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Super Bowl Predictions: The Case For The Green Bay Packers

Today it's time for our second round of Super Bowl predictions, this time about the Green Bay Packers. (Yesterday's Pittsburgh Steelers paean can be found here.) The Packers are my reluctant pick for actual Super Bowl XLV gold, so I might be a little more convincing this morning, but I remain convinced that the only real Super Bowl predictions anybody can make is that predictions are a terrible idea, and nobody's any good at them, save the late Paul the Octopus. Without further ado: Three reasons you might as well pick the Green Bay Packers to win Super Bowl XLV. 

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They have the best offensive weapon on the field in QB Aaron Rodgers, and they're not afraid to use him. Ben Roethlisberger has the playoff cred, but few ostensibly elite quarterbacks are used less frequently; Sam Bradford's rookie season saw him throw 84 more passes than Roethlisberger has ever attempted in a season. Roethlisberger's impressively efficient, but Rodgers takes on a heavier workload and does even more with it. He's also excellent out of the pocket; this year he ran 64 times for 356 yards and four touchdowns. 

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Their defense is nearly as stifling. The Steelers' 232 points allowed was the lowest total in football, but their opponents were just one touchdown and a two-point conversion away from tying Packers opponents, who scored just 240. The Packers' similarly narrow 13 point lead on offense leaves them the slightly superior team by point differential, which is much different from their 10-6 record. Ben Roethlisberger's four games out of the lineup are reason enough to doubt the validity of those full-season measurements, except that his replacements actually played very well—in the first four games of the season the Steelers scored 86 points and allowed 52. 

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They beat the pants off of the Atlanta Falcons. No playoff team has a more convincing victory than the Packers, who dropped the Atlanta Falcons 48-21 in a second-round game on the road against one of the best teams in the NFC. Their victory over the Chicago Bears was less convincing, but the Steelers nearly dropped the AFC Championship Game against the New York Jets, who actually outgained them by two yeards of total offense. 

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