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Friday, January 30, 2009

Time for a pick

I guess since all the other media types are making their predictions, the time has come for mine.

I'm 8-2 in these playoffs against the spread and would hate to blow that by missing the Super Bowl pick.

That said, this is a tough game to figure because the Cardinals have been a tough team to figure. I did, however, pick them to beat Atlanta in the first round and Philadelphia in the NFC Championship game. I totally blew the Carolina game, however, as did most of the rest of the country.

I'm 2-0 with the Steelers this postseason, picking them to win and cover against both San Diego and Baltimore.

But I was put on the spot the other night on the radio and asked for my pick in this game and I'm going to stick with my first inclination, that the Steelers win and cover, 27-17.

I haven't seen an offense all season that's been able to figure out this defense and if the Steelers don't turn it over, the Cards will have a tough time breaking 20 points.

The Steelers, on the other hand, should be able to have some success against Arizona's defense.


Anonymous said...

I'm with you Dale, I don't see the Cards breaking 20 points. They have a great F.G. kicker. I expect him to kick about four. And late in the fourth quarter we will give up our only T.D. Final score Cards 19 Iron Clad Steelers 35. With our D scoring atleast one T.D.
I just asked my majic 8 ball about this scenero. It replied "Sounds too good to be true, but very likely " LOL

Apple said...

Dale, that's exactly score I predicted to my friends as well.

Anonymous said...

dale you seem not 100% about this pick or score??

am I wrong?

I see the cards scoring between 20 - 24 points.

steelers win with big day from offense.

Joe E. said...

I am not so sure about this one either... I still think AZ will put up some points in this game. I think the Steelers will need close to 30 to win this one. Despite my concern, the Steelers should be able to put up 30 againtst the Cards.

schnifin said...

Hey Dale,

Love all the posts this week. Did I miss the Colbert interview or was it only in the print edition?

Roger said...

This game could go either way, and big. I see two cases: (1) Steelers offense gets into a rhythm and is consistent, they will score many points. And, the defense crushes the Cards high-flying offense. Or (2) The Steeler's offense is inconsistent, Ben throws a couple of picks, a fumble or two, and the Warner/Fitzgerald/Boldin machine works on all cylinders and blows up the Steeler defense. I'm doubting a close game. The Steeler's offense has looked so good at time, but sometimes very inconsistent, doing stupid things. The Cards' offense has also just looked unbeatable at times, while the Steeler defense has looked unbeatable too. If the scales starts tipping to one side early, it could be a long day for the other teams -- could go either way. I'm afraid of the Cards. I don't see it as the easy pushover as some envision. The inconsistency of Ben, plus others on offense is scary. Sorry, pick the Cards.

Anonymous said...

None of us knows who will win this game (except possibly Roger Goodell and Terry McAuley, if as I believe the fix is in), but I like the matchup as a fan of pro football. Each team is hot, and each team's strength matches up well with the other's. The Cards bring a top five offense to the Steelers top defense.

The Steelers offense is not really showing statistical greatness in any area this season other than perhaps time of possession (which we could argue is as much due to turnovers recovered on D). But Ben is getting it done anyway and finding a way to score when it matters in close games. In the NFL, it's all about wins and losses.

Likewise the Cardinals D is middle of the pack in most areas, even when you filter for just playoff play. But in the games that mattered this season [the playoffs], they slowed down the opponents O enough to let the offense win the fame. The fourth most forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns didn't hurt either. In fact, in the last three games, all in the playoffs, the key difference in Arizona's play was the advantage in turnovers.

I think the difference in this game will show in the turnovers. If the Steelers can avoid giving up stupid INTs and careless fumbles, I think it's theirs to lose.

My take: 23-20, Steelers!!!

All phases of the game matter And I think

Mike said...

It comes down to turnovers..which is always the easy answer as turnovers are a function of other things usually. In this case what it boils down to is both QB's are going to get pressured quickly. They both try to make big plays out of that too often, Ben by scrambling and Warner by making a quick throw to a covered reciever. The one that succeeds more often will win, the one that has the forced throws turn into INT's will lose. Tipped balls, a hit just as a qb releases, interference calls...those types of plays will loom large.

Dale Lolley said...

Yolu didn't miss it Schiffin. I decided to hold what he said for after the SB since much of it deals with post-SB stuff like free agency and the draft.

The X-factor in this game is the weather. The Steelers haven't played a good-weather game in months. That really affects their offense.
That's been a big reason, in my opinion, why Ben's completion percentage is down this season.