PDA

View Full Version : Five reasons why Steelers can win Super Bowl XLIII


mesaSteeler
01-19-2009, 05:55 PM
http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story?id=09000d5d80e37f3d&template=with-video-with-comments&confirm=true

Five reasons why Steelers can win Super Bowl XLIII
Vic Carucci By Vic Carucci | NFL.com
Senior Columnist

Here are five reasons why the Steelers will win Super Bowl XLIII:

1. They won't give up the big offensive plays

The Steelers' defense has played up to its No. 1 ranking in the league for most of the season. And the AFC Championship Game was no exception. This unit simply doesn't allow itself to be consistently beaten by the game-breaking throws that Kurt Warner completed with ease to Larry Fitzgerald in the NFC title game. For one thing, the complex zone-blitz scheme of Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will be able to generate enough pressure on Warner to limit his time and ability to find Fitzgerald and his other receivers. Warner has the experience and quick release to handle blitzes well, but the Steelers' blitz, led by Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, will present a severe challenge. Pittsburgh's secondary, anchored by dominant strong safety Troy Polamalu, also will be able to hold its own in coverage against Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.

2. They will stop the run

The Cardinals' offense has a newfound dimension in the explosive running of Edgerrin James, to go along with the effective rushing of rookie Tim Hightower. But the Steelers have the league's second-best run defense. They did a good job of making the Ravens one-dimensional by holding them to an average of 2.9 yards per carry. The Cardinals rely heavily on their outside speed on the ground. However, the Steelers' defense has enough athletic players who are fast enough to prevent James and Hightower from consistently turning the corner for big gains. The Cardinals try to open the run with their passing game. Having established that the Cards won't see the same big-play success through the air against the Steelers that they enjoyed against Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game, it will be difficult for them to get their running game in gear in the first place. And once Arizona's offense becomes one-dimensional, it will likely be a long day for Warner.

3. They will run the ball effectively

True, the Ravens stuffed Pittsburgh's ground attack, holding Willie Parker to 2.0 yards per carry. But the Ravens had the NFL's second-ranked defense and are third against the run. Arizona's defense ranked 19th overall and 16th against the rush. True, the Steelers ranked 23rd in the NFL in rushing offense. Still, they have demonstrated they can move the ball effectively on the ground when they make a concerted effort to do so, as was the case in their divisional-round victory over San Diego. The Cardinals' defense has done a nice job of stopping the run during the postseason, but it isn't nearly as talented, nor is its scheme as complicated as Baltimore's. The Steelers don't have to dominate on the ground. They simply need to run well enough to provide balance to their offense. If they get physical up front (which they are more than capable of doing) and Parker trusts his considerable physical ability, they will run the ball well.

4. They have more Super Bowl experience

It was only three seasons ago that the Steelers won their fifth Super Bowl. A number of players from that team are on the current squad, including Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben was only in his second season then. He has since grown and matured considerably as an NFL quarterback. He has become more of a leader and understands what it takes to win big games. Granted, the Cardinals have a Super Bowl MVP and two-time Super Bowl quarterback in Warner. However, this will be the biggest game that most members of his supporting cast have played. And that is a factor. The Steelers are unlikely to be overwhelmed by the experience, from all of the media attention to the many demands (especially tickets) that family and friends place on them. It's a different story for the Cardinals. Also, once the game begins, the Steelers will have their experience in Super Bowl XL to draw upon.

5. They have the edge in coaching

Mike Tomlin and Ken Whisenhunt are both second-year coaches, so the experience factor is a wash. However, Tomlin has done a tremendous job of keeping the Steelers at the same high level of competitiveness that existed when Bill Cowher was their coach. Certainly, Whisenhunt merits kudos for what he has done with the Cardinals, but his team did experience a late-season slump after clinching the NFC West early. Whisenhunt does know Roethlisberger well, having guided him when Whisenhunt was Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator. But Big Ben also knows his former coach. The real coaching advantage the Steelers have is with LeBeau. His defensive genius is usually too much for any opposing offense to handle, and the Cardinals are no exception.


