Friday, February 04, 2011

Super Bowl XLV Predictions from ESPN

From ESPN -

ESPN on-air personalities offer their predictions for Super Bowl XLV.  Of the 45 ESPN picks, 31 chose the Packers, while 14 selected the Steelers as the anticipated winner of this year’s Super Bowl game in North Texas:

Picking the Steelers:
Russell Baxter, NFL research specialist: 26-21: “Much has been made about the defenses and rightfully so thanks to the bevy of stars and playmakers. But regardless of who's up front for Pittsburgh, a big day for running back Rashard Mendenhall will pave the way for the Steelers' third title in six years.”

Cris Carter, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst: 28-27: “In the end, the Steelers defense will cause too many turnovers.”

Mike Greenberg, co-host of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning and SportsCenter anchor: 28-27: “I’ve seen Roethlisberger win too many times to pick against him.”

Jay Harris, SportsCenter anchor and former news anchor/reporter for WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh: 35-31: "I think this should be a very entertaining game with two great defenses and two great young quarterbacks. While I love everything Aaron Rodgers brings to the table, I think Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are destined to get another ring, and as they're saying back in Pittsburgh, '6 is good, but 7 is better.'"

Merril Hoge, NFL Live, NFL Matchup and NFL PrimeTime analyst: 28-24: “Both defenses are outstanding but the Steeler defense is more seasoned and has more flexibility within pressures and coverage. The running game is going to be a factor in this game one way or another and the Steelers have the ability to control the tempo with theirs, and the Packers do not.”

Tom Jackson, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst: 24-21: “As a team, their experience at being here is going to make a difference for them. Making them the underdogs only gives them an edge.”

Ron Jaworski, Monday Night Football and NFL Matchup analyst: 31-28. “Explosive plays by Mike Wallace.”

Keyshawn Johnson, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst: 28-24: “Their experience is a key factor. They know what to expect, they know what to do. Mike Tomlin is going for his second Super Bowl in three years.”

Steve Levy, SportsCenter anchor: 27-24: “Too much Pittsburgh Super Bowl experience and the Packers aren’t going to enjoy the Polamalu experience either.”

Hannah Storm, SportsCenter anchor: 24-21: “Green Bay hasn’t had to come from behind or make up any kind of large deficit this season and they don’t have the Super Bowl experience the Steelers do. The Packers also haven’t faced the kind of defense they will face Sunday.”

Scott Van Pelt, SportsCenter anchor and ESPN Radio host: 23-17: “A low-scoring game. Teams with better records who are underdogs are 15-3 in the Super Bowl. (I might have made that up but I think I read it someplace.)”

Michael Wilbon, Pardon the Interruption co-host: 28-24: “As great as Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been for an entire decade, I think ‘Big Ben’ and Aaron Rodgers are now the two best quarterbacks playing in the league today. Roethlisberger is still underrated by his own peers and the people who watch football, and we’re going to be reminded of that Sunday.”

Marcellus Wiley, NFL Live analyst and co-host of Winners Bracket on ABC: 17-13:This game will keep you on the couch the entire four quarters, and not just because you want to see the commercials.  In a close one, the Steelers win.  Too much defense and too much Big Ben in the clutch!”

Trey Wingo, NFL Live and NFL PrimeTime host: 27-24: “Big Ben makes the throw late to win it.”

Picking the Packers:
John Anderson, SportsCenter anchor and Green Bay native: 30-24: “The Lombardi Trophy's rightful home is 1265 Lombardi Avenue Green Bay, Wisconsin." 

Michelle Beadle, Co-host, SportsNation: 17-10: “A defensive powerhouse show. Aaron Rodgers has a lot of people to prove wrong.”

Jon Barry, NBA analyst and former Milwaukee Bucks player (1992-95): 27-17: “They remind me of the Giants a few years ago. They are a hot team and Aaron Rodgers is a beast.”

Chris Berman, Host, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and NFL PrimeTime: 24-23: “A classic matchup so why wouldn’t we have a one-point game? Late heroics on both sides.”

Aaron Boone, Baseball Tonight analyst: 23-20: “It’s the start of a great run from a great Packer team.”

Tedy Bruschi, NFL Live analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion: 31-27: “Defenses dominate first half, yet get worn down in the second. The bulk of scoring will be done with the Packer defense finding a way to get to Roethlisberger and force turnovers.”

Colin Cowherd, Host, ESPN Radio’s The Herd: 31-27: “Quarterback duel is a draw. Packers defense actually comes up big in this one.”

