The Case for the Cardinals
When the season began five months ago, few would have imagined that the Arizona Cardinals would be in the Super Bowl XLIII. In the last 60 years, Arizona has never been to the Super Bowl and has only rarely made the playoffs. The Arizona Cardinals will beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday because of their great offense and solid defense.
Arizona Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner leads an offense that has a dangerous passing attack. Warner will be able to use his great trio of wide receivers to counter any pressure the Steelers put on him. By making his receivers spread the field, Arizona will cause the Steelers to deviate from rushing Warner, and instead be forced to cover wide receivers such as Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. Arizona’s great passing game will facilitate running backs Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower to gain yards and slow down the NFL’s number one-rated defense.
The Arizona Cardinals have a solid defense led by safety Adrian Wilson, which is underrated by many people. The Pittsburgh Steelers play conservative football, running the ball frequently and passing less often. In order to win it is crucial for Arizona to stop the running attack of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Over the span of the past three weeks, Arizona has shut down All-Pro running backs Michael Turner and Brian Westbrook. The Steelers and running back Willie Parker will have a difficult time running past defensive tackle Darnell Dockett and the Cardinals’ defensive line. Shutting down the Pittsburgh running game will be a key for Arizona and it will allow them to pressure Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The Cardinals’ defense stopping the run will make Roethlisberger throw the ball often and lead to turnovers. Arizona’s defense-causing turnovers will allow the Cardinals’ offense to have the ball more regularly. Giving Warner and Arizona wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin the ball often is a terrible thing for opponents, due to their explosive ability. Boldin and Fitzgerald will cause havoc in the Pittsburgh secondary, allowing the Cardinals to score too much for Pittsburgh to handle.
The Arizona Cardinals will win on Sunday because they will be the better team and cause the Pittsburgh Steelers to deviate from their style of play.
Arizona will beat the Steelers using their great offense and be Super Bowl Champions.
The Case for the Steelers
Now we know the Arizona Cardinals is the team of destiny and what they have done to get to the Super Bowl is remarkable in itself. Unfortunately, their Cinderella story will end this Sunday in Tampa Bay. The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to win.
The Cardinals defeated the Falcons, Panthers and the Eagles. However, the potent Cardinal offense didn’t have too much of a challenge against the 21st-ranked Atlanta pass defense. They were also playing an Eagles team, which was forced to be more one-dimensional as their star running back Brian Westbrook was virtually ineffective due to injury.
Nevertheless, the Cardinals did spawn a defense that was absent all season and did beat these legitimate teams at the end of the day.
However, the Cardinals deal with a different beast with the Steelers. This Steelers squad carries one of the best defenses of all time. Just look at the numbers. The Cardinal’s run game is not prolific enough to break the stiff Steelers’ defensive line, and if Arizona can’t produce a run game, Warner will have to deal with the focus of the number one pass defense in the National Football League.
The Steelers are led by Rothlisberger, the toughest quarterback in the NFL. With all the talk of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, everyone is forgetting the talented duo of Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes. While they may not have the same numbers as the aforementioned receivers, Holmes and Ward know how to win and make plays when it counts the most.
Willie Parker and Mwelede Moore round out a well-balanced Steelers offense that won’t have to do too much if the Steelers defense plays like it has all season. Remember, these guys won a Super Bowl not too long ago, and they know how to win.
My heart wants to say the Cardinals, but my brain bets on the Steelers.