|Written By: Mike Roy|
Ben Roethlisberger has quietly crawled himself into the Elway and Montana echelon of quarterbacks. He is not flashy, not everything is pretty but he made every throw you can think of to help his team win the game. For the first 57 minutes of the Super Bowl, Kurt Warner clearly looked like the better quarterback on the field but the last drive that Roethlisberger put together with conversion after conversion to Santonio Holmes will go down historically as one of the best drives of all time. I hope the loss in the Super Bowl will not keep Kurt Warner out of the Hall of Fame, it shouldn't and any knowledgeable person who has a vote should rightfully vote him in. Although he was held to one catch in the first half Larry Fitzgerald stepped up huge in the second half. He caught two TDs and put the Cards ahead with, what happened to be too much time on the clock, under three minutes. Neither team could get their running games going so each quarterback pretty much had to put their team on their back. Big Ben played years better then he had in his previous Super Bowl. Warner played near flawless besides the last play of the first half where he threw a pick six to the leagues defensive MVP James Harrison. The game winning catch was controversial and had to be reviewed, and living in the Phoenix area I have yet to talk to someone who will admit that was a catch. I am okay with the call on the catch, but not throwing a flag for Santonio's Lebron-like celebration following the catch deserved a 15 yarder on the kickoff. This could have definitely affected the outcome because the field position for the Cards on the ensuing drive could have been substantially better. Pittsburgh's defense did hold the Cards off on the final drive ending on a sack and fumble by Kurt Warner, which also should have been reviewed because it was close to a forward pass but the officials failed to review this play. Looking forward to these teams future, Pittsburgh is entirely intact for the 09' season, the Cards on the other hand will be a whole lot different. Edgerrin James was released with the drafting of Ohio State's Beanie Wells and the Anquan Boldin situation is yet to be settled. It looks like he will be back and Warner will have his trio of 1,000 yard receivers all back. Pittsburgh looks to be the cream of the crop again in the AFC followed closely by the Patriots with a healthy Tom Brady back. The Cards look like the favorite in their division but not necessarily their conference. A 9-7 record will probably win the NFC West, expect that from the Cards but don't expect another sprint through the postseason and a Super Bowl berth for the Cards.
Stay tuned for my surprise teams for 2009.