Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl LXIII

Pittsburgh (-6.5) vs. Arizona - I spent a lot of time and energy on the Super Bowl last year, and got the game wrong by 28 points. I'm not spending that long on it this year. I will be rooting for the Arizona Cardinals, and I'd love to see them win. I can't quite bring myself to predict it, though. Certainly, if we use the old "defense wins championships" cliche, the Steelers have to be the pick. As well as the Cardinals defense has played through (most of) the playoffs, Pittsburgh is clearly the better defensive team. The Cardinals have an advantage on offense, but not as large an advantage as the Steelers have on defense.

A Cardinal win would be a big upset but not historic. Certainly not in the top 4 among Super Bowls (Jets-Colts, Patriots-Rams, Giants-Patriots, Giants-Bills). But it would be a surprise. As much as I'd love to see it, I don't see the kind of matchup issues that would cause you to predict it. Arizona isn't a notably physical team, and the Steelers are. Upsets tend to go the other way.

Bottom line - the Steelers have clearly been the better defensive, physical and overall team, and absent compelling reason to think there's a bad matchup, I've got to go with Pittsburgh. Rooting against them all the way...

Prediction: Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 13

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