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ESPN Experts Split on Who Will Win Super Bowl XLV

Here’s what ESPN experts have to say about the Game Sunday with their picks:

John Clayton: Steelers, 30-28

As was the case in a one-point Pittsburgh victory over Green Bay in 2009, the Steelers’ Super Bowl experience will give them the edge. Ben Roethlisberger will need a fourth-quarter drive to win the game.

Kevin Seifert: Packers, 27-19

The indoor conditions are ideal for a Packers team that has won five consecutive “elimination games.” Aaron Rodgers is ready to take this team the rest of the way.

James Walker: Steelers, 27-24

Maurkice Pouncey’s ankle injury is a concern. But I still have trouble picking against Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and his 10-2 postseason record.

Mike Sando: Packers, 27-13

Let’s go with Green Bay on the theory that Aaron Rodgers might pull a Steve Young with a breakout Super Bowl performance, casting his own legacy after following a legend.

Matt Mosley: Steelers, 27-24

It’s not Aaron Rodgers’ time yet. The Steelers become a dynasty as Big Ben throws the game-winning touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders.

Michael Wilbon: Steelers, 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. Roethlisberger is still underrated by his peers and the people who watch football, and we’re going to be reminded of that Sunday.

Greg Garber: Packers, 27-20

Aaron Rodgers and those dangerous wide receivers (and, suddenly, the hint of a running game) on a fast track: Even the Steelers’ stout defense will have difficulty containing the Packers.

Rick Reilly: Packers, 24-16

Aaron Rodgers is MVP. Brett Favre is ignored. It’s the equivalent of the girlfriend burning all her ex-fiance’s stuff while her new boyfriend drinks his scotch.

Matt Williamson: Steelers, 23-20

This is going to be a very close game and a Super Bowl for the ages. Pittsburgh’s experience on this stage will pay off heavily in the first half. The Steelers’ defense will be very difficult to come back against, especially once it forces the Packers to be one-dimensional without a running game. But Aaron Rodgers will get the game to overtime, where defense will rule. After a grueling battle, Pittsburgh squeaks one out; RB Rashard Mendenhall is the game’s MVP.

Jeffri Chadiha: Packers, 31-28

The Steelers have more Super Bowl experience but the Packers have the momentum. Unless Aaron Rodgers sustains an injury or Dom Capers loses his touch in mixing up his blitz packages, Green Bay is the team to beat.


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