Five reasons why Cardinals can win Super Bowl XLIII
Steve Wyche Senior Writer

Here are five reasons why the Cardinals could win Super Bowl XLIII:

1. Larry Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald already has a postseason record 419 receiving yards and that's before playing in the Super Bowl. Great players are often known for great catches and in these playoffs he's already made his mark with a highlight reel of spectacular hauls. He will be facing the NFL's top pass defense and some of the league's hardest-hitting defensive backs, but his ability to gain yards after the catch despite taking big shots is what sets him apart.

2. The offensive line

That's right; this group has allowed just three postseason sacks against two of the NFL's best pass rushing defenses, Carolina and Philadelphia. By keeping QB Kurt Warner upright, Arizona has been able to execute its offense at a high level. LT Mike Gandy has kept edge pass rushers John Abraham, Julius Peppers and Trent Cole at bay. Guards Deuce Lutui and Reggie Wells have been very stout and, along with tackle Levi Brown, given the Cards a nice young nucleus. Arizona also is averaging 111 rushing yards in the playoffs. Those could be tougher to come by vs. Pittsburgh, but there is a semblance of a rushing attack to balance the offense.

3. A little inside info

Cards coach Ken Whisenhunt and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm came to Arizona from Pittsburgh. They know defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's tendencies and schemes, although he knows some of theirs. Where Whisenhunt and Grimm have an edge is they know some of the personnel and those players' strengths and weaknesses. In a game like this, where every little thing matters, that inside knowledge helps.

4. A different defensive front

The Steelers have faced two aggressive defenses in the playoffs, including Baltimore, who they played three times during the season. Those teams play 3-4 fronts. The Cardinals give a 4-3 look with a lot of five-man lines depending on down and distance. Pittsburgh's 3-4 front on defense is something the Cardinals haven't seen much in the playoffs, but again, Whisenhunt's and Grimm's familiarity with Pittsburgh's style will help provide proper scout looks in practice -- although simulating James Harrison will be impossible.

5. Warner

The Pro Bowler has completed 61 of 92 passes in the playoffs for 770 yards and just two interceptions. Warner is playing efficiently, courtesy of a lot of quick, short passes that calls for him to get the ball out of his hands. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley's creative screens and crossing routes designed to pick off defenders in traffic has allowed Warner to take aim at relatively wide-open receivers. Warner also is hanging on to the ball and keeping his poise when he gets hit.

Polamalu43
01-19-2009, 06:03 PM
GET' ER DONE!!! :tt02::tt02:

lilyoder6
01-19-2009, 06:03 PM
thats a good article... and has some good points

NEPAsteeler
01-19-2009, 07:34 PM
There are definitely some good arguments that can be made for both sides. I'm really looking forward to this game. It's definitely going to be interesting to see which team steps up to the occasion. Hopefully we prove that Defense does indeed win championships! :tt02:

RoethlisBURGHer
01-19-2009, 07:48 PM
This is going to be a really good game.

The Larry Fitzgerald vs. Steelers Secondary is the matchup that intruiges me the most. If we don't give him open field to run with and simply wrap him up instead of going for big highlight hits, he becomes less effective.

hindes204
01-19-2009, 07:50 PM
we got to stop fitzgerald....a task not easily done

shevdog
01-19-2009, 08:36 PM
I am looking forward to this matchup! (Living around Philly, I was so NOT looking forward to the Eagles, though we could handle them).

Tomlin gets an "A" in my books, yet I was looking forward to Wiz taking over the Steelers. Ken is a great coach and the fact that he got the Cardinals to the Super Bowl after his second year says a lot.

Cardinals are not to be underestimated. This game is far from an automatic for the Steelers. Yet I say the Steelers have the edge, since we've contained pretty much every offense this year. I expect another blood bath, just not to the highest intensity of the Ravens AFCc game.

Acerero'1972
01-19-2009, 09:43 PM
I am looking forward to this matchup! (Living around Philly, I was so NOT looking forward to the Eagles, though we could handle them).

