THE STEELER DEFENSE VS. THE CARDINALS OFFENSE.
The Steelers run a defense like nothing the league has ever seen. When you see 365 pound Casey Hamton, the nose tackle, out in pass coverage, you've seen it all.
The Cardinals will respond to the relentless Pittsburgh pressure by spreading out the field, and throwing short routes. They hope with man on man coverage in the flat, someone can break a tackle. Here's the problem- The Steeler defense practices against that offense every day. The Cardinal coach used to run the Steeler offense. And although there have been some changes, the Steeler offense and the Cardinal offense are very similar in the schemes they use.
I think the Steeler defense mixes things up a bit. 2 down linemen, Lamarr Woodley rushing from one side, James Harrison, the defensive player of the year, from the other side, and the secondary in nickel coverage, forcing Warner to throw into double coverage. Rather than sending 5,6,or even 7 guys, I think they start out the game sending 4, and see what kind of pressure they can bring.
Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger has played a great post season. If he brings his A game, the Steelers are hard to beat. Remember, in the playoffs, the Steelers shut down the San Diego offense with QB Phillip Rivers who was hot as a pistol at the end of the year, and the Ravens offense which led the league in scoring since the mid way point of the season. This Steeler defense is up to the task today.
So what's the play? The smart bet is the Cardinals +7. While I don't think they will win, I can easily envision a back door cover- the Steelers up by ten with 2 minutes to play and the Cardinals score a meaning less touchdown.
However, I'm an AFC guy (except when the Patriots are playing). I gave you the Giants to win it outright last year, and I was very confident about that call. Today I am less confident, but since this is for fun, we're doing this:
50 on Tails. (Mortal lock)
500 on Steelers -7.
See You tomorrow.