Saturday, February 26, 2011

Some Trade Talk & Baseball

You pretty much covered all the trade stuff, so I won't get into it much.  A few short notes:

- With you on the Melo thing.  I don't really see them winning anything (especially after a loss to the Cavs...where did that come from?), but they should be ridiculously entertaining to watch.  Melo and Amare are passive on defense (at best), and D'Antoni likes to run.  Those two guys together should work really well in his system.  Running.  Putting up tons of point.  Even when they lose, they should be putting up close to 100 points.  I don't think they'll scare anyone, but I can't remember the last time I was excited to watch a Knicks game.  Now I'll watch them every chance I get.  I don't care if they win, but it should be exciting basketball.  If they could get a quick point guard, this team could be one of my new favorite teams to watch.

- Also with you on the Perkins to OKC thing.  I don't understand how this makes sense for Boston.  I keep hearing, "Perkins is going to be a free agent after the year, and he probably wasn't going to re-sign with Boston." Who cares?  Boston is an aging team with a very small window to win.  Who's to say that Garnett, Allen & Pierce are going to stay healthy next year.  They need to win now, not plan for next year.  That trade makes no sense for Boston.

- The Williams to the Nets thing completely shocked me.  I had no idea he was even available.  Honestly, I don't understand it from the Nets position.  I figured they had talked with Williams and agreed to a contract extension before the trade.  That was not the case.  I don't think the Nets have the pieces to contend next year (and certainly not this year), which means they may lose him after next season.  I understand that adding an elite point guard is a big deal...but I just think they gave up too much of their young talent for a guy who may leave after the next season.

Do you smell that?  The spring air?  The freshly cut grass?  It's baseball season, my friend.

For Detroit, it's not starting out very promising.  I like our free agent additions (very much looking forward to Victor Martinez), and I like that we re-signed Ordonez.  I think he can still be productive for us.
But this Cabrera thing has given me a pit in my stomach.  I kind of laughed at the could I not?  He said, "You don't know my problems," then took a swig of scotch in front of a cop.  And his mug shot is terrific.

But a story about our star player being arrested for a DUI before the start of spring training is less than ideal.  I still think he'll have a good year (it's not like he's stepping in the batters box while he's hammered), but it's just not a great way to kick off the season.  I'm still excited about the season...but that excitement has been tempered a little.
That being said...
I'm having a hard time with all the columnists writing articles about this.  I understand the articles writing about the actual incident.  It's a news item.  But there seems to be an article condemning Cabrera on every major sports site.  "The Tigers need to take steps to make sure he gets the help he needs.  Cabrera needs lots of support, and he needs to make sure the Tigers give it to him, unlike last time."  First of all, the last time something like this happened, the Tigers sent Cabrera to rehab and had him attend an alcohol abuse class four times a week.  It's not like they just sat back and did nothing.
Second of all...who do they think is reading these articles?  It's not like Leyland and Dombrowski are sitting around, reading these articles and saying, "That's a great point.  I never thought of that.  We do need to do something for him."  Cabrera isn't reading it through tear-stained eyes, for the first time realizing he needs to make a change.  No, these are columnists writing their articles from up on Mount Pious (shout out to Dameshek).  These articles do nothing but give columnists a chance to puff out their chests and get all holier-than-thou.
And the fact of that matter is, everyone has their own problems.  These columnists write these articles, when they also have problems.  The amount of columnists who have been arrested for one thing or another (DUI, domestic abuse, sexual harassment) is astounding.  I wouldn't be surprised to see a report that one of these columnists has been arrested for a DUI this year.  It's ridiculous.

Started reading a new book called Scorecasting.  It was described as "Freakanomics for sports".  I'm not too far into it yet, but it's very interesting so far.  The chapter I'm on now is talking about how the strike zone expands on a 3-0 count, and contracts on a 0-2 count.  I highly recommend it.

New Lupe coming out on March 8.  Early reviews are favorable.  I know you're not a huge fan of him, but I'm pretty excited.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Trade Deadline and Coach Cal

So many trades. I'll start with the one that shocked me the most.

