Tag:Aaron Rodgers
Posted on: February 6, 2011 10:12 pm
Edited on: February 7, 2011 2:22 am
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Rodgers leads Packers to Super Bowl win

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – The Super Bowl experience of the Steelers didn’t matter a bit to the Packers. Neither did Ben Roethlisberger’s toughness, the Pittsburgh defense’s resolve or Brett Keisel’s beard.

Green Bay wasn’t fazed by its youth, its receivers’ inability to make relatively easy catches, or the fact EVERYBODY seemed to pick the Packers to win this game (usually meaning the Steelers would run right over Green Bay). Hell, Green Bay wasn’t even fazed by the furious comeback(s) by Pittsburgh after the Packers took an 18-point lead in the second quarter.

None of it mattered.

Not when Aaron Rodgers, playing in the biggest game of his life, refused to be intimidated by a Steelers offense that never stopped scoring points and narrowing the lead he had built in the first half. Not when he led Green Bay to a 31-25 win.



The biggest drive in the biggest game of his life came after the Steelers cut the lead to 28-25 with 7:34 to play. He was sacked on first down, and on third down, LG Daryn Colledge was called for a false start penalty to make it third and 10. Rodgers’ response: a 31-yard laser to Greg Jennings for the first down to keep the clock running.

Later in the drive, he hit James Jones for a 21-yard pass, and the Packers eventually kicked the field goal. It wasn’t exactly what Rodgers (who finished 24 of 39 for 304 yards and three touchdowns) wanted, but it gave Green Bay some breathing room. Which, it turned out, was all they needed.

Despite an iffy second half on offense and despite the fact the Packers defense clearly was impacted by the loss of CB Charles Woodson, who suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, Green Bay managed to win its first Super Bowl since the 1996 season, returning the Lombardi Trophy to the town that Lombardi put on the map.

After grabbing a 21-3 lead in the second quarter following a Jordy Nelson touchdown catch, a Nick Collins 37-yard interception return and a Jennings touchdown pass, the Packers seemed in control of the game. No, it didn’t just seem like it. The Packers WERE in control of the game.

But the Steelers made an important score late in the second quarter when WR Hines Ward caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to cut the lead to 11 before halftime.

Despite an extra-long halftime – an intermission show, mind you, that not even Slash could save – Green Bay couldn’t retake the game’s momentum.

The Steelers forced Green Bay to punt on the first drive of the second half, and five plays later, Steelers RB Rashard Mendenhall completed the five-play, 50-yard drive with an eight-yard scoring run. The fact Green Bay didn’t gain a first down in the third quarter and the fact the Packers receivers couldn’t handle Rodgers’ passes didn’t bode well going into the last 15 minutes.

Until the beginning of the fourth quarter, that is, when Clay Matthews and Ryan Pickett forced a fumble from Mendenhall to take possession at the Packers 45-yard line. And despite another terrible drop from Nelson, he redeemed himself with a 38-yard catch on a third down to keep the drive going.

After a Rodgers sack, he found Jennings, who had dominated Troy Polamalu on the route, in the corner of the end zone for the eight-yard score and the 11-point lead.

Rodgers, entering the postseason, had never won a playoff game. Now he’s won a Super Bowl. He might not be the best quarterback in the league. But he’s pretty damn close. And now he’s an NFL champion.

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Posted on: February 6, 2011 8:26 pm
 

Super Bowl XLV halftime analysis

B. Roethlisberger throws an interception in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLV (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

DALLAS – Through the first 25 minutes, it seemed like the Packers were going to walk out of Cowboys Stadium and Super Bowl XLV with an easy – and surprising – blowout win against the Steelers.

Considering Green Bay had only been a slight favorite and considering people had been talking about how this easily was a game that could go into overtime, this was a relatively stunning turn of events.

That, of course, is what happens when Green Bay strode to a 21-3 lead, based on Aaron Rodgers’ brilliance (11 of 16 for 137 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 134.6), a little dose of RB James Starks (seven carries for 37 yards) and a tough defense that has forced two turnovers while scoring a touchdown of its own.

But Pittsburgh has a reason to hope now – thanks to a seven-play, 77-yard drive late in the second quarter that ended with an eight-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to WR Hines Ward.

Now, it’s a 21-10 game, and though the Packers get the ball to open the second half, the Steelers have a little momentum.

