Steelers 24, Cardinals 14
I thought I would lose the suspense and go ahead with my pick early. I’m not a Steelers fan or apologist by any means. The Cardinals are the “hot” team and that team has been deadly in recent Super Bowls. However, it is fairly clear to me that Pittsburgh should win this Super Bowl. Here’s my reasoning:
Defense in the Super Bowl=Winner
Look at the last ten (10) Super Bowls and the team playing better defense in the playoffs wins the game.
SB XXXIII – John Elway’s last hoorah also featured a Bronco defense that held the Falcons out of the end zone until the game was already on ice.
SB XXXIV – While both teams played very well on defense in this game, it was the Rams ability to take away Tennessee’s biggest weapon (at the time) Eddie George and a great tackle at the end that preserved a hard fought victory. While the Ram offense and the Warner story line stole the headlines, the Ram defense was ranked at or near the top 10 in a number of defensive categories.
SB XXXV– In a game Kerry Collins, Jim Fassel, and the NY Giants nation would love to forget, the Ray Lewis-led Ravens pummeled five turnovers out of the G-Men on their way to 34-7 blowout. The only thing more pitiful than the Giants' performance was the halftime show featuring Aerosmith, 'N Sync, Britney Spears, Nelly, Mary J. Blige, and Tremors & The Earthquake Horns.
SB XXXVI – The greatest show on turf was largely stymied from the end zone during this game as the Patriots won the first of three Super Bowls in the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era.
SB XXXVII – The Tampa 2 was way too much for the Raiders to overcome as the Bucs forced five (5) turnovers en route to a route (Senior Editor Josh Hathaway refuses to acknowledge this game ever happened).
SB XXXVII – Defense was only played in the odd quarters. Winning the second quarter proved to be the difference for the Pats- that and Adam Vinatieri’s clutch foot.
SB XXXIX – The Patriots stopped the Eagles express and forced three timely Donavan McNabb INTs.
SB XL – The Steelers let the Seahawks roll up and down the field but didn’t surrender points.
SB XLI – I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but the Colts found defense in the playoffs that year and it was more than enough to kill the mediocre Bears offense.
SB XLII – The Giants were a better defensive team than the Pats down the stretch and their pressure won the game as much as anything the younger Manning did.