Kendrick Perkins to OKC for Jeff Green. Wow. I like this for OKC. It seemed Green didn't really fit on that OKC team and I'm not really sure how he fits on Boston. Meanwhile, Perkins brings some much needed size to the Thunder. I know Perkins contract expires after the year and he probably wants more money than he deserves, but losing him is a big blow to Boston. They now have to rely on Shaq/Jermaine O'Neal with a touch of Big Baby to hold down the center spot. Dwight Howard had finally figured out how to score on Perkins (25 ppg in their last 5 meetings), but Perk made him work for it. Forget Howard, I don't even know if the Boston bigs now can keep up with the likes of Noah and Horford now. Very interesting trade.

I kinda like Baron Davis/first round pick to the Cavs for Mo Williams. Dan Gilbert knows the only way he's getting talent into Cleveland is to overpay for it (Davis) and/or draft it (two lottery picks this draft). It's a pretty weak draft, but he's trying. He can't let that Comic Sans letter come back to haunt him.

I love what Utah did. They watched Wade/Bosh keep their teams on edge. They watched LeBron keep a city on edge. They watched Carmelo keep the league on edge. And they said, "Damn that" and traded their star a year before the inevitable saga that would come with his impending free agency in the summer of 2012. Even got him out of the conference and pulled a decent haul for him. Devin Harris isn't too bad and there weren't many more valuable trade chips than rookie Derrick Favors. The Nets first round pick is sure to be in the lottery as that team is too far out of it this year to make any noise, but it's a shame this draft is shaping up to be terrible. Still, they got a 2012 first rounder from the Warriors which is sure to be a lottery pick. I like this deal for the Nets as well. It doesn't really help them this year, but Williams is an elite talent at a position where it's hard to find elite talent. That's a deal you have to make.

As for Carmelo, another decent deal for both sides. The Knicks get their man in Melo, Chauncey Billups to run the point and Corey Brewer to play some defense on a team that needs it. This makes New York an interesting matchup for Miami, in my opinion. Miami can throw Brewer and Landry Fields at LeBron/Wade defensively, which is better than most teams can. Billups can hurt whoever Miami has at PG. Melo can match big shots with LeBron. New York can go small with Amare-Melo-Brewer-Fields-Billups and let Amare/Billups exploit Miami's biggest weaknesses at PG and C. This is a matchup I'd love to see in the playoffs. On the flip side, Denver gets Felton, Galinari, Chandler and Mozgov. Felton is sure to be on the move as Ty Lawson is Denver's PG of the future, but Chandler/Galinari/Mozgov are solid, young, cheap pieces for a team rebuilding. They also get Billups off the books, and with Kenyon Martin's massive deal expiring they should have a lot of cash to play with this summer.

I still have my doubts about the Knicks ability to be a winning team. They'll be entertaining as hell, but they aren't winning anything. That bench is ugly, though D'Antoni doesn't make much use of his bench. Amare is not playing second fiddle to Melo. Melo didn't go through all this to be second fiddle to Amare. A month ago Billups was reportedly ready to retire, rather than be traded. Now he's supposed to be good to go? I was scared when Boston got KG and Allen. I was terrified when Miami got LeBron and Bosh. I don't really fear this Melo business much, speaking as an Orlando fan. I think Melo is a tad overrated. He's a great scorer but he doesn't really make his teammates better. Not very efficient. Seems to do something boneheaded just enough to make me worry about building a championship team around him. Not sure I'd be that stoked to build a team about two offensive forwards with little concern for defense or making the guys around them better. I could be wrong though.

Meanwhile out west, Kobe and Durant have to be ecstatic. In the last 12 months they've seen the league's best player have his choice to play anywhere in the country...and he chose to team up with another elite player in Miami. Deron Williams gone from the conference. Carmelo gone. Dirk isn't going anywhere so that leaves Chris Paul as the next big name that could possibly head east. Unless, of course, Dwight chooses to head West. Thank goodness Otis Smith saw this coming a mile away and decided to trade for Gilbert Arenas. You know, just to be safe.

