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Topic: Super Bowl 45 Thoughts: Packers Defense Stepped Up
 Russ Bliss_108
Membership: Starter
Joined: September 04
Total Posts: 19878
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Post Date: 02/07/11 15:45
And that's a wrap.
Let's just hope it wasn't a wrap for the rest of 2011.
Green Bay's 31-25 victory over Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl was an exciting game to watch. Even when it was 21-3 in the second quarter you just got the feeling that this game wasn't in the bag for the Packers. They looked in control, but when Ben Roethlisberger hit Hines Ward for the 8 yard TD pass just before halftime, coupled with the Charles Woodson injury on that drive, you knew this game was far from over.
And it wasn't.
I could go into a complete recap, but there are many places for that and I'd just be rehashing what you already know. But what I took away from the game was that the Packers WR's almost cost Green Bay this game. I had mentioned previously in my 2011 fantasy football sleeper WR article that I really liked Jordy Nelson over James Jones for the upcoming season. And while Nelson had a great stat line, his 3 drops were alarming. James Jones big drop was also alarming. But what I loved was that Aaron Rodgers never shied away from throwing either of those guys the football despite the miscues. Rodgers has taken a giant step up in maturity and performance in the last several games and with this young group, he appears to be ready to lead them to more Super Bowls in his future.
I also took away that the Packers defense was just more opportunistic. The interception return for a TD was just something we've come to expect from the Packers in this post-season. The forced fumble by Clay Matthews at the start of the 4th quarter was also something we'd gotten used to. And the way the Packers didn't squander their opportunities from these turnovers is what really put them in position to win.
Conversely, the Steelers defense didn't make the big plays necessary to give the ball back to their offense. Sometimes football is a game of inches, and it always seemed like whenever there was a chance for the Steelers defense to make a big play, they were just a couple of inches short of tipping the pass, or getting the interception. Maybe that's a credit to Aaron Rodgers for just being a split second ahead of them.
But even with all that, when Pittsburgh got the ball back with 2:00 left to play in the 4th quarter, you couldn't help but remember that Ben Roethlisberger had been in almost this exact same situation just two years ago in Super Bowl 43 against the Arizona Cardinals, and he led them to a game winning TD. You almost expected him to do it again.
But credit Green Bay's defense again: they made the stop when it counted most.
As much as Aaron Rodgers was deserving of being the Super Bowl 45 MVP, I think an underappreciated defensive unit deserves just as much credit. 
On any given Sunday any fantasy team can beat another, only to still lose Monday night.
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