Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Perspective: Why the Steelers will win the Super Bowl
This year’s Super Bowl features a match up with one team possessing a high powered offense and the other team possessing a strong defense and when these to things come together, most anything can happen. Seeing this, this makes this year’s Super Bowl one of the most difficult to predict as both teams as these are two teams that are somewhat unpredictable.
The Steelers had the best defense in the NFL in 2008 and will face one of the more explosive offenses from the 2008 season with the Arizona Cardinals. The question is, can the Steelers defense stop the Cardinals high flying offense? Will the Cardinals be able to overcome the onslaught of defensive blitzes that they will surely see from the Steelers?
Pittsburgh will need to stop the Cardinal’s running game, which really didn’t get going until the start of the playoffs, if they want to control the tempo of this game as well as the ball and the clock. This should be fairly easy for the Steelers to do since it is well known that they are fully capable of stopping the run in most instances. If they can do that against the Cardinals, they have a good chance of winning this game.
But it’s not the Cardinal’s running that should worry the Steelers so much as the Cardinals passing game should. We all know, as do the Steelers, what Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin can do and so the Steelers will have their hands full defending against this potent passing game. The Steelers can defend against the pass however and they need to do this if they want to win.
Pittsburgh will need to get some pressure on Warner and force him to make mistakes which they will then need to take full advantage of and the Steelers are very good at taking advantage of another team’s mistakes as has been the case in the past (see Troy Polamalu). If the Cardinals make any mistakes, it could be very costly for the Cardinals.
The Steelers will win this game if they can keep consistent pressure on Warner, which they can do, and force him to make mistakes. They can easily get pressure on his with the defense that they currently have so that shouldn’t be an issue. Shutting down the Cardinals running game and forcing them to pass should also be high on their list of things to do as well.
On offense, the Steelers need to get their running game going. If they can utilize the talents of Willie Parker and keep the ball moving with him, on the ground, they will keep the ball out of Warner and Company’s hands and keep the score low. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has to keep control of the all and work the Steelers passing game well if the Cardinals manage to shut down the Steeler’s running game which may not be that difficult. The offensive line also needs to make sure that they give Roethlisberger enough protection to keep him upright and not get injured.
If the Steelers can keep the Cardinals to fewer than ten points or less, they will win this game. It would take a massive effort by the defense but nothing is impossible. If they allow the Cardinals to get ahead, it could be all over for their hopes another championship.
Prediction (for a Steelers victory) Pittsburgh 16 Arizona 10
By Bryan Dietzler