The final game of the year is here. And with that comes my final article. It is the Steelers of Pittsburgh versus the Cardinals of Arizona for the whole enchilada. As always, I have forsaken pregame shows so that my mind is not sullied with intelligent analysis. I will watch all the pregame stuff after this article is written. It will probably be much more fanciful and grandiose. Once you get to TV, it has to go that way. Fancy graphics. Fancy backstories. Everything is so darn fancy. I will write this year the case for each team and then end it with my prediction.
The Case for the
The Arizona Cardinals have at the QB position the MVP of Super Bowl 34 when Kurt Warner played for the St. Louis Rams. That game had a goal-line TD-saving tackle at the end of the game. This tackle prevented a tying touchdown. Warner’s experience cannot be downplayed. Since he has been to the big game at the end of the season and been the MVP, it cannot hurt.
The Cardinals also have Larry Fitzgerald and you don’t. This type of attitude has made Warner look good. It has the possibility of making Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston look spectacular. But in order for
The running game for the Cardinals magically showed up in the person of Edgerrin James. Tim Hightower has been running as well. They don’t have to run that well at all. They just have to run some, and it makes the passing game all that more important.
The crazy part is that the Cardinals defense has shown up to play in all playoff games. It has bent, but it has not broken. In this way, these Cardinals remind me of the Indianapolis Colts of Super Bowl 41. Their defense won it when everyone knew the offense could only carry them so far.
The biggest point is that the Cardinals believe in themselves.
The Case for the
The Pittsburgh Steelers have the top rated overall defense in the league. It was No. 1 in yards against. It was No. 2 in rushing yards against. It was No. 1 in passing. It was No. 1 in points. The Giants proved last year that defense can win a championship. But this defense is actually better than what the Cardinals have seen all year. Something is going to have to give.
The Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger playing in his second Super Bowl. He played well enough to win Super Bowl 40. He will have to play better if the Steelers have a chance this time. But much like the way that the Cardinals have to run a little, the Steelers just have to throw a little. The big question will be can Ben get time in the pocket? Can he move the pocket and get throws downfield? And will the Steelers convert on third down? That is what they need to do to win.
The Steelers have the MVP of Super Bowl 40 in Hines Ward. But Hines appears to be ailing and he may be forced to wear some type of support and this may hamper his route-running ability.
The Steelers have the sensational safety Troy Polamalu. Not since Ray Lewis, the MVP of Super Bowl 35, has there been an opportunity for another defensive MVP. I can say that there is a scenario where
The biggest point is that the Steelers have a crazy defense.
The crazy defense of the Steelers versus the believers of the Cardinals.
I go with the crazy defense.
See you in August!
Have a safe spring and summer.
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