Nicco’s Red Zone Blog | Pittsburgh and Green Bay


Nicco’s Red Zone Blog
By Nicco Martinez – Our own featured writer at Silver and Blue Report and Hook’em Report and

In a Feb 3rd email sent to the editor, Nicco said:

My view is that the game has little to do with Pittsburgh and everything to do with the Packers…. if Green Bay comes in emotionally and physically rested, then I see them winning the game. Aaron Rodgers is too good and if the week off has not iced him, then expect him to light up the Steelers defense at will. If the Packers do not bring their “A” game, then the Steelers will squeak out another Super Bowl win, as all of the Steelers wins in the Super Bowl have been by 12 points or less.

Nicco revisits he statement on late Sunday night, Feb 6th:

Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, 24/39, 304 YDS, 3 TD, 0 INT and Green Bay wins 31-25. Rodgers frequently goes over the middle and catches Troy Polamalu out of position, including the game winner in the 4th Qtr, an 8-yard TD pass to Greg Jennings that Polamalu was spun out into no-mans land by Rodgers look-off to the left side of the field that Troy bit on. As Rodgers scans back to the middle of the field, he doesn’t find Jennings, instead he locates Polamalu and finds him easy pickings, and then moves to throw to Jennings.

Here it is, 41-seconds into this video:–GBa9k5Y

WBIZ, Sports Radio Wisconsin said that Green Bay’s plan of skinny posts, slants and crossing routes to make Polamalu spend all day running side-to-side in pass coverage and better yet, retreating into pursuit angles was brilliant.

So, I thought to myself: How many times can anyone recall seeing Polamalu in an aggressive trademark upfield charge that typically leads to good things such as tackles for loss, sacks, big hits, and turnovers?

Simply brilliant.

The Steelers played 19 games this season, the Packers put up a 31 on them, which means they accomplished what 17 teams could not do, put up 30 or more points. With exception to the 39-26 loss to the Patriots in the regular season, the talented Steelers had a lead in every other game this season. The Packers led the whole game, which kept pressure on Big Ben the whole game and minimized the Steelers utilization of Rashard Mendenhall.

The NFC has won 3 of the last 4 Super Bowls . . . AFC fans, how bout dem apples?

I realize the Steelers are a good team, so when I claim that Rodgers is “too good” and he will “light up the Steelers” . . . I did think about it before I wrote it.

Consider what Pittsburgh did to its competition this year:

–Atlanta’s Matt Ryan had 252 yds, 0 tds, 1 int in a loss. It was the only time all season that Ryan did not throw a TD pass in a game.

–Kerry Collins & Vince Young combined for 192 yds and 3 int in a loss.

–Bucs Josh freeman had 184 yds, 0 td, 1 int in a loss. It was the only time all season that Freeman did not throw a TD pass in a game.

–Carson Palmer had 178 yds, 1 yd, 3 ints in a loss.

–Mark Sanchez has 170 yds and 0 tds in a win.

–In the Playoffs, Joe Flacco had 125 yds, 1 td, 1 int in a loss.

–In the Playoffs, Sanchez had 219 and 2 tds, 0 int in a loss.

Which means over the whole season, only Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, and Mark Sanchez (twice) were able to NOT throw an interception in the face of the Steelers defense.

Only Drew Brees and Tom Brady were able to throw for 300 yards against Steelers, Brees had 305 and Brady 350, both losses for Pittsburgh.

So, when I say that Aaron Rodgers is going to light up the Steelers defense. I stand by my claim.

And so there was tonight, Aaron Rodgers had 304 yards, 3 tds, 0 int, and it could have been more because Rodgers put the ball on the money for a sure 75-yard touchdown at the beginning of the 3rd qtr, but WR James Jones dropped the ball that hit him in his forearms and hands.

Packers WR Jordy Nelson had 9 catches for 140 yds and 1 td, however he dropped 4 passes that Rodgers put on his hands: a touchdown drop and three other dropped passes that would have all converted into first-down GB completions. Imagine the game Nelson might have had.

Aaron Rodgers had 6 hit-the-hands on-target passes that were dropped by Packers receivers that led ESPN’s Trent Dilfer, Cris Carter and Keyshawn Johnson to say that the 6 drops easily cost Rodgers another 100+ yards from his stat line.

Rodgers did all of this without his top WR Donald Driver, he left the game very early with an ankle injury.

Aaron Rodgers is now 4-1 in the playoffs and in his one loss his Packers team scored 45 points.

Rodgers DID light up the Steelers tonight, and what made it great, was that he made the difficult look relatively easy.

Anyone missing Brett Favre now? (:

Official Attendance: 103,219

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