Again, I have to question John Calipari's coaching chops. A couple of weeks ago against Florida, Cal failed to call a timeout in the final seconds to give the Cats a chance to set up a final play. After last night's debacle against Arkansas, I think I understand why. With 1.8 seconds left and down one point, Cal called a timeout to set up....a three pointer by Brandon Knight. The same Brandon Knight that was 1-7 on threes before that. That's the go-to play? As evidenced by his 1-7 three point shooting in the game, Knight doesn't need his number called to pull the trigger. That was the play drawn up? With 6 losses since the New Year, all of which on the road by 7 points or less, I have to wonder if Cal's subpar coaching is coming to light. You can get away with those mistakes when Derrick Rose or Tyreke Evans are playing against...whoever the hell Memphis used to play. You can get away with those mistakes with 5 first rounders on the roster. You can't get away with them on a team that goes 6 deep, three of those being freshmen. I'm missing the John Wall dance a lot more than I thought I would.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Trophies and J. Cole

That new conference championship trophy is terrible. Just terrible. I didn't watch the championship celebrations so I hadn't seen it, but it's terrible. If I'm the Players Association, I agree to play an 18 game season if they go back to the old conference championship trophies.

You praised Ted Thompson saying, "any smart executive would've done the same" in keeping his promise if the starting job to Rodgers. There's the rub: smart executives appear to be few and far in between. Mike Brown. Al Davis. Daniel Snyder. Matt Millen was an NFL executive for 8 years. Turning a rebuilding team over to the 25 year old instead of the 45 year old is a no brainer, but as Mike Brown has proven, a lot of GM's are just that. Agreed on the Rodgers-Smith debate. If Rodgers goes to San Fran, he's probably better than Alex Smith but not as good as he turned out to be in Green Bay. If Smith goes to Green Bay, he probably turns out better than he did but still doesn't get as good as Rodgers is now. Either way, Rodgers is set in Green Bay and Alex Smith will have to find another team to start his 2011 Pro Bowl campaign for.

Back to Dwight Howard for a second, I don't mind blowing the kiss to the crowd as much as the timing of it. If Boston fouls you late in the 4th quarter and you nail 2 FTs to ice the victory, blow the kiss. If you hit a free throw in the first half, don't blow the kiss. Last year in the playoffs while losing, he waved his arms at the crowd encouraging them to boo louder. Again, if you just threw down a dunk to seal the victory? Go crazy. You make a garbage time bucket in a game you are about to lose? Let's keep it together. His streak of great games is still going though. As we speak, he's got 32 points and 10 boards in only 27 minutes against Washington. He capped a week of 28 points-13 boards, 22-20, 30-17 and 20-17 with a 31-13 beauty against the Lakers. He and Andrew Bynum had a nice battle going in the first quarter and you remembered why Bynum appears to be so sought after. Then Dwight turned it up and Bynum began favoring that left knee again and I remember why I wouldn't touch Bynum in a trade. Not even if it's one of Denver's last resorts to get something for Carmelo. I said it during last year's Finals and I'll say it again: It's time to update Bynum's height and weight. He is still listed at the 7 feet, 285 pounds he was coming out of high school. I can't find a good pic from the game, but he dwarfs Howard. I'd conservatively estimate Bynum is about 7'4", 426 pounds.

I read an interview with Nick Lachey, who apparently is a big Reds/Bengals fan, expecting him to give typical celebrity answers. I was pleasantly surprised to see him call out Carson Palmer as a lackluster leader and rip Mike Brown's incompetence. If we can get the rest of 98 Degrees on board, we may have a revolution on our hands.

Glad you liked that J. Cole. I love "2Face" and "Too Deep for the Intro". If you liked that one, I definitely recommend The Warm Up. It preceded it, but I liked that one more than Friday Night Lights.

I keep hoping to wake up and seeing the Cardinals sign Albert Pujols to a 10 year- 300 million dollar contract, followed by Pujols' birth certificate being found and revealing he's actually 37 and not 31.

Can you think of a better debut song, rap or otherwise, than this? Not that it's the best song ever, but I had never heard anything like it and with some of the wack debuts I hear today, this is remarkable stuff.

Loved this song when it came out. Still do, and if I was a rich man I would absolutely hire Barrington Levy to follow me around and scat like that.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Packers: Your Super Bowl Champions

I am, of course, extremely excited about the Packers winning the Super Bowl.  Before I get to that, I want to clear up a couple things from a couple posts ago.  I see your point about hoisting a trophy.  I still like the Lombardi trophy, but I understand your point.  Still, when I was talking about the conference championship trophies, I was referring to the new ones, which look like this:

You can't tell me that looks better than the Lombardi trophy.

