- Associated Press - Friday, February 4, 2011

DALLAS (AP) - If it all were all about hair, the Steelers would already be champs.

Sure, Green Bay’s Clay Matthews has a head full of golden strands, but he’s got nothing on Pittsburgh’s comb-defying combo of Brett Keisel’s phenomenal facial hair and Troy Polamalu’s luscious locks.

Keisel kiddingly _ we think _ bragged that his overgrown beard has Super Bowl powers, but there are plenty of other clean-cut reasons Mike Tomlin will deliver the Steelers their seventh title. Just ask Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, who knows a thing or two about winning the NFL’s biggest game.

“I think the Steelers defensively are outstanding,” said the two-time Super Bowl champion coach. “And then the quarterback just keeps plays going. … I just think the Steelers are stronger overall.”

That doesn’t bode well for the Packers on Sunday night, even though they’re 2 1/2-point favorites.

“We’ve always done pretty well as the underdog,” Pittsburgh team president Art Rooney II said. “That doesn’t bother me in the least.”

Or anyone else on the Steelers, for that matter.

“The majority of the experts felt that they are a better team than us,” safety Ryan Clark said. “So, we are just going to go out and play hard and we are going to be as physical as possible.”

That aggressive approach might give the Steelers one of their biggest advantages. Opponents have the black and blues to prove it.

“We have got to hit them,” Clark said. “That includes stopping the run, getting to their quarterback, hitting their receivers when they catch the ball and not allowing runs after the catch. It is going to be a physical game from a very physical defense. I think that is the only way to combat their explosiveness.”

Beware Aaron Rodgers, because that’s where Polamalu and James Harrison come in.

One’s got the hair, the other’s got the mouth. Bottom line, they’re two of a kind when it comes to game-changing plays.

Even against scrambling quarterbacks _ and Rodgers is one of the best _ Polamalu is a matchup nightmare with the way he freelances in the secondary. One play, he can break off coverage and zip in for a sack; the next, he can make a spectacular move to break up a pass.

Green Bay has an impressive defense of its own, but Dick LeBeau’s aggressive “fire zone” blitz scheme could make it a long night for even Rodgers.

Harrison leads a physical bunch of linebackers, that will combine with hefty defensive linemen Keisel, Casey Hampton and Ziggy Hood, and prove too much for a Packers running game that lacks consistency and experience. Shutting that part of the offense down will severely limit Rodgers‘ ability to get the ball down the field.

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