POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Feb 06, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 01:48 a.m. HST, Feb 06, 2011
DALLAS » Here's the real inside story of Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense: While everybody thinks of them as a cold-weather team from a land of ice fishing and snowmobiles, they're really more at home in a dome.
The retractable roof on Cowboys Stadium will be closed for today's Super Bowl, something Rodgers openly wished for when the Packers landed in north Texas this week. Rodgers knows that when the Packers are out of the elements, it's the opposing defense that starts to get the chills.
"I'm hoping they put the top on," Rodgers said.
The way Green Bay's precise, pass-first offense can move the ball and pile up points when players don't have to worry about wind or sloppy footing, even the Steelers' stingy defense will be scrambling to keep up. Pittsburgh might have big hitters, but it's hard to hit what you can't catch.
NFL SUPER BOWLKickoff: 1:30 p.m. today
"You look at our group of receivers, we do not like playing in cold weather," Donald Driver said. "We do (it), we don't have a choice. If you had to ask a guy, what would he choose, to play inside or outside? I think most guys would play indoors."
Since Mike McCarthy took over as coach in 2006, Green Bay is 11-6 in dome games, including the playoffs. Green Bay has averaged 381.6 yards and 30.6 points in those games.
Rodgers has played 12 dome games including the playoffs, completing 68.6 percent of his passes with 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions.
Linebacker James Harrison said the Steelers are wary of Rodgers under any conditions.
"He's the hottest thing going right now," Harrison said. "His offensive line is doing a great job of protecting him. They're starting to run the ball pretty well. Even when you do get an opportunity to get to him, he evades pressure very well. We're going to have to play an A-plus game to even be competitive with them."
Of Rodgers' top five single-game yardage totals, three have come in domes. "Obviously, everyone saw the game down in Atlanta and saw how we could perform," receiver Jordy Nelson said. "We just feel comfortable. I think Aaron feels real comfortable in domes."
» LT (76), 6-5, 320, 11th season, Tennessee
The veteran of O-line who has fought off injuries this season. ... Has been bothered by neck injury recently. ... Second-round pick in 2000 who has started every game he's played (122) since 2003. ... Has huge responsibility protecting Rodgers' blind side against fearsome Steelers rush.
» NT (90), 6-2, 337, 2nd season, Boston College
Made one of biggest plays of season for Packers with his INT return for winning points in NFC title game. ... Has progressed far this season. ... Started one game as rookie, all 16 this season, when he had 6 1/2 sacks. ... With Steelers rookie C Maurkice Pouncey out, Raji will be difficult matchup.
» LOLB (52), 6-3, 255, 2nd season, Southern California
All-Pro in second season after being considered lesser of three Trojans LBs drafted in 2009. ... Father and grandfather were terrific NFL players and his uncle, Bruce, is in Hall of Fame. ... Like Polamalu, will get looks because of long hair. ... Like Polamalu, Matthews always around the ball. ... Had 60 tackles, 13 1/2 sacks (fourth in league) and an INT return for touchdown.
» LCB (21), 6-1, 202, 13th season, Michigan
2009 Defensive Player of the Year, Woodson is force against run and pass. ... Shutdown cover man who pops up all over the field. ... One of Packers' defensive leaders. ... Had career highs of 92 tackles, 76 solo, in 2010. ... After averaging seven INTs in previous four seasons, had two this season as teams avoided throwing his way. ... Threat on blitzes.
|2 Mason Crosby||K||6-1||207|
|6 Graham Harrell||QB||6-2||215|
|8 Tim Masthay||P||6-1||200|
|10 Matt Flynn||QB||6-2||225|
|12 Aaron Rodgers||QB||6-2||225|
|16 Brett Swain||WR||6-0||200|
|20 Atari Bigby||S||5-11||213|
|21 Charles Woodson||CB||6-1||202|
|22 Pat Lee||CB||6-0||196|
|23 Dimitri Nance||RB||5-10||218|
|24 Jarrett Bush||CB||6-0||200|
|26 Charlie Peprah||S||5-11||203|
|28 Brandon Underwood||CB||6-1||191|
|30 John Kuhn||RB||6-0||250|
|32 Brandon Jackson||RB||5-10||216|
|35 Korey Hall||RB||6-0||236|
|36 Nick Collins||S||5-11||207|
|37 Sam Shields||CB||5-11||184|
|38 Tramon Williams||CB||5-11||191|
|40 Josh Gordy||CB||5-11||190|
|44 James Starks||RB||6-2||218|
|45 Quinn Johnson||RB||6-1||263|
|49 Rob Francois||LB||6-2||255|
|50 A.J. Hawk||LB||6-1||247|
|52 Clay Matthews||LB||6-3||255|
|53 Diyral Briggs||LB||6-4||230|
|55 Desmond Bishop||LB||6-2||238|
|57 Matt Wilhelm||LB||6-4||245|
|58 Frank Zombo||LB||6-3||254|
|61 Brett Goode||C||6-1||255|
|62 Evan Dietrich-Smith||G||6-2||308|
|63 Scott Wells||C||6-2||300|
|67 Nick McDonald||G||6-4||316|
|70 T.J. Lang||T||6-4||318|
|71 Josh Sitton||G||6-3||318|
|72 Jason Spitz||G||6-3||305|
|73 Daryn Colledge||G||6-4||308|
|75 Bryan Bulaga||T||6-5||314|
|76 Chad Clifton||T||6-5||320|
|77 Cullen Jenkins||DE||6-2||305|
|79 Ryan Pickett||DE||6-2||340|
|80 Donald Driver||WR||6-0||194|
|81 Andrew Quarless||TE||6-4||252|
|83 Tom Crabtree||TE||6-4||245|
|85 Greg Jennings||WR||5-11||198|
|86 Donald Lee||TE||6-4||248|
|87 Jordy Nelson||WR||6-3||217|
|89 James Jones||WR||6-1||208|
|90 B.J. Raji||NT||6-2||337|
|93 Erik Walden||LB||6-2||250|
|94 Jarius Wynn||DE||6-3||285|
|95 Howard Green||DT||6-2||340|
|98 C.J. Wilson||DE||6-3||290|
|WON 10, LOST 6|
|Sept. 12||at Philadelphia||W, 27-20|
|Sept. 19||Buffalo||W, 34-7|
|Sept. 27||at Chicago||L, 20-17|
|Oct. 3||Detroit||W, 28-26|
|Oct. 10||at Washington||L, 16-13 OT|
|Oct. 17||Miami||L, 23-20 OT|
|Oct. 24||Minnesota||W, 28-24|
|Oct. 31||at N.Y. Jets||W, 9-0|
|Nov. 7||Dallas||W, 45-7|
|Nov. 21||at Minnesota||W, 31-3|
|Nov. 28||at Atlanta||L, 20-17|
|Dec. 5||San Francisco||W, 34-16|
|Dec. 12||at Detroit||L, 7-3|
|Dec. 19||at New England||L, 31-27|
|Dec. 26||N.Y. Giants||W, 45-17|
|Jan. 2||Chicago||W, 10-3|
|Jan. 9||Philadelphia||W, 21-16|
|Jan. 15||Atlanta||W, 48-21|
|Jan. 23||Chicago||W, 21-14|