I see your point about Howard.  I think it's less that he jokes around (personally, I kind of liked when he blew a kiss after a made free throw), and more that he doesn't always seem like dominant force he knows he is.  When the Celtics started running away with that game, he needed to start demanding the ball down low.  Arenas taking fadeaway jumpers is not the offense you need.  Howard was destroying Perkins.  In that moment, he needs to demand the ball.  His offense has improved a lot this year, and he needs to start calling for it.  I still haven't really seen him do that.

I listened to that J. Cole tape.  I liked it.  I really need to listen to it again.  There weren't many songs that really jumped out at me, but I remember enjoying it.

Now...on to the Packers.

Joy.  Pure, delirious joy.  When Williams knocked that ball away from Wallace on 4th down, the entire house erupted.  We were all screaming.  Words can't really explain what I felt...or even what I feel now.  I'm still happy about it, and that's a feeling that's going to be around for a while.  It was amazing to watch that team all year, see all the struggles they had...yet they were still somehow able to win the Super Bowl.  It was a frustrating year, but it was a terrific year.
As far as the game itself goes, it was a game that was closer than it should've been, especially considering how the game started.  It never should've come down to that last drive.  But the Packers defense came up big all game, and they came up with a big stop at the end.  They've been doing it all was good to see them do it one last time, on the biggest stage.
I went back and rewatched the game yesterday, and jotted down some thoughts.  I'll post those at some point this week.

I do have a couple of Packers/Aaron Rodgers related thoughts:
One of the big storylines after the Packers won was, "It looks like Ted Thompson knew something we didn't when he let Favre go."  While it was a big move to get rid of Favre to give the starting job to Rodgers, it wasn't quite the radical move that everyone seems to think it was.  First of all, Rodgers was, in the not-too-distant past, strongly considered the #1 QB in the draft.  In fact, Alex Smith just barely beat him out for that (something I'll get to in a bit).  He was a good QB in college, and he looked terrific whenever I saw him play for the Packers (most notably in the Cowboys game a few years ago, but also in every preseason game I had seen him in).  Second of all, Favre told the Packers he was retired.  They promised the job to Rodgers, then Favre said he wanted back in.  If they give the job back to Favre, they lose the trust of Rodgers, and they probably don't retain him past that year.  So they have a young team with Favre at the helm (who would be gone in a few years), or they have a young team with Rodgers at the helm.  He made a decision and ran with it, and any smart executive would've done the same.

One more note on Rodgers.  Another thing I've heard a lot has been, "I bet the 49ers are wishing they had taken Rodgers over Smith."  I can understand the point, but it's wrong.  I do believe that Rodgers is better than Smith.  But I also believe that Rodgers went to a much better team than Smith.  Smith went to a bad team with not many offensive weapons, and a leaky offensive line.  He was starting halfway through his rookie year.  Rodgers went to a good team with great offensive weapons, and a good offensive line.  He also sat behind a future Hall of Famer for three years before he got a chance to start.  So by the time he started, he had a strong understanding of the offense, and had bonded with his major offensive weapons.  If Rodgers went to the 49ers, he wouldn't have had that chance.  I believe he would've been better than Smith, but I still don't think the 49ers would be a great team.  

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why, Dwight???

First thing first, congrats friend. Wanted the Pack to win, but wasn't sure if they could pull it off and they proved me wrong. It's good to see a young core really get it together, especially so soon. Of course GB is set up to be contenders for the next couple years, but you can say that for so many teams that never actually make it to the top. Take the 2005 Bengals for instance. Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, and Chad Johnson were all 26 or younger heading into the season. Chris Perry showed some promise after an injury plagued rookie season. A great rookie class produced David Pollack, Odell Thurman and Chris Henry who all played big roles on that team. Now, Pollack, Thurman, Perry and Rudi are out of the league. Henry is gone. Chad could leave this season and Carson wants out. Things can fall apart so quickly that it really is nice to see potential realized. Enjoy it, my man.

Was a little disappointed Ted Thompson didn't get on the podium after the game and just scream, "I told you so!" to each question he was asked.

Feeling a little giddy that pitchers and catchers reporting is right around the corner.

