Sunday, February 1, 2009

Feeling Super

All season long, The People's Champ has been riding the theme of what a great and underrated QB, Kurt Warner really is. TPC has also said on numerous occasions that the Steelers really aren't as good as everyone thinks. What force will win in the end? The 2nd great Cinderella story of Warner's career or the Mighty Steelers Defense getting ring #6 for their storied franchise and famous Steel Curtain D?
The Cardinals are easily the most overlooked team to ever make it to the Super Bowl. Forgetting the fact that they have won more playoff games this year (3) than their last 61 years combined. Forget that they finished 9-7 and won what was arguably the worst division in NFL history. Besides beating the 2-14 Rams and 4-12 Seahawks (with 2 of their 4 wins coming at the expense of the Rams), the Cards finished the season losing 37-29 to the Giants, 48-20 against the Eagles, 35-14 against the Vikings and 47-7 against the Pats. amazingly just two weeks later they beat a heavily favored Falcons team, then they knocked off the #2 seed in the NFC (the Panthers) and then beat the same Eagles where the got crushed just a few weeks prior. All this while finding a rejuvenated Edgerrin James (amazingly Peyton Manning in his prime couldn't get him to a Super Bowl but Warner did it in Arizona!) a physical and opportunistic defense (12 Turnovers in their 3 playoff games) and a Wide Receiver playing at a level only reached before by the great Jerry Rice (Larry Fitzgerald).
Still, they face a daunting defense in the 2009 version of the Steel Curtain, the #1 overall ranked Defense in the National Football League. They face a QB who is gunning for his 2nd Lombardi trophy in his short but very successful career in Big Ben. They face a coach (Mike Tomlin) who amazingly made the city of Pittsburgh forget about their former Coach-legend, Bill Cower.
Historically speaking, when great defenses face great offenses, the great D usually win out. Look no further than last season when the Giants beat the Patriots, arguably the greatest offense in history. Same situation in 2002 when the Pats knocked of Kurt Warner and the Greatest Show on Turf in what was one of the great upsets in Super Bowl History. The one glaring detractor from this theory in the last 10 years was when the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl XLI. There are a lot of similarities between that game and this one, the QB trying to make his claim amongst the greatest of all time, the All-Offense- no defense team all of a sudden discovering a very effective and opportunistic defense during a great playoff run. Granted Ben Roethelsberger is no Rex Grossman, but lets not forget that Big Ben posted the worst QB rating and performance for any Super Bowl winner, ever.
The matchups are intriguing. Warner and the great passing game against the great and physical Steelers D. Fitzgerald over the middle with Polomalu all over him. The rejuvenated Cards D vs. an average at best Steeler Offense.
In the end, I think Warner will have a little too much magic left in his wand. I think Warner is the best QB in the last 10 years not named Brady and this game will just put a stamp on that. I think Edge wants that ring. I think Fitzgerald is playing at a level so high, he can dominate the game no matter how many guys try to cover him. Oh, and if he cant, another top 5 NFL wideout (Boldin) is on the other side and will make the Steelers pay. I don't like Ben in the big game and I have had doubts about their offensive line all season. I don't think they will hold up against this Cardinal Defense, which will capitalize on those Steeler mistakes.

Final Score. Arizona 28 Pittsburgh 20.

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