Oh man, how did the Cardinals make it to the Super Bowl? No one saw that coming about 3 weeks ago, or even last week. After all, the Cardinals finished the regular season by losing 4 of 6, one loss was 47-7 to the Patriots, with a final regular season record of 8-8.
Super Bowl XLIII
Except for the Steelers, all the teams I picked to go deep into the playoffs were defeated early in the campaign. The Colts, Panthers, and Giants were wiped out even before the Division Championship games.
How Do They Compare?
Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger are both successful, experienced Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, but they are both very different in some ways.
Warner is 8-2 in the playoffs and has 22 postseason touchdowns compared to 13 interceptions.
Roethlisberger is 7-2 in the playoffs and has completed 151 of 248 passes for 1,983 yards, with 14 touchdown and 11 interceptions.
Warner completed 134 of 208 passes for 1,645 yards and 14 touchdowns in blitz situations, for a quarterback rating of 103.1, in blitz situations this season.
Roethlisberger was 95 of 180 for 1,158 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions against the blitz in the regular season, and he recorded 29 sacks to boot.
Warner seems to be better under pressure, a more prolific passer, and can operate without much of a running game.
Roethlisberger knows how to lead his team just as well as Warner, and he has the intangibles that it takes to win the big game.
In my opinion, if the Steelers secondary can shut down Warner’s passing, especially in play-action, the Cardinals won’t have what it takes to stop Pittsburgh. Much of that responsibility is going to fall on Troy Polamalu, but the chance to win the game will fall on all of the Steeler D.
Honestly thought, I think the Arizona offense will keep it together with below average success on the ground, but positive results through the air. Polamalu might pic one off, but Warner will throw for 2 touchdowns anyway.
Big Ben will have one of his average days: 1 touchdown, 1 interception; but in the end he won’t be able to put together that final winning touchdown drive.
My Final Prediction for Super Bowl XLIII
Arizona Cardinals 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers 16
Now we’ll see if I can continue my streak of being completely wrong about the entire post season.