We still might get that close game just about everybody originally expected after all.

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Posted on: February 6, 2011 3:50 am
Edited on: February 6, 2011 4:13 pm
 

Steelers vs. Packers: 7-Point Super Bowl Preview

Posted by Will Brinson



CBSSports.com's patented and award-winning 7-point preview gets you ready for each and every playoff game. As an added bonus, check out our playoff podcast preview:



1. Green Bay Packers (No. 6, NFC, 13-6) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 2, AFC, 14-4)

At various points in the season, this Super Bowl matchup looked utterly silly. Like when the Packers lost to the Lions in Week 14. Or when the Steelers were facing four games to open the season without Ben Roethlisberger. Or when Matt Flynn looked utterly confused at the end of the Week 15 loss to the Patriots. Or when the Saints spooked the Steelers on Halloween. 

Or, well, you get the point -- in the Packers and the Steelers both overcame a ton of adversity to get to Dallas. But maybe that speaks to exactly why Super Bowl XLV gets a pair of teams with immense talent, tremendous coaching and a knack for getting hot at the right time and winning games when they need to.

2. PLAYOFFS?! Watchability Ranking



It's the Super Bowl. And it's in Dallas. And it features two of the most historic franchises in NFL history, who just so happen to be the two best teams in the NFL. In short, it's a pretty perfect matchup and it's for the whole lobster enchilada. (They make those here. And they're delicious.)

3. Key Matchup to Watch: Steelers offensive line vs. Packers front seven

The Steelers defense isn't the only unit charged with keeping Aaron Rodgers off the field, because Pittsburgh's offensive line is going to need to help that cause as well if Mike Tomlin wants his second Super Bowl ring in four years. 

See, the Steelers are perceived as a running and defense team by stereotype only. The truth is that Rashard Medenhall only crossed the 100-yard mark three times this season, and twice were while Roethlisberger was suspended. That's not even taking into account his 3.9 yards per carry. So, even if they did have the offensive line to grind it out against Green Bay's defense in the running game, it might be tough sledding.

Problem is, with Doug Legursky replacing the injured Maurkice Pouncey, they definitely don't have the front five to handle that task.

Which means that if the Steelers want to keep A-Rod(ge) from hopping on the field and slotting his way to scores, they're going to need a Herculian effort from a makeshift group of guys up front in terms of pass protection. That's easier said than done against a Dom Capers defense, of course, because when he starts dialing up blitzes, things might get a little tricky, even though Pittsburgh's got a slew of talented wideouts in Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown

But the collective skill with that group's worth nothing if the Pittsburgh offensive line can't keep B.J. Raji and the rest of the wrecking crew on the Packers front seven at bay in a straight-up matchup to start.

4. Potentially Relevant Video

For various sad reasons, The Band stopped playing back in the 1970's. They did so at their peak, and with one of the greatest live performances in musical history (the final scene and song from Martin Scorsese's "The Last Waltz" is below). This year's Super Bowl is going to be equally as awesome. It just is. But if it's the last performance well, I'm begging you NFL people. Please, don't do it. Don't you break our hearts.



5. The Packers will win if ...

They can put Roethlisberger on the ground. It's not exactly easy to do despite Ben's insanely high sack per game total of 2.67 (second in the NFL to only Jay Cutler). But the offense can score, and if the defense can keep the Steelers QB from extending plays and allowing his wide receivers to get open, they'll stand a substantially better chance of bring the Lombardi Trophy home.

6. The Steelers will win if ...

Their linebackers can manage to handle the spread formations that Mike McCarthy will dial up. No one's questioning Pittsburgh's ability to keep James Starks from running the ball. Stopping Aaron Rodgers and the four-wide sets that Green Bay's sure to employ is a different matter altogether. James Jones and Jordy Nelson might not be the two biggest names in terms of NFL wide receivers, but if they can get open before LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison take advantage of their favorable mismatches against Chad Clifton and Bryan Bulaga, the Packers will be in business.

7. Prediction
 
Packers 24, Steelers 21

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Posted on: February 5, 2011 2:55 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2011 3:02 pm
 

Marisa Miller talks Super Bowl, Niners, NFL

By Josh Katzowitz

Marisa Miller is your dream girl. She’s beautiful – a supermodel who’s been a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover girl and a Victoria’s Secret angel – and she’s funny and sweet, and when she laughs and touches your arm, it makes you want to put on the pads and go out looking to smash James Harrison.

