Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Game Thoughts --- 2

The Arizona offense demonstrated its potency when it jumped all over a good Eagle defense and got a big lead early. It was just flat-out impressive when it put together a 9+ minute drive against that defense in the 4th quarter after the Eagles had stormed back to take the lead. The Steeler defense has its work cut out. They will need to hit the Cardinals really hard from the get-go; physical domination will adversely affect a passing offense. Anyway, the defense has carried the Steelers all year and hopefully will be up to the task in the Super Bowl.

You know that Whisenhunt has got a gimmick play or two up his sleeve to try and catch the Steeler D napping or in over-pursuit. I wonder whether the Steeler D has some idea on how/when to smell those out. Also, I wonder whether Dick LeBeau has a gimmick or two (aside from his blitz schemes of course) that will wreak havoc on Arizona's offense.

On the other side of the ball, the Steeler offense should take heart from how the Eagles managed to move the ball on the Cardinals. Also, the Cardinals pass defense surrendered the most TDs of any team during the regular season and during the post-season. So while the running game is important to control the clock and the flow of the game for the Steelers, I believe Roethlisberger will have his chances to win the game through the air regardless of the running game.

Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller are all key receivers, obviously, but Nate Washington and even Limas Sweed could have big games. Washington, like Holmes, seems to be a favorite deep target for Roethlisberger and should have his shots in the game given the track record of the Cardinals secondary.

And I have a hunch about Sweed. He dropped a sure TD late in the 2nd qtr of the Baltimore game and then complicated it by writhing around on the field (when he should have been hustling out even if winded) and costing the team a timeout. On that one play Sweed cost the Steelers at least three points (seven, really, by dropping the damn ball). But I was impressed by how he came back in the second half and tried to make amends. He made a big 3rd down catch as well as an awesome crushing block. I liked his spirit—instead of sulking/worrying/moping he just got back and made some plays when given the chance. Mostly, I can’t get over how wide open he got against a good Baltimore defense—if he can get by the Ravens secondary by that much I think he should be able to put some moves on the Arizona secondary too. I think he’s champing at the bit to prove himself and can make a couple of big plays if given the chance.

I hope Ben Roethlisberger has a great game. He has, despite his lukewarm stats this year, carried this team on the offensive side by putting together drives when it mattered most. Despite only being backed up by an average running game and inconsistent O-line play, Ben has successfully navigated this team through a brutal schedule this year. Yes, the defense has been dominant and primarily responsible for the team’s success, but without Roethlisberger’s quarterbacking they wouldn’t have made it this far. He deserves to have a great, winning, Super Bowl outing.

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scribbler50 said...

Good stuff as always, "The Don", and from what you said (not that I'm taking anything for granted) I really feel the Steelers have a good chance. However, the one thing the Steelers are gonna have to watch out for are those quick slants thrown underneath the coverage. Those Jerry Rice catch-and-fucking-go deals. You watch.
And boy do I hope you're right about Ben having a good game. The fucking man has earned it. If in nothing else but blood, sweat and pain. By the way, a word about Sweed and that dropped ball. I read where Tomlin really bawled his ass out after that play, not for dropping the ball, but for laying on the ground like a baby feigning injury to cover his embarrassment. Which, as you said, cost us that field goal. Tomlin said, "Forget about the drop, be a man." Many feel that's what spurned Sweed on to later throw that crushing block. Good stuff. They drafted Sweed for his height and speed, he's yet to show me he has the hands to match. Hope he proves me wrong.
And this final thought. Yes there will be gadget plays thrown into the mix by Whisenhunt, but before any of that happens I bet they throw a bomb on their very first play. The Steelers get caught on that often in big games. Let's see if I'm right.

Thanks for the insights, Stache, and damn I can't wait to get this thing on!!!

Anonymoustache said...

Thanks, as always, for the great comments dude.

Interesting that you think the Cards will open with a bomb---I happen to think that the Steelers will open with a play-action bomb to Ward or Washington, to test the secondary and loosen up the LBs for Parker/Moore!! Let's see.

BTW, I don't buy the prevailing fashionable buzz that the Cards wont even bother with the run. Whisenhunt's smart enough to know that he cannot let the Steeler D just pin their ears back and go at Warner. They'll try to run, probably out of spread formations much of the time. Hampton, Foote and Farrior need to shut that shit down and they probably will.

I also don't think the Steelers will blitz as much as usual. Though pressure will be obviously key---I'm sure that the challenge has been thrown, during prep meetings, to Aaron Smith, Silverback and Woodley that they need to plant Warner on his ass even if the Steelers only rush four.

Man, like you, I can't wait to have this game underway. For the memory of Myron Cope in his season of passing away, for the Terrible Towel and the Allegheny Valley School that gets all the royalties from the Towel, for the great man who is the best owner in all of sports, for the wonderful city and its the people, and, last but not the least, the great team, I hope the Steelers win their sixth Super Bowl trophy.

scribbler50 said...

Damn, Stache, not to get all sentimental here but you're speaking to the choir. That last paragraph was not only music to my ears but Mon Valley poetry. Here, here to the Rooney's and Myron Cope! That said, Steelers win!

Now watch CPP jump on this shit!