You saw it with your own eyes. You saw Dwight Howard carve up Kendrick Perkins and the Celtics to the tune of 19 first half points with an array of post moves and a couple of jumpers thrown in. Maybe you can tell me why he only got 6 FG attempts in the second half, with his lone make coming in garbage time. It's nonsense. Just last night in a loss against New Orleans, Dwight was 2-3 in the second half. Emeka Okafor is a good defender and all but...what's that you say? He didn't play? At all?!? So you mean Aaron Gray/DJ Mbenga/David Andersen guarded Dwight Howard and he still only managed 2 field goals in the second half, after hitting 6 alone in the first quarter? It's a recurring theme and a big reason why this team is 6-6 in their last 12 games. Gilbert Arenas shooting 28% from the field and 9% 3P this month don't help. Neither does Jason Richardson doing his best Vince Carter impression with seven games of 10 or less points in his last 14 games. Again, he hasn't been blame free though. Before the Heat game, he organized the team to do a photo shoot very similar to the one LeBron used to do with the Cavs. LeBron promptly went out and hit his first 11 shots for a 23 point quarter and finished with 51 points, 11 boards and 8 assists. Why, Dwight? During the Boston game, he blew a kiss to the fans after a made free throw in the first half. Why, Dwight? 15 technicals before the All Star Break. Why, Dwight? I've said it many times that I never bought into the theory that Dwight jokes too much to lead a team to the promised land, but I'm finally starting to see validity in the claims.

Ever get a chance to check out that J. Cole?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Bowl and The Blake

I see they have already gotten to you. "The Man" wants you think the Lombardi Trophy looks better because it represents the ultimate goal, but if we're talking about pure aesthetics? The Lamar Hunt trophy has it in a landslide.

Just look at it. Looks like a Rec League trophy. Trophies are made to be hoisted. Can't really hoist that one without some awkward hand placement. You have to hold it like an Academy Award.

That's a trophy made to be hoisted. The best trophies are made to be hoisted. The Stanley Cup trophy. The World Series trophy. The BCS crystal ball. College hoops without a doubt has the worst trophy though. More of a plaque. If you had one choice to display either the Lombardi or the Hunt trophy in your home, from a pure visual standpoint, you'd go with the Lamar Hunt.

I got to watch the Blake Griffin show in person and I feel like a better man for it. He's a mountain of a man and he doesn't really jump as much as he just floats to the rim. He had a pedestrian 19-11 but still found time to throw down a couple of nice dunks. A majority of the crowd seemed to be there just to see Blake, and I don't know if there has been a guy like that in his rookie year since LeBron. If Blake didn't have to watch Baron Davis dribble the ball for 18 seconds, he could have easily went for 30. One thing that would worry me if I was a Clippers fan is that for as hard as Blake plays, he's very slow to get back up the court. He could also be a dynamite weak side shot blocker, but hasn't showed the interest in it yet. Still, I'm excited about his future. Now that I've got Blake off my list of players to see live, the next up is LeBron.

To answer your question, I can't imagine the hiring of Jay Gruden does anything to change Carson's mind. It's a typical Mike Brown move. Bob Bratkowski was fired, which was the right move. He was fired much later than he should have been, so by that time all the good candidates were gone. I saw "Gruden hired to fix Bengals offense" on the bottom line and knew better than to get my hopes up for Jon Gruden. Turns out it was AFL extraordinaire Jay Gruden. To be fair to Gruden, he did have success in the AFL and maybe he will be an offensive mastermind. I'm willing to give him a fair shot but that's not the hire that keeps the face of your franchise happy. I would have loved Josh McDaniels, and think he's a great fit in St. Louis with Bradford. If anything, I think it makes Carson stick to his guns more than ever. I ask for help and you give me the Florida Tuskers Head Coach? Carson, please stick to your guns on this one.

Dwight Howard quietly came off one of the best months of his career. In the month of January he averaged 25 ppg, 15 rpg, and nearly 2 blocks on 61% FG shooting. The problem? The team only went 10-6 for the month. The record isn't too shabby but in those six losses, Dwight scored 29, 39, 33, 20, 40 and 25. He's getting no help, especially defensively. The plan always seemed to be if you can surround Dwight with even average defensive players, he'd pick up their slack. Covering for the miscues of Turkoglu, Richardson, Nelson, Arenas and Anderson appears to be too tall of a task. Add in a knee injury to Brandon Bass with Gilbert Arenas still sucking and things aren't looking good. Dwight hasn't been without blame though. With Orlando down one against Memphis with 5 seconds left, he was T'ed up for arguing with refs. Memphis made the free throw and not surprisingly, won the game. Unacceptable. Especially for the captain of your team and someone that already has a quick hook with referees. All that was before I was forwarded this by a Lakers fan.