Plus, she’s a huge football fan. She’s been making the rounds at the Super Bowl this week for Captain Morgan’s First Mate Fund, and for every pose collected this week, Captain Morgan will donate $1 to help retired NFL players. We caught up with her late Friday afternoon, as publicists and her boyfriend buzzed around, and we talked about her favorite team, what sports meant to her growing up and how tough she thinks the Steelers are.

CBSSports.com: Tell me about doing Radio Row.

Marisa Miller: It’s pretty crazy.

CBS: I’m in the Media Center and trying to go out through Radio Row, and I’m tripping over The Situation, and it’s a crazy thing out there. I guess you’re constantly being moved here and there.

MM: I am.

CBS: What’s the experience like?

MM: Honestly, it’s actually kind of nice having everybody in the same room. It does give you the freedom to go to the next person, and there’s the energy of the room. It’s fun doing radio. I really like it.

CBS: More so then video or TV?

MM: It’s a different vibe doing radio. Obviously, it’s just your voice. It’s all about the conversation. It’s fun to talk football. I grew up watching football, since I was about 9 or 10 years old in NorCal. I was a big 49ers fans. That’s something my dad and I did growing up. That was like our bonding time. And this is my sixth Super Bowl.



CBS: None with the 49ers, though.

MM: [makes a sad face] No.

CBS: How did your dad get you into the game?

MM: I’m really close with my dad, and I was always really athletic, so naturally, I gravitated toward sports. I always wanted to hang out with my dad. I played volleyball and basketball in high school. I was just very active. I think football is such a great spectator sport. It’s so intense. It’s such a big part of my family’s social life on the weekend. On Sunday, everybody comes over, I cook a big meal, we scream at the TV. It’s really important to have that healthy competition in your life. I was a pretty shy, sensitive girl growing up. When I started playing sports, it gave me that support system in junior high and high school. That’s a really hard time in anybody’s life. It was nice to have that support.

CBS: The 49ers must have been good when you were growing up. Was that the era of Montana and Rice?

MM: Yep, one of my most vivid memories was watching Super Bowl XXIII with Cincinnati and the 49ers. It was the first time I was watching a game in a public space and not just with my family.

We went to our favorite family restaurant, and they have an upstairs restaurant/bar area with the big screen. It was my first time being in a room with other fans, not just my family. It was a really fun environment. I just remember it was 34 seconds left, Montana to Taylor wins the game and adults were on tables and jumping up and down. I thought it was the funniest thing, because I thought, ‘Wow, these adults can act like kids.’ It was like your license to go crazy and cheer for your team.

It was funny because after that Super Bowl, I was walking through the mall with my friend in San Jose and I passed by Jerry Rice, my childhood hero. I turn around and I had to stop him. I knew exactly who he was. I think he tripped out a little bit, because I was like 11 and he’s like, “How does she know who I am?” He was so gracious. I tore off a piece of my shopping bag, and he signed it. You always hope your childhood hero is as cool as you think they are. He really was.

CBS: What do you think about Jim Harbaugh?

MM: We need something (laugh). We need change. We have a lot of talent on the team. It’s always about working the dynamics, having the right leadership and having it come together. This is going to be a fresh start. I think it’s going to come together.

CBS: They still need a quarterback, though.

MM: (Laughs)

CBS: I don’t think anybody on the team is that guy.

MM: Yeah, we’ll see if anybody on the team steps up. But definitely. Now that we have the coach, it’d be nice to see someone … hey, they passed on Aaron Rodgers. Man, my dad and I talk about that all the time. I don’t think we’re ever going to let that one go.

CBS: Give me your prediction for the Super Bowl. I know you’re buddies with Aaron Rodgers, so don’t let that be a bias.

MM: The great thing about this Super Bowl is that we have two teams that have so much history in the NFL. Pittsburgh has won more Super Bowls than anybody, and they obviously have the experience on their side. They’re tough as s---. But having said that, there’s something about Green Bay that I really like, and they’ve had to win some tough games to get here. And they got some momentum. I don’t know. I really think they’re going to do well.

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Posted on: February 4, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Breakdown of the 2009 Packers-Steelers shootout


B. Roethlisberger (US Presswire)

Posted by Andy Benoit

Conversation overheard in the media center this week:
 
Media Guy A: Maybe it’s just me, but why does it feel like we’re going to get a surprising offensive shootout on Sunday?

