I'm so excited
Side note - Why is the NFL calling it Super Bowl XLV? The X is an entirely unnecessary letter. If they actually were trying to do this in the style of the Romans, then VL would be appropriate. 50 (the L) minus the 5 (the V) equals 45. Why subtract 10 from 55? I don't get it.
Joe Flacco has been impressive in his first 2 seasons in the NFL, but that's exactly what scares me here. He has only been in the NFL for 2 seasons. Beyond that, Aaron Rodgers emerged last year as one of the game's elite quarterbacks. He is a shoo-in for 4,500 yards and 30 TDs this year.
Running Backs: RAVENS
The Ravens ground game is amongst the best in all of football with the dynamic duo of Ray Rice and Willis McGahee. Both of these gentlemen would start for most teams in the league. And the Ravens have both of them. The Packer's Ryan Grant is no slouch, but coming off of a down year he is nowhere near as capable as the Ravens backfield.
Wide Receiver/ Tight End: PUSH
While the Ravens did acquire superstar Anquan Boldin from the Cardinals in the off season, and Todd Heap is a very solid Tight End, the Packers can counter that with depth. After Boldin, the Ravens are looking to AARP member Derrick Mason, career backup Mark Clayton, and the often inebriated and injured Donte Stallworth. The Packers have a tremendous duo in the incredibly consistent Donald Driver and explosive Greg Jennings, and Jermichael Finley is a very good Tight End. This one's too close to call.
Offensive Line: RAVENS
While the Packers have tried to improve their O-Line, it's still a noticeably weak spot for this team. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 84 times over the past 2 seasons. The Ravens boast a very strong left side, featuring 6-time Pro Bowl center Matt Birk, former first-rounders Ben Grubbs and Michael Oher. Flacco has only been sacked 68 times over the past 2 seasons, a mere 6.8% of his drop backs.
Defensive Line: RAVENS
Both teams run the trendy 3-4 defense, but the front 3 of the Ravens is better than that of the Packers. Haloti Ngata is an absolute beast and the best Defensive End on either team. The Packers will be sorely missing Aaron Kampman. B.J. Raji could be a force for the Packers at Nose Tackle, but as of right now he's no better than Ravens NT Kelly Gregg.
This may come as a shocker to some, especially those who remember the Ravens Super Bowl team from 2000. The Ravens were always known for having a group of LBs that would strike fear into opponents, and Offensive Coordinators would spend weeks trying to figure out how to survive the game. However, its 2010, and this may be the Packers deepest position. Led by former first-rounder A.J. Hawk and Pro Bowler Nick Barnett in the middle, and first-rounder Clay Matthews on the outside, this group is loaded. Compare this to the Ravens group that consists of Terrell Suggs (coming off a 5 sack season), 35 year old Ray Lewis, and 2 career backups, the Ravens core is just not what it used to be.
Defensive Backs: PACKERS (by default)
Charles Woodson is the only Cornerback on either team who can lock down a legitimate #1 receiver. The Ravens secondary has been hit with some injuries in the off season, and it wasn't very deep to start with. As for safeties, the Packers have Nick Collins, who is above average and will probably grab about 5 INTs this season. This is a weakness for both teams, and look for both Quarterbacks to take full advantage.
Special Teams: PACKERS
Mason Crosby has a bigger leg and is more consistent than counterpart Billy Cundiff. Crosby hits 78% of his Field Goals, and is over 50% from 50+ yards. Cundiff has hit 73% over his career, and is 40% from 50+ yards. Willie Blackmon is the best Kick Returner on either team, and that should count for something.
Super Bowl XLV Champion: Green Bay Packers, 34-27. You heard it here first.