Super Bowl XLIII Preview
So I'm supposed to write a Super Bowl preview. But just what can I write about the Super Bowl that hasn't already been written elsewhere?
If you want some stats, I can tell you that, in the regular season the Cardinals were fourth in the NFL in points per game (26.7) and total yards per game (365.8), and they were second in the NFL at 292.1 passing yards per game. The Steelers were 20th in the NFL in points per game (21.7), 22nd in total yards per game (311.9), and 17th in passing yards (206.3).
But while the Cards dominated the Steelers in the offensive categories, the roles were reversed on the defensive end of things. The Steelers allowed the least points per game (13.9), the least yards per game (237.2), and the least passing yards per game (156.9). The Cards, meanwhile, were 28th in points allowed per game (26.6), 19th in total yards surrendered per game (331.5), and 22nd in passing yards surrendered per game (221.3).
I can tell you that the Cardinals had three receivers with 1000+ receiving yards for the season - Larry Fitzgerald (1431), Anquan Boldin (1038), and Steve Breaston (1006). The Steelers had only one receiver with 1000+ receiving yards, Heinz Ward (1043). And neither team had a 1000 yard rusher.
Cardinals QB Kurt Warner is at the helm of his third Super Bowl team, having one won and lost another, both with the St. Louis Rams. And he passed for 4583 yards this season with 30 TDs as opposed to only 14 interceptions. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger is on his second Super Bowl in four seasons, and this season he passed for 3301 yards with 17 TDs and 15 interceptions.
I suppose I could give you the clichés about this being the Super Bowl, and that once in the Super Bowl, what happened in the regular season is null and void. I could also tell you that Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is supposedly a genius when it comes to offense, and that he's known for trick plays. And I could tell you that while the Cardinals will probably try to win through the passing game, the Steelers will try to go with an old-fashioned smash mouth brand of football. But...
The Cardinals have found their running game in the playoffs with former stud all-pro Edgerrin James having gained 203 yards on 52 rushes and Cardinals rookie Tim Hightower has gained 132 yards on 34 rushes. So maybe the Steelers should be watching out for the running game, especially since the Cardinals trick plays are keyed by the success of the running game.
In the end, I'm not really sure about what's going to happen. The Steelers should win this game - they've got the Super Bowl experience edge. But the brainpower appears to be on the Cardinals sideline. I can't quite justify my pick, but I'm picking the Cardinals in an upset. The best justification I can give is that I like underdogs and I like to watch upsets.
Then again, this game could be a total blowout with the Steelers running away with it early. I don't think that will be the case, but that could definitely happen.
Besides, I'm more concerned with halftime and with what The Boss is going to be singing. He's only got 12 minutes, so I'm guessing we're not going to hear "Rosalita." Since he's got a new CD coming out, I say he does one song off of that. And I'll hazard a guess and say that he does "Born To Run" and "The Rising."
But I could be wrong.
Oh, and for what it's worth, I'm a big Springsteen fan, and I've got absolutely no problem with his doing the Super Bowl halftime. I've been hoping for this for years since I think he's made for this stage and since most of what they have for Super Bowl halftime shows really suck.