Monday, January 24, 2011

superbowl XLV.

Comic Reviews will be up tomorrow, as the prominence of the football news takes precedence.

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The field in the National Football League has been officially narrowed to two teams: the Green Bay Packers will play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas, in the new Cowboys Stadium.

In the first game of the day, Green Bay crushed Chicago in what ended as a closer game than it ever was in reality. Despite the low score, Chicago never seriously threatened. And when Jay Cutler went down in the first half, not to return for the rest of the game, the Bears seemed lost. However, third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie stepped up to his role in a big way and made something of a game of the second half.

Chicago didn't even manage to put points on the board, in fact, until the fourth quarter. By that point, it seemed certain to most people watching the game that the game was over. Hanie refused to let things end quietly, though.

The Packers have done a great job of stepping up their game as the season has wound down week after week, and they refused to do any different on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers, more than proving his place as the post-Brett Favre quarterback for Green Bay, ended the night with a somewhat ugly line, but did everything that was asked of him - most importantly winning. Along the way, he threw for 288 yards and 2 interceptions, while running for 1 touchdown. He had a passer rating of 55.4, by far the lowest of his post-season. Despite all this, Rodgers and the Packers came out triumphant, defeating their long-time rivals in Chicago and setting up a meeting in Super Bowl XLV with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The New York Jets played in the same style of the Bears, refusing to put up points in the first half. It could have been considered a charitable gesture, if it had been done on purpose, but no one believes that, and the Jets dug themselves too big a hole to get out of. The Pittsburgh Steelers, with their championship pedigree proved to be too much to overcome.

While Mark Sanchez has been impressive since begin drafted last year, he was no match for Ben Rothlisberger. The Jets and their vaunted defense allowed twenty-four points in the first half, while only scoring 3 of their own on offense. The good news was, the defense woke up in the second half, and held the Steelers scoreless. After the Jets managed a safety and a touchdown in the short span of just over 4 minutes, it seemed like hope was alive.

But, Pittsburgh's defense isn't nicknamed the Steel Curtain for nothing, and they held up their end of the defensive bargain we were promised.

The Super Bowl, then, will feature two young quarterbacks who are at different stages in their careers: while Rothlisberger has been to the Super Bowl twice already and, despite the trouble he's been in, is accepted fully by his team and his city, Aaron Rodgers is taking that last step. If there were any people in Green Bay who hadn't bought fully into Rodgers, surely this Super Bowl trip convinces them. Win or lose, Rodgers is now firmly in command of the Packers and the Cheesehead Nation. Combined with Rothlisberger's previous wins, this will make for an entertaining game between 2 quarterbacks in total control, with nothing really to lose, and everything to gain. Tune in to the game in 2 weeks.

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