Super Bowl!!! After this incredible season in which the chi of the year was changed with the injury of Tom Brady, the NFL season has come down to a game between the 14-4 Pittsburgh Steelers dominating defense and the 12-7 Arizona Cardinals tremendous passing attack. To end it all, I have a few predictions to make.
The Steelers defense is simply incredible. In a league that has more teams playing a “bend but not break” style, Pittsburgh brings a “break the leg so it cannot bend” D to Raymond James Stadium.
Looking at the Cards, they have shown they can play defense in their first two playoff wins against the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers. However, the most telling game is probably the Eagles game. Arizona held the rushing and the short passing game and simply tried to keep the big plays by Donovan McNabb out of the end zone. The result was a 32-25 victory.
The Pittsburgh offense is based on a strong run game and support by Big Ben and his big throws. The team has averaged 29 points a game this postseason and averages over 300 passing yards a game as well as over 100 rushing yards.
The Cardinals offense has averaged 31.7 points a game in the playoffs with 362 passing yards and 111 rushing yards a game. The rushing yards are the surprise here. Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower have been able to shock the three opponents by coming out and establishing a run game before Kurt Warner tore apart the secondary.
I do not believe that the Cardinals will be able to get any kind of run game going against this 3-4 Steelers defense. James Harrison, James Farrior, and everybody else will probably make James remember that he is 30 and Hightower has been less than impressive this postseason. However, Troy Polamalu cannot guard three exception wide receivers and none of the linebackers can keep up with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston.
I think the Arizona Cardinals will manhandle Willie Parker and Antonio Smith will be able to put enough pressure on Roethlisberger to make the game interesting. In the end I am looking forward to game of big hits, more than enough sacks, and big plays as Roethlisberger and Warner duel like modern day gunslingers. The Steelers will win in the end. I pick Pittsburgh to win 34-28 over the Cardinals, and really wish I had Super Bowl tickets to watch what I think will be one of the more entertaining marquee games in the last few years.