Rashard Mendenhall. I look for him to have another dominant performance on the ground and find the end zone a few times. Final score from Dallas:

27-21 Steelers over the Packers


And there we have it! Great minds don't always think alike and what I glean most from this is that this game is too close to really call. It really can go either way, and there is no distinct better team. If this were baseball or basketball, it probably would go 7 games.

No matter what your prediction, one thing is for sure: it's going to be a GREAT game!