Arizona was definitely a surprising team this year for many reasons. For many obvious reasons. Reasons such as winning the NFC West, making the playoffs, WINNING in the playoffs, and now being in ANY sort of a NFL championship for the first time since Arizona was part of Chicago back in the '30s. Even though Arizona is everyone's this year's Cinderella, they aren't mine.
In my opinion they lack a solid, consistent defense and as the cliche goes, "defense wins championships." They tend to get beat in the passing game a lot. Although Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers are not known for passing the ball they do have a potent passing game and can manipulate most defenses.
Having Travis Leboy and Antonio Smith listed as questionable for Sunday's game is a huge loss for the Cardinals. Both played key roles in the defense this year.
On the offensive side of the ball, they are solid. Kurt Warner has been the old Kurt Warner. He has been pretty good this past season. The injury of Anquan Boldin, if he doesn't play, isn't a key injury as much as people say.
The Cardinals are STACKED in the wide receiver position. Steve Breaston has stepped up big this year in the absence of Boldin and as we know, so has Larry Fitzgerald.
The running game is the biggest question mark. With Tim Hightower and Edgerrin James on the running game, both inconsistent, the running back position remains their biggest question mark.
Edgerrin James has not been the old Edgerrin James since leaving Indy. Hightower is still young and in my opinion, not the answer.
This year's Pittsburgh team is 100 times better than the last Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh team. Their defense is better and the offense isn't so run oriented.
The offense is so much better. Ben Roethlisberger isn't so run dependant anymore. He can make plays. He can make them with his feet or with his arm. He is stronger, mentally and physically. He can stand in there and take hits unlike in years past. This year's Roethlisberger is a super human.
Ben isn't the only stand out this year on their offense. The wide receiver play of Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes has been great. Hines Ward, Ben's favorite target, has been great this season.
Once again, the running game is the question mark for this team, too. Willie Parker has been pretty much out for the whole year or not been the Willie Parker all football fans know and love. Mewelde Moore isn't the answer. He was good for a few games but beyond that he isn't much.
If Willie Parker can run the ball like Willie Parker can, Pittsburgh will win this game hands down.
The biggest strength of this Pittsburgh team without a doubt is their defense. The Steelers have been in the top two all year in defense against the run and pass. They are the definition of a dominating, championship defense. With the play of Troy Polamalu no team can even compare.
35-7 Pittsburgh win