The field has been narrowed from 32 to two and the final two are the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers. Now the lone question that remains is who is going to win the Lombardi Trophy? Although Super Bowl bettors are more likely concerned with the NFL spread.
The Steelers are back in the Super Bowl, which now makes it their third appearance in the last six seasons. While they were a No. 2 seed in the playoffs, they are actually an underdog according to the Las Vegas odds makers as they get set to square off against the No. 6 seed Packers.
For many of the Packers players, this will be their first taste of the big game whereas virtually the entire Steelers roster has rings already. But when gauging momentum, that clearly has to side with the Packers, who have smoked the three opponents they’ve faced in the playoffs whereas the Steelers have merely scraped by.
Aside from the first half in Atlanta, the Packers haven’t trailed at all in the playoffs. They topped Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, thrashed the top-seeded Falcons and handled the Chicago Bears.
Meanwhile, the Steelers had to overcome a 21-7 halftime deficit in the Divisional Round when hosting the Baltimore Ravens and then nearly blew a 24-0 lead in the AFC Championship Game.
And that right there is why the Packers are favored.
So far in the postseason, they have done all of their damage while on the road and have been more impressive than the Steelers, who have been in the cozy confines of Heinz Field.
But how much does experience factor?
We saw virtually the exact same matchup a few seasons ago when the Steelers faced the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl. The Cardinals, like the Packers, were a similar pass-oriented team with excellent receivers and were also a lower-seed that had to do more work on the road than at home to qualify for the Super Bowl.
Does that mean the result will be similar?
Without a doubt, it’s surprising to see the Steelers in the underdog role but regardless, the matchup that shaping up for Super Bowl XLV will be momentum versus experience. On February 6th, we’ll find out which one wins out.