Tomlin gets an "A" in my books, yet I was looking forward to Wiz taking over the Steelers. Ken is a great coach and the fact that he got the Cardinals to the Super Bowl after his second year says a lot.

Cardinals are not to be underestimated. This game is far from an automatic for the Steelers. Yet I say the Steelers have the edge, since we've contained pretty much every offense this year. I expect another blood bath, just not to the highest intensity of the Ravens AFCc game.



Agreed....LFitsgerald is fast and explosive, also A Boldin is dangerous. Our defensive backs will have its hands full for this game...

HometownGal
01-19-2009, 09:49 PM
Here are five reasons why the Steelers will win Super Bowl XLIII:


Coming from Carucci, that's sayin' something.

Good read- thanks! :drink:

Fire Haley
01-19-2009, 11:32 PM
#1

http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/pg/images/200901/20090119_steelerstrophy_330.jpg

BehindSteelCurtain
01-19-2009, 11:38 PM
I know FWP only averaged 2.0 YPC but I think he got positive yards on every carry. To me that is HUGE.

Nighthawk
01-19-2009, 11:41 PM
I think we need to make it a priority to get FWP going early in this game. I didn't like how he was used against the ratbirds, but he did gain positive yardage each time so it was a plus.

revefsreleets
01-20-2009, 10:48 AM
Really, I think Fitz is the only edge they have. And one player is not going to single-handedly beat our defense.

More thought I give this, the more I'm thinking blowout...

I think the Eagles were overconfident and were shocked early and couldn't dig out of the hole, but the Steelers are a different story. We are peaking at the right time and are definitely the premier team in the NFL right now, whereas I think 6-8 teams could beat the Cards.

Rotorhead
01-20-2009, 11:54 AM
I agree with you rev, we wont be in a hole. Being able to run will help alot and we will get some running going this game. Seeing the second half of the NFCCG showed we will be able to move the ball on the Cards. I am confident we can slow their off plenty by making it one dimensional. I can see them hanging 17 on us, but us putting up 30.

Dino 6 Rings
01-20-2009, 12:10 PM
I bet the Cards get the ball first. They'll want it first and we'll want to be on Defense first. I'd be suprised if our Offense was on the field first to start the game.

This most likely means that we will have a great opportunity to shut them down early, get the ball, eat clock, drive down field score, put them back on the field with us winning, and then do it again and again until they are in a passing only phase and we pin our ears back and destroy their pocket.

I hope Matt Leinart is preparing for this game, he may see some time by the 3rd quarter.

markymarc
01-20-2009, 01:08 PM
Good read and thanks for posting Mesa. There are good arguments for both teams. I will say this 1 way to slow down the Cardinals high powered offense is by keeping them off the field. If FWP gets going that can only help us.

stlrtruck
01-20-2009, 01:35 PM
I bet the Cards get the ball first. They'll want it first and we'll want to be on Defense first. I'd be suprised if our Offense was on the field first to start the game.

This most likely means that we will have a great opportunity to shut them down early, get the ball, eat clock, drive down field score, put them back on the field with us winning, and then do it again and again until they are in a passing only phase and we pin our ears back and destroy their pocket.

I hope Matt Leinart is preparing for this game, he may see some time by the 3rd quarter.

Let them have the ball first. I want the STEELERS Defense on the field first. Let them set the tone with the hitting, the first INT, and first TD - then let Ben and the offense have some fun!

JoeLion
01-20-2009, 05:24 PM
IMHO it will come down to running the ball and stopping the run. If they stop the run and get ahead Warner has to throw. He is a little careless with the ball in his hands, so looks for strip of two by the D.

Dino 6 Rings
01-20-2009, 05:50 PM
5 Reasons Steelers Win

#1 Troy Polamalu
#2 James Harrison
#3 Hines Ward
#4 Ben Roethlisberger
#5 The other 49 men on the Starting Roster and the entire Coaching Staff.