The lesson, as always, is that Lakers fans are horrible human beings unfit to live.

I've stayed as far away from the Super Bowl week stories as I can. I don't care about Ben being more jovial with the media. I don't care about Rodgers snubbing a fan, albeit one with cancer, for an autograph. I do care about who wins though, even if I have no idea who will do so. I'd like to see the Packers win just for the irony that the Packers won a Super Bowl three years after Favre left and during the worst season of his career. I'd like that. I have my questions though. Outside of the Matty Ice led Falcons, they haven't been able to put teams away in the playoffs. You can't let Pittsburgh hang around. A Green Bay strength is pressuring the QB, but every team gets pressure on the Steelers with that patchwork line. Mendenhall is a wild card. I could see him going for 12 carries-36 yards and two fumbles, or 18 carries-106 yards and a touchdown. Raji should wreak havoc against the replacement center, but again, Ben is used to running for his life. That dome should really benefit the Packers, but the Steelers have been throwing the ball around so I think it helps them too. I like the Packers secondary over the Steelers receivers, but Heath Miller could cause some trouble. I could see a guy like Mewelde Moore having a nice day catching passes out of the backfield because the Steelers receivers are well covered.

I can just see Green Bay outplaying Pittsburgh for the entire game, but not really closing the door on them. I can see the "Roethlisberger Redeemed" headlines about how he changed his life and it got him to his third Super Bowl ring. Good lord I hope I'm wrong because I can't deal with a summer of that. Still, Steelers 27, Packers 24.

EDIT: Please, please tell me you saw this.

Super Bowl

I was wondering what your take on Palmer was.  It's about what I expected.  Every Bengals fan I've talked to has had the same reaction as you: "He has given the prime of his career to a terrible organization.  He is on the decline, and he has no realistic shot at a Super Bowl with the Bengals.  I loved him, but I hope he sticks to his guns: trade me or I'll retire."
Do you see him changing his mind at all with the hiring of Jay Gruden, or do you think he'll stick to his original plan?

Yes.  You are the only one who thinks the NFC/AFC Championship trophies look better than the Lombardi.  At least, I assume you are.  I definitely won't join you on that train.

Alright...on to the Super Bowl.
I haven't read a ton of the human interest stories.  In fact, I've hardly read any of them.  I started to read a story on Aaron Rodgers, and his rise as a starter, but I just couldn't finish it.  The same goes for a story about Charles Woodson and how he got acclimated to Green Bay.  I should be interested in those stories, but it's just all too much.
I've been reading a lot of picks and articles about strategy (again, I have to put in a plug for Football Outsiders, because that site is amazing).  A couple of weeks ago, I was pretty nervous about this game.  How are the Packers going to stop Roethlisberger?  If Mendenhall runs as hard as he did against the Jets, how are the Packers going to stop him?  How are the Packers going to be able to score on the Steelers defense?
I'm still fairly nervous (I haven't been able to sleep this past week), but I'm feeling more confident.  Raji has been on fire.  In fact, the entire defensive line has been solid.  Between them and the play of the linebackers, they should be able to slow down Mendenhall.  The pass rush should keep Roethlisberger on the run all day, and our defensive backs should be able to hang with the Steelers receivers.  Everyone knows that Wallace is fast, but you don't hear as much about the speed of Shields.  He'll be able to limit the impact of Wallace, which is a big key to the game.
On offense, the Packers should be able to move the ball and score.  Rodgers is terrific in a dome.  The Steelers defensive strength is their run defense...but the Packers don't run well anyway.  The Steelers have some weaknesses in their secondary.  Granted, the Steelers have a good pass rush, but the Packers excel in spreading out the field with their receivers, then having Rodgers make a quick read.
Here's what I think it comes down to: both teams run the same style of defense, so the offenses shouldn't really be surprised by anything they see.  So the question is, which offense will better be able to take advantage of that.  In looking at everything, I think the Packers are that team.  I also believe that the Packers defense is better equipped to shut down the Steelers offense than the Steelers defense is at shutting down the Packers offense.
Packers win, and I think it'll be something like 28-17.