Burgh versus the Birds

Well folks, its that time of year again. I hope everyone’s got their chips, their sour cream and onion dips, their wings extra hot and their 30-racks on ice. It’s a national holiday: The Super Bowl. And let’s face it, nobody in the world saw this match-up coming. From the NFC we have the Cinderella Arizona Cardinals. Representing the AFC are the Pittsburgh Steelers.The Cardinals come in as a four seed from the NFC. The 37-year-old Kurt Warner, whose career seemed to be on life support a few seasons ago, has given it some serious CPR as he will lead his second team into the Super Bowl. What I like about the Cardinals is their offense, and their ability to run their passing game when defenses know that they are going to pass. If there were such a thing as a playoff MVP in football, Larry Fitzgerald would have to win it. The man is a beast. Fitzgerald has a record 419 receiving yards in this postseason – the rest of the receivers on his team have a combined 351 receiving yards. Fitzgerald also has five TD’s this post season, three of them coming in the first half in the win over the Eagles. So if the Cardinals can continue this type of production, look for it to be an entertaining game. Here is the downside to the Cardinals – their defense is not of Super Bowl caliber. They let an Eagles offense get right back into the NFC championship game in the second half when they were up by 18 points. That’s just frightening.Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is an all around great team. They have a great quarterback, a great running back, a great passing game and the most dominant, hard-hitting defense in the league. Pittsburgh’s greatest strength lies in their defense. Led by Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, the Steelers are a tough, hard knocks type team that the Cardinals have not yet really faced. We all know the old saying, ‘defense wins championships,’ and I just don’t think that the Cardinals’ defense can even hold a candle to what the Steelers’ defense has accomplished. The Cards’ offense was exposed in the NFC championship game. The Steelers will exploit those holes. Look for the Steelers to be pressuring Warner and Fitzgerald the entire game. The only potential downside to the Steelers is that they may play like they’ve already got this thing won. And if they play lazy football, then the Cards have a chance to steal a win. Although I don’t really see coach Tomlin allowing that to happen.Listen folks, I’m all for the Cardinals and I will be rooting for an incredible upset. Would love to see Kurt Warner hoist up the Lombardi trophy with a second team, but I just don’t see it happening. If history gives us any clues, then this Super Bowl will be a blowout. Why? Because for the past 11 years, all Super Bowls in which the year ends in an odd number, has been a slaughter – with the exception of 2005. So I am picking the Steelers to beat the Cardinals, 44-17.Are you looking to make a bet this weekend? (Not that we support gambling.) Check out who your loyal sports staff thinks will win:CONNOR BOALS: PITTSBURGH 17-14ZACH PARKER: ARIZONA 28-27DIANA GIUNTA: PITTSBURGH 21-10JAKE AHRENS: PITTSBURGH 23-18ELI ZINK: PITTSBURGH 24-17MICHAEL MACDONALD: ARIZONA 24-17JASON BUSHEY: PITTSBURGH 31-17