It’s a given a lot will occur between now and Feb. 5 when Super Bowl LI – or 51 in layman’s terms — will be played in NRG Stadium in Houston.
But that didn’t prevent a spate of Wisconsin media figures from chiming in with their Super Bowl predictions:
Steve “Sparky’’ Fifer, WSSP (105.7 FM):
“Cards and Patriots. I love the Cards’ head coach, Bruce Arians. He’s a top 3 coach with an explosive offense and defense that are ready to take the next step this season.
“While I can’t stand the Patriots, you have to give them credit for having a top-notch defense most years and then they add Martellus Bennett at tight end to go along with Gronk (Rob Gronkowski) and that offense will be difficult to stop regardless of who the running back is.
“I’ll take the Cards to win it all. It’s time Arians finally gets the Lombardi Trophy.’’
Rod Burks, Channel 4 (NBC):
“I like New England and Green Bay to meet in the Super Bowl. I like New England because they got a great coach (Billl Belichick) and they got Tom Brady. They just find ways to win big games.
“As for the Packers, they got Aaron Rodgers. Plus, they have so many guys in the final year of their deals who will play well. The key is Eddie Lacy running the football; I think he’s going to have a big year for them. And I think Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will have a big year, too He is really, really good. I think he’s going to be a superstar. I’m going with the Packers to win it all.’’
Tim Van Vooren, Channel 6 (Fox):
“As we have all seen, it’s hard enough to get to the Super Bowl, much less win it. But I’ll say the Steelers and Packers will get to the Super Bowl. I actually think the defenses for both teams will get them there. I think Green Bay has a great offense; it’ll be much improved over last year.
“But the Packers defense now has the playmakers, particularly with their defensive backs, something they haven’t had since Super Bowl 45 (in 2011, when Green Bay beat Pittsburgh 31-25 at Arlington, Texas). So, I think they’ll be having a rematch of Super Bowl 45. And I’ll go with the Packers to win again.’’
Steve “The Homer’’ True, ESPN (540 AM):
“I’m picking the Packers over the Raiders. I really believe the Raiders can get there, although I still haven’t figured out how they’re going to beat New England.
“I’m confident the Packers will get there. Aaron Rodgers is driven to have a year not like last year, and he’s got a lot of options for him this season.
“If the Packers defense is good enough, they can win it. And I think their defense will be good enough to win it.’’
Kevin Holden, Channel 58 (CBS):
“I am predicting, which will probably be the undoing of me, a rematch of Packers-Steelers. And the Packers will win because of their defense. They have a strength on defense they haven’t had since Super Bowl 45; this time it’s their secondary and not their defensive line.
“That will be good enough to stop the Steelers and their high-flying passing attack and give Green Bay another Lombardi Trophy.’’
Chuck Freimund, WSSP (105.7 FM):
“Green Bay and New England. I think New England will have a bounce-back season from Brady-Gate and Green Bay, while I don’t think they’re one of the top three teams in the NFC right now, will be by the end of the season. And then I think New England will beat Green Bay.’’
Stephanie Sutton, Channel 12 (ABC):
“I’ll probably sound like I’m a homer for picking the Packers, but I think they have a great chance of getting there. In the AFC, it’ll be the Steelers or Patriots because they’re always there, right?
“I’d personally like to see an Aaron Rodgers-Tom Brady Super Bowl. That would be so cool. That would be a classic. And then I’d pick the Packers to win.’’
Gery Woelfel, Woelfel’s Press Box
“I was in Vegas a few weeks ago and actually put down some cash (hard-earned, of course) on the Packers to win the Big One. Of course, what I know now I didn’t know then. Ted Thompson’s decision to dump Josh Sitton last week was egregious and it’s going to come back to bite the Packers.
“Now, I’m hopping aboard the Seattle Seahawks’ bandwagon in the NFC and am rolling with the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC. My money is now on the ’Hawks; Russell Wilson adds a second Super Bowl ring to his collection.’’