Ok everyone. It's time for our last chat of the NFC North season. (Sniff, sniff.) No matter what happens Sunday, the offseason will begin for us next week. So let's take the next 30 minutes to break down the Super Bowl and touch on a few hot issues around the division. Three minutes early, let's do this!
Who on Green Bay will have an MVP performance? And will the Packers win confortably or a close one?
You never know who is going to step up in this type of game, but I'm going to take a risky guess and say if the Packers win, they'll have a defensive MVP. I'll say Tramon Williams. I don't think they'll win "comfortably," but I did pick them to win by eight points in our prediction feature today.
Growing natural grass is obvious a big challenge for NFL teams as the season progresses in cold weather climates. Keeping that in mind, why don't the Steelers and Bears install DD GrassMaster like the Packers have instead of having to constantly re-sod their fields at the end of the season because of wear and tear on the playing surface?
It's a fair question. Expense is probably one reason. But in the case of both teams, I think they see it as a home-field advantage. The grass is terrible, but it's their terrible grass and they believe they are better equipped to deal with it.
If vikings resign greenway, rice, Edwards (release berrian), will we still have cap room to b players in free agency?
It's impossible to know without getting the details of the new CBA. What will the cap be? What will free agency look like? My guess is the Vikings will have some room for free agency because a few of their players will move on.
I see that we are back to your old pic on the top of the page. Did you veto the newer one?
I had a new one?
Kevin, regardless of outcome of the superbowl this weekend would you say that Green Bay should be a favorite next year to be a favorite in the NFC?
There is always a huge compulsion among media and fans to anoint a Super Bowl team as next year's favorite. In the modern-day NFL, it rarely works out that way. Every year very much stands on its own.
Most people seem to think that GB is a little better than PIT, including Vegas. But all PIT needs to do is smack Rodgers in the head one time, he'll be seeing stars and will be bad for the rest of the game. When Roethlisberger gets hit in the head, he seems to shake it off, and might actually get a little better. Isn't this the real key to the outcome of the game, and perhaps a reason to believe that the smart money is on PIT?
Well, it is impossible to know if Rodgers will get "smacked in the head," but it sure seemed like James Harrison was doing his best this week to toss out some not-so-subtle intimidation. If you're Harrison, do you take a fine and penalty for knocking Rodgers out of the game? Maybe so.
Hi Kevin-great job on the blogs! What do you think the Bears need to draft first, o-line or wr? (or something else)
Definitely offensive line. As far as I'm concerned, they could take a player for any of the five positions and find a way to get him on the field right away.
Do you think the Detroit Lions have a solid chance at landing CB Asomugah in free agency this off season?
The only time he's ever talked about free agency, he's said he would prefer New York.
Does Rodgers lose his right to do the "championship belt" celebration if the Pack lose on Sunday? I vote yes.
Well, he hasn't won a championship yet and he's been doing it for several years.
After RT Gosder Cherilus got injured, backup Corey Hilliard filled in very nicely over the last four games of the season. Going in to next season, should the Lions consider replacing Peterman and starting Hilliard at RG?
They signed Peterman to a long-term deal a few years ago, so I'm guessing they're not looking to run him out of town yet. But it's nice to have depth for a change.
KS, I cant believe we are less than 53 hours away!!! Ahhhhhhhh!!! Lets get your final score prediction. Im going 34-27, TW with 2 pick 6s and he wins the MVP!
AHhhhhhhhhhhhhh. In the prediction area of ESPN.com, I went 27-19. Pack.
Do you think Frazier's influence on his players will draw free agents to Minnesota?
Money often talks in those situations, unless a player is already predisposed to playing there because of geography or potential teammates.
will DD be 100% on game day
No, but I don't think this injury is that big of a deal. McCarthy is just being overcautious because of how much it held back DD earlier this year. He's not going to benefit much from practicing, anyway.
Kevin,I really dont like the Black Eyed Peas. I like them as a food though. Who would you rather see in a Super Bowl halftime show, Up with People or Rob Zombie?
None of the above.
Kev- can the Packers win without Walden? It is seeming more and more likely he will not play. Atlanta had their way with Zombo in the run game back in the regular season, and he has not played many snaps since. Is Walden going to be the difference maker for Green Bay's D?
Who would have thought we would be asking that question? But it's clear that Walden was an upgrade over Zombo in the second half of the season. I don't know that I would call him the key to their success, but he was a bigger presence, for sure. It's a loss, but not a game-changing one, if he can't play.
how are the Cowboy faithful handling the invasion of Pitt/GB fans on there home turf?
They are in lockdown because of all the snow and ice. Haven't heard much from 'em.
Do you think Nick Barnett is done in Green Bay next year, with Desmond Bishop getting an extension and the whole photo controversy?
I don't think it will be because of the photo controversy, but the bottom line is that Bishop will have one position, and the Packers have A.J. Hawk -- a very durable player -- at the other position. Barnett has been on injured reserve twice in the past three years. He makes the most sense if one if it comes down to him or Hawk.
Kevin, do you think Steelers center Pouncey will actually sit out of the game or is this a ploy to keep the Packers guessing at how to match up against that position in the big game?
It would be pretty surprising, but I guess stranger things have happened. I just think the Steelers are keeping their options open because they can. There is no reason to rule him out in the middle of the week or even on Friday.
Kevin, will you have access to the locker room / on-field celebration if the Packers win (I don't really care in the event that the Steelers win)?