Media Guy B: Because last time these two “great defenses” squared off it was an absolute scoring fest.

That scoring fest was a 37-36 instant classic in which a Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace 19-yard touchdown on the final play resulted in a 37-36 Steelers victory. It was a fitting end considering that a Roethlisberger to Wallace 60-yard strike had been the first play of the game.

All week both teams have downplayed the relevance of last year’s shootout. And for good reason. The Packers, with dynamite tight end Jermichael Finley in the lineup, had a slightly different offensive structure than what they’ll have this Sunday. And the Steelers were without strong safety Troy Polamalu.

That said, this was barely a year ago, so what we saw is not entirely irrelevant today. Here are some of the key X and O elements from that contest (tip of the cap to Greg Cosell of the NFL Matchup Show for helping with some of the ’09 details).

PACKERS OFFENSE VS. STEELERS DEFENSE

Inside blitzes

Last time:
The Steelers attacked early with a lot of what’s called Fire X blitzes (having the inside linebackers cross each other to rush the passer). They were successful on a few occasions, though Aaron Rodgers amazed with his ability to deliver throws with defenders bearing down on him. Rodgers also built a lot of locker room cred by popping back up when he did get drilled.

This time: Inside blitzing has been a staple of Pittsburgh’s attack this season. James Farrior recorded six sacks on the year and rising star Lawrence Timmons was a thousand times better than his three sacks suggest. If (IF) the Steelers blitz, their interior ‘backers will be a big part of it.

Corner weakness

Last time:
The Steelers did not have No. 2 corner Bryant McFadden last season (he was in Arizona) and their coverage suffered. Ike Taylor, Willie Gay and Joe Burnett rotated throughout this game. Veteran Deshea Townsend was the nickelback. With so many players altering positions, and with no Polamalu helping out, the entire secondary lacked continuity and consistency.

This time: McFadden is not a stud, but he stabilizes the left corner slot. Willie Gay, who was unfit for a starting job last season, is in a more-fitting nickel role. Gay still has occasional issues on the inside, but this cornerback unit as a whole is in the upper half of the NFL.

Spread formations

Last time: The Packers frequently aligned in the shotgun with four and five wide receivers. This was to take advantage of the thin, “Polamalu-less” secondary.

This time: Given the way Rodgers has played, Green Bay’s depth at wide receiver and the fact that it’s virtually impossible to run on Pittsburgh, expect plenty of spread formations again.

STEELERS OFFENSE VS. PACKERS DEFENSE

Multiple formation throwing

Last time:
Pittsburgh relied on a variety of different formations to attack the Packers through the air – most of them of the spread variety. The objective behind this was to make Dom Capers simplify his complex defensive scheme. Mission accomplished. On the 11-play game-winning drive, Green Bay never rushed more than four.

This time: Pittsburgh will likely make a more concerted effort to establish the run, but it would make sense to do so out of spread formations. Spreading the field prevents the Packers from cluttering the box. The fewer bodies the Packers have roving around the box, the fewer options they’ll have for confusing Ben Roethlisberger and the offensive line.

Charles Woodson defended Hines Ward

Last time: This was when the packers were in more traditional sets (two and three wide receivers). Woodson, the ’09 Defensive Player of the Year, was utilized as a cover corner on what the Packers believed was Pittsburgh’s most dangerous wide receiver.

This week: Woodson has evolved into more of a safety in Green Bay’s scheme. (When he plays traditional corner coverage, it usually means the Packers are being passive.) But if the Packers do use Woodson as a cover corner, it’s likely he will face Ward again. That would be an excellent physical matchup. Plus, Green Bay’s other corners, Sam Shields and Tramon Williams, are both better equipped than Woodson to handle the blazing downfield speed of Wallace.

Early pass-rush prowess

Last time: Before they got passive in the second half, Green Bay was effective with their zone blitzes. Clay Matthews, in particular, stood out.

This time: Matthews has only gotten better, but the rest of the Packers pass rush has leveled off just a bit. Brad Jones, the starter last season, joined the host of Packers on IR long ago. Replacement Erik Walden is athletic but battling an ankle injury this week. Still, straight up, Green Bay’s pass rush as a whole has an advantage on Pittsburgh’s O-line. Right tackle Flozell Adams doesn’t begin to have the movement skills to handle Matthews, and with center Maurkice Pouncey likely out, you have to wonder if the rest of the line will effectively communicate on blitz pickups. (Offensive line coach Sean Kugler credits Pouncey’s development as the driving force behind the line’s improvement against blitzes.)

