You know the old saying: defense wins championships. In Super Bowl XLV, the first- and second-ranked scoring defenses will be on display, setting up what many expect to be a low-scoring, defense-oriented affair. Though they attain the goal in different ways, both the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers have shown the ability to lock the opponent down throughout the 2010 season.
The Packers are strong against the pass, allowing 194.9 yards per game through the air, fifth-best in the NFL. The run defense, however, may be the weak point for Green Bay. The Packers have allowed 114.9 yards per game, ranked 18th in the league. Charged with stopping a Steelers offense that loves to pound the ball and utilize a smash-mouth style, can Green Bay come up big against the run? They've done it before in the playoffs, holding Matt Forte, Michael Turner and LeSean McCoy under 100 yards, with the most physical back, Turner, limited to just 39 yards on 10 carries.
The Steelers are known for their stout run defense, limiting opponents to an NFL-best 62.8 yards per game on the ground. It's wasn't just the best, they lapped the field, holding a 27-yard advantage over the second-ranked team. Pittsburgh's weak point, by comparison, is its pass-defense, the very thing Green Bay excels at. The Steelers allowed 214..1 yards per game through the air and, like the Packers' run defense, ranked in the middle of the pack.
In the Super Bowl, the Packers and Steelers will each face offenses that excel in the facet they're weakest against. The Packers boast an aerial attack powered by Aaron Rodgers while the Steelers throw Rashard Mendenhall at the opponent and dare them to stop the ground game. Can these two defenses that have been so strong all year come up big one more time in Dallas?
We'll find out on Feb. 6 as the Steelers and Packers hit the field in the Super Bowl. For more on the game, check out the rest of our StoryStream.