Definitely the locker room and the media interview area, win or lose. I'm honestly not sure yet about getting on the field. I think I would avoid it anyway ... I don't look good in confetti.
Kevin, how do you think the Packers would prefer to start the game? Receive or kick? I tend to think they would want to make an early stop and get the ball at the half.
That's a good question. McCarthy has deferred both times the Packers won the toss in the playoffs. I'm almost positive he would do the same thing if he wins the toss Sunday. His defense is really good and he wants it out there right away.
The Super Bowl features the 2 best defenses in the NFL and every prediction I see seems to have the score in the mid to upper 20s or even some have it well into the 30s. Why is there the perception that this game will be a shootout?
It's a fair point. Maybe some people think there will be some defensive touchdowns. I don't know. But I'm guessing they're making the connection from the 2009 game that was 37-36. The Packers defense is much different from that game. That said, I picked a 27-19 game. The Packers have averaged almost 32 points per game in indoor games since the Rodgers Era began.
Any insight into Donald Driver's quad injury? A 35-year-old with a leg injury sounds like a problem.
I believe it's the same injury he dealt with earlier in the season, which was a big problem. That's why McCarthy has basically shut him down until Sunday. No reason to make it worse.
How badly does Clay Matthews wipe the carpet with Flozell Adams?
Ha. But the return question is also fair: How will Matthews fare in the run game against Flozell? The Steelers averaged almost 6 yards per carry this year when they ran behind him.
Kev, have the Packers been practicing techniques to bring down Roethlisberger? I read one piece that said they will go after his right arm, as he is a strong blocker with his left.
Interesting. In the end, it's about fundamentals. The best thing I heard this week was from Clay Matthews. He said the Packers need to tackle him between the knees and the chest. Form tackling works best.
Have you had any time to relax and enjoy yourself in Dallas yet?
Not much, but that's cool. The ESPN compound is actually in downtown Fort Worth. Very cool area I had never seen before. It's currently covered in snow, but that's another story.
Kevin, do you see a controversy erupting if the Steelers D plays to knock Packers out of the game?
Well, I for one will be sure to dig up the James Harrison quotes from earlier this week if that happens.
Who?s going to win the field position battle? I like Masthay lately, and I?d love to see some drives starting on the right side of the 50 for the Packers.
Based on how this season has gone, it would make perfect sense that Tim Masthay would outkick Jeremy Kapinos, who was the Packers' kicker last year. Ted Thompson has hit on all of his moves this year.
Do I get the defensive rookie of the year honor today?
It would be really, really, really surprising if you didn't.
what most impressed you with your stay in Dallas, minus the stadium?
We don't have a lot of genuine Tex-Mex places to eat in the upper Midwest, so me -- and my waistline -- have enjoyed pigging out at several such establishments this week.
I've been worrying a lot this week about the possibility of Harrison going for a kill shot on Rodgers, possibly even an illegal one, to get Aaron out of the game, regardless of fines or suspensions. However, after thinking about it, wouldn't doing something like that while the whole league is watching be pretty unwise? After all, someone might just "accidentally" fall on the back of Harrison's knees one day and end his career, even. Thoughts?
Based on what Harrison said Tuesday and the way he mocked the league, I don't think he will care one bit. I'm not saying he's planning to do something like that, but it's clear that respect for the league isn't going to be the deciding factor on that.
Being from Minnesota, do you have to do some quiet chuckling regarding a town that can't seem to cope with a couple inches of snow?
Well, if I lived down here I would be upset with my local government if they had set aside a lot of budget money for snowplows and salt. This happens once every decade or so. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how many people either stayed off the roads or drove appropriately slow when needed. On a individual basis, it's been funny listening to people say how cold they were when it was 20 degrees. We call that "March" where I come from.
Can you guarantee that 27-19 win? If so I will take the over.
Yeah, sure ... okaaaaaaaaaay.
Based upon your day to day interactions down there, which fan base seems better represented?
Tough to tell because I'm about four blocks away from the Steelers' hotel, so many of their fans are walking around where I've spent a good bit of time.
Can you do me a favor and throw a few more posts on the blog with lots of stats so we can all see sundevilaw go ballistic?
I thought about doing an entire post like this:12345678910 123456789101234567891012345678910123456789101234567891012345678910
KEVIN ITS SUPER BOWL FRIDAY!!!!!!!!!! THE PACKERS PLAY SUNDAY!!!! GET PUMPED UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sounds like it's time to cue the BEP.
People have been saying all postseason that the Packers are weak against Tight Ends and therefore Heath Miller will be a huge factor - during the regular season the packers were susceptible to TEs but 3 very good ones in Brent Celek, Tony Gonzalez, and Greg Olsen have all been non-factors in the playoffs
Yeah, I thought for sure that Gonzalez would get more than he got. Credit goes to Dom Capers for plugging the appropriate holes.
Ok, a few more here.
Hi Kevin, love your work. Is Gunther Cunningham locked in for next season? To a man, he was the driving force behind their improved defensive play.
Thanks. Yep, Gunther is coming back as far as I know. I think he and Schwartz have a pretty good thing going, and I like that Gunther knows this will be his last job before retiring. He's letting it all hang out, so to speak.
Do you think Suh will do more recruiting for the lions and is he at that point where vets will listen?
His play is all the recruiting the Lions need.
OK everyone, thanks so much. Enjoy the weekend!