[More Super Bowl coverage]

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Posted on: February 4, 2011 2:38 am
Edited on: February 4, 2011 9:26 am
 

Young Packers play with a passion for the past

Posted by Will Brinson

IRVING, Texas -- No one questions the historic importance of the Green Bay Packers franchise, but it'd be entirely possible for the current rendition of the Pack to lose a sense of connection with the teams of the past.

That's not the case at all, though.

Even on this is young squad (average age: 25.88 years; none of the current players were even alive when Vince Lombardi died) there's an impressive sense of where Super Bowl 45 fits in the NFL's historical context.

That's probably because they hear it from the man in charge.

"The history of tradition with the Green Bay Packers is a tremendous asset for us as a football team and for us as an organization," head coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday. "It’s something that’s embraced on a daily basis.

You definitely want to win this game for the Packer nation, represent the tradition and history of the great players - Jerry Kramer and all the way down through. We understand where we are, it’s the standard of the Green bay Packers, it’s about winning Super Bowl trophies, and it’s time for the Lombardi Trophy to go back home."

[More Super Bowl coverage]

That's a sentiment that's echoed throughout the locker room "History and tradition is strong in Green Bay," center Scott Wells said. "It's one of the things when you get drafted or signed as a free agent -- they bring you in, and I remember they brought my family in and they give you a tour of the Hall of Fame.

Embracing tradition is obviously important in Green Bay -- a member of the Packers probably couldn't survive a tour in Cheeseland without a belief that the publicly-owned football team is more than just a simple recreational activity for fans and a business for players.

That's not to say it's a requirement, though -- Ted Thompson, the architect for this team, doesn't necessarily demand people who will embrace the Packer tradition.

"We look for good people," Thompson said. "We're very conscious of what kind of person we put in our locker room. We feel like that's very important. But in terms of them embracing tradition, it's something that's acquired.

And once you're there and once you see it and once you experience it on the streets and in the grocery stores, I think you have an appreciation for it and I think these guys do too."



Clearly the pride of the Packers lives in the city, but as almost any member of the team will attest, the walk to work is filled with piles of memorabilia that would serve to humble even the most talented of football players. For this team, though, it serves more as a challenge.

"When I first got to Green Bay to walk around and see the fans and see how much it means to them, and then you go through Lambeau and the Hall of Fame and see all the tradition, I think it motivates you," right guard Josh Sitton said. "You want to be part of something great and you thank all the guys who came before you and we're here because of them, so it's pretty cool."

The pictures of trophies -- named after this fella who once upon a time won some games in Green Bay -- in the media room are constant reminders of a goal, as well.

And they're not just there for show. In fact, there was a purposeful preseason placement for the photos.

"I gave Mike (McCarthy) that idea in the offseason," Aaron Rodgers said. "He might not tell you that, but a good friend of mine who is also a professional athlete, talked about how his coach motivated them in that way.

I thought that would be a cool thing for us to see every day in the meeting room because we start a day off in that room. To be able to think about the entire season what we’re really playing for by having that empty picture up on the wall."

Talent, good coaching and a little bit of luck probably didn't hurt the Packers get this close to achieving their goal, either.

But there's a very clear sense of purpose within the entire team -- and it all seems centered around the tradition they all embrace quite seriously.

None of them knew Vince Lombardi. And none of them even watched him coach. But because a heightened sense of pride's already instilled within the town, the team's substantially more focused on making sure that the NFL's biggest prize makes its way home once more.

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Posted on: February 3, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Rodgers on free time: 'I haven't been carousing'

Posted by Will Brinson

DALLAS -- Packers fans that are sick of "silly media stories" (read: the whole business with the team photo issue) should be relieved that they're not likely to see Aaron Rodgers on film in a karaoke bar singing Billy Joel.

That's because the Packers quarterback has been taking it easy this week when it comes to nightlife.

"I haven't been out carousing," Rodgers said. "I am a homebody so I've been spending a lot of time in my hotel room watching film. I think it is important at the same time that you are sticking with your normal routine."

