It feels good to be wrong…
SUPER BOWL XLV: Green Bay Packers 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 25
JESSE JACOBS’ PREDICTION: Pittsburgh Steelers 17, Green Bay Packers 14
Yes, I predicted the Steelers to pull out their third Super Bowl win in just seven years. Even though Sunday’s result invalidated my prediction, I’m as happy today as anyone that the Green Bay Packers were able to hoist their first Lombardi trophy since 1997. Well, I’m probably not as happy as anyone. Packer fans probably one-up my enthusiasm substantially. Let’s refresh. My attitude regarding the game could be paraphrased as “oh, that’s cool.” It’s like reaching between the cushions of my couch and pullingd up a starburst I accidently dropped a week earlier. I’d be somewhat pumped about it. Hell, I might even call into work. By the end of the day however, I’d probably forget about it.
“Aaron Rodgers is better than Favre!!!” Is that the only reason you wanted the Packers to win the Super Bowl? As much as every diminishment of Favre’s legacy brings a slight twinge of joy to my heart, I know deep down that this statement simply isn’t true (yet). Rodgers has only started NFL football games for three years. Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer each started and won the Super Bowl. Rex Grossman came damn close as well. Rodgers is far better than any of those three, but if his career were to end in the first game of next season, he would hardly be remembered as anything more. “They were all terrible” was the synopsis of that rant, in case you don’t recognize those names.
One for the thumb: It can’t hurt Rodgers in the long run to already have the ever elusive Super Bowl win in his rear-view mirror. There must be no worse feeling than having an outstanding statistical career but failing to win a championship in the process. Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino, for example, is tied with me in total championship victories. Not only did Rodgers win the big game already, he put together the best performance of anyone on either team. I can only imagine what Rodgers statistics would have been if wide receiver Jordy Nelson hadn’t dropped a modest 7,000 passes.
Do you know what commercial was great? No, seriously. I’m asking you. I wouldn’t remember a single one if you showed it to me right now. I couldn’t stand it. Maybe I went into each commercial break with my gloves up, but every last ad made me a little upset. I remember some sort of monstrosity with Justin Bieber and Ozzy Osbourne. I made it halfway through that one before I chloroformed myself. Yes, I keep that on hand during the Super Bowl (Don’t split hairs).
I know that Doritos and beer were advertised in bulk. I don’t understand why those products are so saturated throughout advertising. Who doesn’t like Doritos and beer? They sell themselves by being delicious and inebriating.
Play of the game: Greg Jennings’ second touchdown reception
This was a tough choice and not because of a surplus of nominees. For such a competitive and fairly high scoring game, there was a real lack of big plays. Nick Collins’ interception return for a touchdown was the most exciting play of the game, but I think Jennings touchdown played a greater role in the outcome. Troy Polamalu cheated inward to jump the route Jennings had burned him on earlier for a touchdown. Jennings cut in the opposite direction for a wide-open touchdown catch. Jennings, Rodgers, and Coach Mike McCarthy all had to execute their respective roles to make that play possible. If the Packers had simply gone back to the well and tried to send Jennings on another seam route up the middle, Polamalu would have snatched the ball and been off to the races. This wasn’t the prettiest play in the world, but it won Green Baby the biggest game of the season.
Repeat? Nah. The Packers aren’t a one-year wonder, but they aren’t a dynasty, either. I think Aaron Rodgers will win another Super Bowl before all is said and done, but I don’t think it’s in the cards for next season. The Packers have several key players who are aging quickly in Charles Woodson and Donald Driver; each of whom left the game with injuries. The Packers still don’t have an established presence at running back and are unlikely to pursuit a big name for that position during the offseason.
My prediction for next year’s Super Bowl….
Philadelphia Eagles 35, Kansas City Chiefs 13
Why such a ridiculous prediction? Well, because none of you will remember it an hour from now, let alone a year. I, however, will dig up this prediction around Super Bowl time, which I have long since forgotten, and gloat via the internet if I wind up correct. I know… I dream big.
For that turn of events, you will have to wait next year. In the meantime, we’ll either have to follow hockey, basketball, curling or attempt social interaction. I certainly won’t be doing the latter.
Story by Jesse Jacobs, who also writes for The Ballston Journal
JESSE JACOBS’ COMPLETE NFL PLAYOFF ROUND-UP: THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL:
WEEK TWO: Divisional Playoffs
Divisional Playoff Predictions
Pittsburgh Steelers 31, Baltimore Ravens 24
Green Bay Packers 48, Atlanta Falcons 21
Chicago Bears 35, Seattle Seahawks 24
New York Jets 28, New England Patriots 21
WEEK FOUR: The Big One
Super Bowl Predictions