Harris: Steelers will stop Pack
Jaime C. Harris | 4/12/2011, 4:46 p.m.
Although President Barack Obama has more pressing issues than focusing on football, he may have to set aside some time in the near future to host the Green Bay Packers at the White House.
So says Packers cornerback Charles Woodson, one of the best to ever play the position.
"If the President don't want to come watch us in the Super Bowl, guess what? We'll go see him," shouted Woodson after he and his teammates defeated the Chicago Bears by 21-14 in the NFC championship game.
Obama, who cut his teeth in Chicago politics. had unabashedly promised to attend Super Bowl XLV, to be held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, this Sunday (6:30 P.M. kickoff) if the Bears were the NFC representative. The Packers made sure the Commander in Chief won't have to clear his calendar.
Only the AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers stand between the Packers and a trip to
Washington, D.C. They will come into the 45th playing of the country's most watched singular sporting event as a slight favorite and with arguably the best player remaining in the post-season in quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
But Woodson and the Packers' defense are the backbone of the team. They ranked third overall during the regular season behind the No. 1 Steelers and Baltimore Ravens, and were second in points allowed at 15 per game. In three playoff games they are yielding an average of 17.
The Packers have playmakers spread throughout their defense. In 24 year old tackle B.J Raji, 24 year old linebacker Clay Mathews, and cornerback Tremon Williams, 27, head coach Mike McCarthy and his outstanding defensive coordinator Dom Capers operate with three of the best young talents in the sport.
However, the Packers' defense has its kryptonite, which is stopping the run. They gave up 114.9 per outing, 18th in the league. Conversely, the Steelers' offensive success is predicated on running the ball. The Steelers' running backs gashed the Jets for 148 yards, including 127 by Rashard Mendenhall.
The Packers defense will put up a great showing. Nonetheless, it won't be enough as a late fourth quarter touchdown spearheaded by Mendenhall and QB Ben Roethlisberger lifts the Steelers to a 27-20 victory.