So, is that a jab at Big Ben? Or simply Rodgers way of pointing out that he's sticking with his routine, which does not involve "carousing."

Certainly the first part of his quote is more explosive, but people have often said that Rodgers thinks very, very carefully about what he says before he says it. Plus, it doesn't seem like Rodgers style to take potshots at his opponents (see: him aggressively defending Jay Cutler).

So it seems pretty likely that Rodgers was just pointing out exactly what he's been doing this week, which happens to be, well, nothing. And for all the people chastising Roethlisberger for his actions (myself included to a degree), it's probably smart to remember that he's been here before, he knows what he's doing and there's probably no need to worry about his preparation before a game as big as Sunday's.

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Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: February 3, 2011 1:57 pm
 

Comparing the quarterbacks

Posted by Andy Benoit

It’s always a treat when two star quarterbacks face off in the Super Bowl -- and it’s no coincidence that it’s happened each of the past three years (Peyton Manning-Drew Brees last season, Kurt Warner-Ben Roethlisberger in SB XLIII and Eli Manning-Tom Brady SB XLII).

Super Bowl XLV offers exactly what Super Bowl XLIV offered: a pair of quarterbacks operating at the height of their powers.

More than meets the eye

Because Ben Roethlisberger has spent his career playing on a team with a powerhouse defense and black-and-blue reputation, there is the misnomer that he is simply an outstanding caretaker. Because his statistical outputB. Roethlisberger (US Presswire) has been all over tA. Rodgers (US Presswire)he board -- his passer rating has been as low as 75.4 one year and as high as 104.1 another -- the debate about his place in the quarterback pecking order will carry on forever.

But what can’t be put into data form is how Big Ben looks on film. Michael Vick might be the most physically gifted athlete in football, but Roethlisberger is the most physically gifted quarterback. He makes plays as a pure passer that others can’t even fathom. Obviously, he has the unparalleled ability to throw with defenders draping off of him. But he is also effective in and out of the pocket. And he’s strong enough to throw from different platforms (i.e. when he’s on the move or when his feet aren’t set). And when Roethlisberger does square up and deliver a fundamentally sound pass, his ball practically whistles.

Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers are similar in this sense. Though not as physically imposing as the 6-foot-5 Roethlisberger, there isn’t a throw Rodgers can’t make. In fact, A-Rod’s velocity and accuracy are a notch better than Big Ben’s. And Rodgers is the more dangerous runner.

Interesting differences

More fascinating are the differences between these two quarterbacks. There’s really one only (besides Big Ben’s ability to make throws after contact). Before the snap, Rodgers is one of the best diagnostic artists in the game. He’s constantly reading defenses and re-aligning tight ends and running backs to alter his protections. Or he’s tacitly readjusting his receivers’ routes (hence the quick slants and smoke screens that have become the hallmark of Green Bay’s offense).

Because of his presnap diagnostic skills, Rodgers’ decisions are often made before the snap. 

Roethlisberger, on the other hand, makes the majority of his decisions after the snap. He’s not the most shrewd reader of defenses, but he compensates with improvisational instincts that are second to none. Roethlisberger is one of the few players in the league who understands defenses better once the ball is in play. Most quarterbacks can’t afford to begin a play behind the eight ball like this. But most quarterbacks don’t have the strength and temerity to constantly work out of a muddied pocket, or an almost otherworldly ability to manipulate defenders with multiple pump fakes. 

On the surface, it might sound like Rodgers’ is the superior style. After all, he’s smart before the snap and can always tap into his own outstanding improvisational skills when need be. But imagine if you’re a defensive coordinator trying to game plan against Roethlisberger. How do you scheme when the opposing quarterback does not follow traditional progressions and methods? You can’t bait him into bad decisions because he does not rely on making good decisions. And there are often no patterns to his decisions. Roethlisberger can be so unsound fundamentally that he’s impossible to trick.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, both quarterbacks are a nightmare to face. If you blitz Rodgers, he burns you with the quick strike. If you blitz Roethlisberger, there’s no guarantee that you’ll bring him down. If you drop back and play coverage against Rodgers, he’ll calmly shuffle through his progressions. If you drop back against Roethlisberger, he’ll buy time and make one of those sandlot plays that have killed so many defenses.

These are the issues you deal with when going up against these two. And these are the attributes that ultimately landed the Packers and Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com