Packers-Steelers: It Won't Be Like Last Time
By Jeff Falconio
When the Packers and Steelers met on December 20, 2009 it was the very definition of a shootout. Pittsburgh survived 37-36 led by Ben Roethlisberger's 503 passing yards while Aaron Rodgers put up 383 yards.
It was exhilarating, heart-stopping and frustrating all rolled into one. But don't expect a repeat when the two teams meet next Sunday.
That's not to say that Super Bowl XLV won't be exciting, it may very well be, but it won't be the same aerial assault that we saw 13 months ago. On that afternoon the Packers started Jarrett Bush at one cornerback spot with Charles Woodson at safety. On the final drive Josh Bell was on the field as an extra defensive back. It had gotten that thin in the secondary.
Certainly the Packers have had to rely on depth again this year but the secondary is healthier and far more loaded than in 2009. Unfortunately, the same must be said about Pittsburgh. Troy Polamalu missed the Week 15 thriller last year and starting cornerback Bryant McFadden was in Arizona.
Ultimately, Super Bowl XLV may come down to Rodgers and Roethlisberger. That part won't change. Both teams have done a very good job against the run in the postseason and with lots of depth at wide receiver both QBs might look for that mismatch in the secondary. But don't expect 37-36 again.