The Green Bay Packers are the favored team on the Super Bowl XLV odds this year, and for good reason. There are a number of different players that have really helped bring this team to the Promised Land, but there are five that we are keying in on that can lead them all the way through it to take down the Lombardi Trophy. Check out the five guys that we are keying in on in Super Bowl betting action this week!
Aaron Rodgers: Well, duh, right? Rodgers has been the heart and soul of this team the entire season, and there is no doubt that at this point, he is the MVP of the postseason. He’s the favorite to win the Super Bowl MVP award due to the fact that he is clearly going to be counted on to have the game of his life against one of the most ferocious defenses that the league has ever seen. We’ve sort of jumped to the conclusion that RB James Starks is not going to be a force in this one, and if that’s the case, Rodgers is probably going to be asked to drop back and throw the pigskin 45-50 times, if not more if the Pack are trailing the whole way. That’s a whole lot of pressure sitting on the right arm of one man, but if there is one guy that has gotten the job done all season long, especially in tight situations, this is it.
Greg Jennings: Jennings was the man that visited the end zone the most times this year for the Packers, as he had 13 scores. He was very vocal at the outset of the season as to why he wasn’t getting the ball all that much, and all of a sudden, Rodgers started looking his way and the offense really started being more productive. Jennings has had exactly eight catches in two straight games, and he is likely going to be going up against a relatively weak corner as long as he can avoid the matchup against DB Ike Taylor. The second defensive back spot over the free safety has always been the best way to beat these Steelers if you can get the time to throw the football, and if this is what happens, don’t be all that surprised if Jennings can bust a big one.
John Kuhn: We know that we’re going out on a limb here suggesting that Kuhn might be the most important running back in this game, but sometimes, it’s not always about the stats that are amassed, rather the meaning those stats have to the game. Kuhn went 9-for-10 this year in 3rd or 4th and 1 situations, and he has really been a big time body to slam into the middle of the line. Kuhn really emerged this year when RB Ryan Grant went down for the season, but he has been lost in the shuffle in recent weeks since Starks came out of nowhere to become the primary back. Still, he can be used at fullback as well, and he is always the short yardage man, and Kuhn is going to be charged with the job of keeping the sticks moving and cramming into the end zone from short distances out. Pittsburgh only allowed five rushing touchdowns during the entire regular season, and it isn’t going to want Kuhn, Starks, or any other back that the Packers throw its way into the end zone either.
BJ Raji: Raji really made a name for himself two weeks ago in the NFC Championship Game against the Chicago Bears when he intercepted a pass and returned it for the TD that really should have put the Pack in the Super Bowl. However, he is going to serve two totally different purposes in this one. Raji is the most dominating defensive lineman in this game, and he has the ability to single handedly blow up the middle of the Pittsburgh offensive line, especially if OL Maurkice Pouncey either doesn’t play, or isn’t really all that ready to go. If Raji pulls off this type of domination, it’s going to open up all of the linebackers to make a free run at QB Ben Roethlisberger. Also, this is a man that has been used this year on offense, and he is inevitably a potential touchdown scorer, especially knowing how hard it really has been to score on the ground against these Steelers. Rodgers could throw it to him, as the big man was a basketball player and can go get a jump ball with ease, or he could run it, as he has the strength and size to do some real damage.
Clay Matthews: Just like we mentioned S Troy Polamalu for the Steelers, we have to make mention of the biggest name on this Green Bay defense as well. Matthews started off the year with six sacks combined in his first two games, and he has now amassed another 3.5 sacks here in the postseason. There isn’t a man with a higher engine that can get into the backfield faster than the former USC Trojan, and he is certainly going to be called upon to get back there to harass Big Ben and company. Matthews will want to prove his worth as well, as this is probably a personal attack for him to outshine the man that beat him out for Defensive Player of the Year honors, and we expect a big game out of Matthews because of it.