I simmed the upcoming Super Bowl 45 in NFL 2k5 with updated rosters. Note the fact that simulations that I had done of Jets games from the playoffs ended up being very close to the real games (I am a Jets fan, but I did NOT put any bias for or against the Steelers...) (Jets 19 Colts 17, real score Jets 17 Colts 16, Jets 31 Patriots 24, real score Jets 28 Patriots 21, Steelers 24 Jets 21, real score Steelers 24 Jets 19.)
I did not record exact stats for this game, but I watched it play out, and like many playoff games we have seen so far, it was a tale of two halfs. I used 8 min. quarters, which came out to right around or very close to the exact number of plays due to the fact that the offenses ran inhumanly fast paces. I also used a custom slider set that favored the defense but with reduced turnovers.
A-Rod established Jennings as his No.1 target early, leading to two touchdowns in the first half. James Starks also ran the ball relatively effectively most of the game considering the prodigious Steel Curtain front 7. Pittsburgh had a dismal offensive first half, but came out fired in the second, creating two quick touchdowns, one established by an Aaron Rodgers INT that gave Ben and Co. great field position. They were successful on the 2 point conversion on the second attempt to give them a 21-14 lead entering the 4th quarter. After a few punts from both sides, Pittsburgh recovered a Green Bay fumble at the 22 yard line, and two beast runs by Rashad Mendenhall later, the Steelers had a 2 touchdown lead with 5 min. left. Green Bay then went on a successful drive but gave the ball to Starks way too many times, and, imitating the Jets the week before, burned too much time for being down two touchdowns. They got a first and goal, but on third and goal from the the six, Lebeau called one of his famous Zone Blitzes, very similar to the one called against the Cardinals that resulted in the big Harrison 100 yard pick six. Lawrence Timmons came off the line and intercepted Aaron Rodgers to all but end it with a little over two minutes left.
In the end, three costly Packer turnovers and an overachieving effort by Pittsburgh's secondary was the difference, combined with Ben Roethlisberger's ability to create plays on third down and Super Bowl Swagger. He also finally won his first Super Bowl MVP. Joining Bradshaw, Montana, Aikman, and Brady as the only quarterbacks with three Super Bowl Wins, Roethlisberger enters the premiere tier of quarterbacks who lead their team to championships.
Will the game play out this way? Or will Rodgers finally step out of the shadow of Favre, Driver get rewarded for his long, hard years of Packer stardom, and McCarthy beat his hometown heroes?