Trent Dilfer, NFL Live analyst: 23-20: “The big five become the big six, with Aaron Rodgers finding his rightful home among the elite quarterbacks.”

Mike Ditka, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown analyst:  21-17: “The Packers’ strengths will match up better against the Steelers’ strengths and their receivers will match up well with the corners and they’ll be fine.”

Herm Edwards, NFL Live analyst:  27-24: “The Lombardi Trophy goes back with the team that he once coached. Why not?”

Mike Golic, NFL Live analyst and co-host of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning: 24-21: “I picked them to win at the beginning of the year. It’s about me looking good.”

Jon Gruden, Monday Night Football analyst: 27-20: “Aaron Rodgers, Dom Capers and Mike McCarthy’s finest hour.”

Tim Hasselbeck, NFL Live analyst: 23-17: “On paper I see so many areas where the matchup favors the Packers, like Clay Matthews on Flozell Adams or the Packers’ ability to put five legitimate wide receivers on the field. Green Bay is set up with a great opportunity to bring home another Lombardi Trophy.”

Orel Hershiser, Baseball Tonight and Monday Night Baseball analyst: 27-21: “I love Aaron Rodgers and how the game will be played in a controlled environment. The Packers are based on speed and Pittsburgh on power. It will be a fast track favoring the Pack.”

Gary Horton, ESPN Scouts Inc.: 28-24: “When this offense plays on a fast field, they’re a different unit and with the weather not a factor on Sunday they will be at full speed.”

Kenny Mayne, Sunday NFL Countdown contributor: 31-24: “I’m expecting big things from Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews is every bit as handsome as Fabio.”

Matt Millen, Monday Night Countdown analyst: 27-24: “The difference will be in Green Bay’s offensive line, their ability to protect.”

Chris Mortensen, NFL senior analyst: 30-27: This game truly has a chance to be a classic. The expectations of offensive fireworks and a duel of great quarterbacks should come with a warning -- there are game-changing players on both defenses. In the end, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers under a roof will bring back the Lombardi Trophy to Green Bay.

Andy North, ESPN golf analyst and Wisconsin resident: 21-17: "It has the makings of being a really good game, but it's certainly not always that way. I'm going with the Packers."

Sal Paolantonio, NFL correspondent: 28-27: “Green Bay comes back to win in a thrilla.”

Sean Payton, New Orleans Saints head coach and guest analyst: 34-20: “Aaron Rodgers has the time to throw and will spread out the Steelers’ defense.”

Ryen Russillo, Scott Van Pelt Show co-host: 28-21: “The Steelers are so good against the run, but the Packers just don’t run the football, and they’re not going to here. They’re going to spread the Steelers out and make Polamalu as ineffective as he’s been in any game because when he’s in coverage it’s a problem.”

Bill Simmons, columnist: 37-27: “The Packers pulled a fast one on us this year. They probably should have been a 14-win juggernaut, but injuries and bad luck knocked them down to the wild card. I'm not going against Aaron Rodgers indoors, not this year, anyway.”

Adam Schefter, NFL Insider: 28-24: “Green Bay blew out Atlanta in the playoffs and at that time Aaron Rodgers commented on how much he loves playing indoors – which is where Sunday’s game will be.”

Mark Schlereth, NFL Live analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion: 27-23: “The Green Bay Packers will play with little personnel – three, four and five wide. They will spread the Steelers out and take away what they do best which is physical hard-nosed football.”

Sage Steele, SportsCenter anchor: 28-20: “So much of the talk has been about Aaron Rodgers, and rightfully so, but his numbers wouldn't be anywhere close to what they are without the stellar play of his offensive line.  I do love this Steelers team, especially considering the experience factor in the Super Bowl, but I am going with my gut...the Packers!”

Michele Tafoya, Monday Night Football reporter: 31-24: "The Steelers have the experience and a great defense, but the Packers are peaking at the right time. Aaron Rodgers has been playing phenomenal football."

Mike Tirico, Monday Night Football play-by-play commentator: 26-20: “Aaron Rodgers and their receivers will be able to do enough against the Steelers secondary.”

Steve Young, Monday Night Countdown analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion: 31-27: “In the Super Bowl I expect both to play their best and if that’s the case, that’s the score.”

Jeff Van Gundy, NBA analyst: 27-17: “They’ve proven they can score on a fast track.”

Darren Woodson, NFL Live analyst and three-time Super Bowl champion: 31-24: “The Green Bay Packers will say to the Vince Lombardi Trophy, ‘There's no place like home, Vince.’"

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