Thursday, January 22, 2009
Perspective: Why the Cardinals will win the Super Bowl
The upcoming Super Bowl promises to be one of the best in history as it pits a team that has a strong defense against a team that has a powerful scoring offense. The Steelers will certainly have their hands full when it comes to defending against the Cardinals potent passing attack and will have to put pressure on quarterback Kurt Warner if they want to win this game.
However, just this past Sunday, we saw the Cardinals keep one of the best blitzing defenses at bay (the Eagles) and this allowed Warner and his wide receivers, in particular Larry Fitzgerald, to connect on several scoring passes. Will Arizona be able to withstand the onslaught of pressure that they will most surely get from the NFL’s best defense? The answer is maybe. The key is in their running game. In the playoffs, the Cardinals got their running game going and that helped them out immensely and was probably the difference in them winning out through the playoffs and losing their first game against the Atlanta Falcons. Adding this other dimension has really helped the Cardinals out.
Going against a defense like the Steelers isn’t going to be easy and Pittsburgh will more than likely shut down the Cardinals running game and force them to throw the ball which leaves them wide open for the various blitzes that the Steelers will throw at them. Arizona’s offensive line will have to be on the ball if they want to keep Pittsburgh’s pass rushers at bay and they have kept Warner pretty well protected during the playoffs but they haven’t faced a pass rush like this in the playoffs. It’s going to be hairy.
If any team gets up by more than two scores in this game, that team will probably win the game and the team with the most explosive offense will probably be the one to get ahead first and that explosive offense belongs to the Cardinals. Even if they can get a quick lead before the Steelers shut them down, Pittsburgh doesn’t have the tools to play catch up or win in a shootout and if the Cardinals pile on the points, Pittsburgh isn’t going to be matching them score for score.
Look for Arizona to jump out to a quick lead in this game, by 10 to 14 points, and then watch as the Steelers clamp down on them and slow things down a little bit. It should be a fast and furious first half with the second half being slow and arduous second half with little scoring. If the Cardinals get out to a sizeable lead, they should win this game.
For the Cardinals, I predict Arizona 24 Pittsburgh 13
Next Up: Why the Steelers will win the Super Bowl
by Bryan Dietzler