2011 Super Bowl Free Picks: Super Bowl XLV Simulation

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The setting: My living room. The battleground: Madden 2011. The time is now for Superbowl betting action! The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers met at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, TX for the biggest game of the year, Super Bowl XLV, and here at Cappers Info, only we know exactly what's going to happen and how to make our Super Bowl predictions in this one based upon what happened in the simulation. Check it out before you even think about placing your Superbowl bets!

1st Quarter: It didn't take all that long for the Pittsburgh defense to flex its muscles. Good ol' QB Aaron Rodgers decided to make a real fool out of himself on the very first pass of the game, throwing a duck to S Troy Polamalu to set up the Steelers in terrific field position. After five solid plays to get the ball down to the Green Bay 14 yard line, QB Ben Roethlisberger hooked up with TE Heath Miller for the first score of the game. The Pack nearly blew it right away once again on the ensuing kickoff, but they were able to pick up their fumble to keep possession of the ball. However, they could do nothing with it and ended up going three and out. The Steelers picked up a first down on the first play of the drive on a great 14 yard run by RB Rashard Mendenhall, but a holding penalty set the drive back and caused a punt. Both teams did nothing more than exchange kicks to end the first quarter. Pittsburgh 7 – Green Bay 0

2nd Quarter: After several terrible drives, Rodgers finally decided to get the offense to show up, but in basically took abandoning in the running game to do so. He strung four first downs together on four consecutive passes, three of which went to WR Greg Jennings. The Pack tried to get back to the run, but RB James Starks just couldn't find any holes whatsoever, and a once promising drive ended in a K Mason Crosby field goal attempt. The attempt sailed wide, giving Pittsburgh solid field position on its own 31 yard line. Roethlisberger generated two first downs to get the Steelers in range for a field goal as well, but K Shaun Suisham came up just shy on a 48 yarder to give the Packers back possession of the pigskin with less than eight minutes to play in the first half. That's when insanity broke loose. Polamalu made yet another tremendous play in the secondary just three plays later, stepping in front of an out route, picking it off, and returning it 52 yards to pay dirt to give the underdogs on the Super Bowl odds a 14-0 edge. Rodgers was sacked twice on the next drive, setting up a 3rd and 26. Things definitely looked grim once again, as the former Cal Golden Bear was picked off a third time. However, he was bailed out by getting roughed, which not only gave Green Bay the ball back, but it got a first down in the tough spot as well. The very next play, Jennings got behind the defense and Rodgers found him for a long TD pass that cut the lead in half. The Steelers got into field goal range thanks to some great passing by Big Ben to extend the lead out to 17-7 at the break.Pittsburgh 17 – Green Bay 7

3rd Quarter: A great kick return by WR Antwaan Randle El gave the Steelers the ball to start the second half just inside Green Bay territory, and they would make no mistakes. Mendenhall had six carries on the drive and accounted for 31 yards, including the eight yard TD plunge to put the Packers on the verge of elimination. Needing a big drive, Rodgers was able to continue his great hookups with Jennings, finding him twice to get the ball out to midfield, but ultimately, the Packers had to kick it back to Pittsburgh. Again, it was Mendenhall that did the damage, but this time, he was used as a receiver. The former member of the Illinois Fighting Illini had a rare pass thrown his way, and he took the screen and scampered 51 yards with it to put Pittsburgh back in field goal range once again. Give credit to the Packers for holding firm at the goal line and holding the Steelers to just three points, but the damage was clearly already done towards the end of the third quarter. Pittsburgh 27 – Green Bay 7

4th Quarter: Head Coach Mike McCarthy decided that the start of the fourth quarter was a great time to start to play four down football, and he made the decision right away with his Pack facing a 4th and 3 from their own 40 yard line with just over 13:00 to play in the game. Rodgers converted on a scramble, but he was knocked out of the game on the play with a hamstring injury. QB Matt Flynn came into the game and promptly removed all doubts about the outcome, getting intercepted by DB Ike Taylor to give the black and gold the football back. Big Ben want back to work, running a clinical drive, accounting for three third down conversions in a stand that took over six minutes off the clock. Suisham was called upon for his third field goal of the day to push the lead to 23. Rodgers did come back in the game, but the Packers were eventually stopped on downs on the last competitive drive of the game. Mendenhall did the rest, running out enough of the clock to let Roethlisberger take a couple of knees to end Superbowl XLV betting action. Pittsburgh 30 – Green Bay 7

Recap: Roethlisberger didn't have the greatest game in the world, but he did throw for 176 yards and didn't turn the ball over once. Mendenhall was a real horse on the evening, leading the way for the black and gold with 142 yards and that TD. For the Packers, there wasn't all that much to be proud of. Rodgers only completed 16-of-37 passing on the night, and he was picked off twice and sacked five times. He did throw the one TD pass to Jennings, who had a fantastic day in defeat, catching 11 passes for 173 yards. However, the man that beat the Super Bowl MVP odds was clearly Polamalu, who had a sack, a forced fumble, and two picks, overcoming his injuries to lead the Steelers to victory.

Don't say we didn't warn you. The Steelers won this simulation with ease, 30-7, and you shouldn't be shocked if that is the exactly correct final score when push comes to shove on Super Bowl Sunday!

Lou Palumbo is the founder and part owner of the Cappersinfo.com Sports Handicapping Community. He's been writing and posting free picks and sports handicapping strategies on the Cappersinfo forums and website for 15 years now. He enjoys handicapping just as much as he did from the very first day he built the original Cappersinfo website.

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