Arizona vs. Pittsburgh (-6.5)
I've heard some media folks picking the Cardinals to win this game, and there's two reasons besides the obvious--Pittsburgh is much the better team--why this is ludicrous. One, these are the same guys who didn't give the Giants a snowball's chance last year against the undefeated Patriots. I really think that these people are so shortsighted that they can't look past last year, when a much bigger underdog pulled off the upset of a lifetime, and therefore they feel that they have to go with the Cards today because, well, they have a better chance than New York last year, right? One has nothing to do with the other, you idiots. Just because you (and me and everyone else) whiffed on last year, that doesn't mean you have to spin around this year and ignore why the Steelers are favorites and just blindly go with the Cards. Analyze the game, not the moment. And two, these are also the same people that didn't give the Cardinals a chance at every level of this year's playoffs. Not a one of them was picking the Cards to go to the Super Bowl, but now that they're in, all of a sudden now they look like the team to beat to a handful of people. Where were these guys when the Cards were outclassing the Falcons, outhustling the Panthers, and outlasting the Eagles? They were coming up with every reason under the sun why the Arizona Cardinals had no chance to go any further. My excuse for not picking the Cards to beat the Eagles is, simply, I can't pick Eagles games for my life. (I've heard that Donovan McNabb will be a Hall of Famer someday, and I think that's not only wrong but patronizing because I think he'd be voted in due to pity in regards to the sometimes unfair criticism he received from Philly fans and Rush Limbaugh and assorted other voices over the years. Just because he got called out in spots just because he was the black quarterback doesn't mean he wasn't woefully inconsistent throughout his career.) In any event, the analysis for Super Bowl Cuatro Tres, as Chad Johnson may call it, reads like this to me: It's the #4 offense for the regular season in Arizona vs. the #1 defense in Pittsburgh, and defense wins championships. I said that the winner of the Ravens-Steelers game would be champs, and I'm not wavering. I just cannot see the Cards, a team that got bent over and plowed like a faggot in jail several times in the regular season, all of a sudden getting it together and beating the Steelers in the Super Bowl. Going through the NFC playoffs? Sure. Beating the 12-4 Steelers, who went through statistically the hardest regular-season schedule ever? Not happening. The defenses got harder every step in the playoffs for Arizona, with the Eagles almost stealing the NFC title game, and now it culminates in the top defense, and I can't pick them to overcome that. As far as the spread goes, I'll use this bit of logic to go with the Steelers to cover: I've heard a lot of chatter about Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger's horrific performance in the Super Bowl three years ago at the end of his rookie year, a game the Steelers still managed to win over a similarly overmatched Seattle Seahawks squad. I believe his QB rating was in the twenties, and for comparison's sake, 80 is considered good and 100 is considered great. I think he's heard just about enough of that shit. I'm calling four TD passes in a Steelers rout.
My Pick: Pittsburgh 34-17