Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Arizona Cardinals’

We are live at halftime of the Super Bowl, here is a quick update of the Fighting Ben Roethlisbergers v. The Fighting Kurt Warners.

First-Half MVP: James Harrison – He has shown why he won the AP Defensive Player of the Year. This looked like a guaranteed tie game until he rumbled 100-yds to paydirt with an errant Kurt Warner throw to close out the first half.

First-Half LVP: Kurt Warner – His line looks alright, but he has only found the best player on the field (THE Larry Fitzgerald) once… not good enough. He needs to meet Fitzgerald some time in the next half for the Cards to have a chance.

Willie Parker's Backfield Elusiveness Fuels the Pitt Offense

Willie Parker has Dodged Several Backfield Tackles

Misleading Stat Line of the Half (For the Better): Willie Parker – 8 Rushes, 34yds. Averaging 4.3 a carry does no justice to what Willie Parker has done for the Steelers. He has been wrapped up in the backfield multiple times and escaped to save 3-4 yards. In those situations, 4.3 yards isn’t average, it’s extraordinary.

Misleading Stat Line of the Half (For the Worse): Ben Roethlisberger – 11-14, 130yds, 0TD, 1INT. His yardage was excellent, and his completion percentage was good as well. However, his night has been a series of low-risk throws with huge chunks of yardage after the catch. Here is a quick recap of the Roethlisberger’s night:

  • Drive 1:  PA Pass,  Quick Pass, (Drive Result: Field Goal)
  • Drive 2: PA Screen Pass, PA Deep Ball (Incomplete), Screen Pass, 11yd Pass, 7yd Pass, Screen Pass (Drive Result: Touchdown Run)
  • Drive 3: PA Pass, Deep Ball (Incomplete), PA Screen Pass, -2yd Pass (Drive Result: Punt)
  • Drive 4:  Interception.

The Steelers Win If: The D keeps trucking. They are blitzing the A-Gaps and pressuring Warner, and if they can continue to shut down the run-game while pressuring Warner into bad throws it’s game over. The Pitt offense doesn’t matter— as long as the D keeps rolling.

The Cardinals Win If: Roethlisberger turns it over again (and again). The Arizona offense has shown signs of life (2 Drives inside the 5yd line), but if they don’t force the Pitt offense into mistake, the Cards might not have the stamina to make long drives.

Prediction: One more Big Ben TO and the Steelers win by 4… Any more than that and the Cardinal could steal this one. Probable outcome: Steelers by 6.

sk.

Read Full Post »

nfl_g_bidwell01_300

Long-time owner Bill Bidwill hoists his franchises first NFC championship trophy.

It’s official. After 110 seasons of football the Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl.  A team founded in 1898 as a charter member of the NFL, the Cardinals have only won two championship games in their history, the last being in 1947, when the then Chicago Cardinals won their league championship.  Keep in mind, this is two decades before the inaugural Super Bowl, but it’s time to rewrite history.  Move over jokes with the Cards as the punch line, or historical references about how long its been since they’ve won a playoff game, much less made it to the biggest of all playoff game, the Arizona Cardinals are NFC Champions and are headed for Tampa Bay and Super Bowl XLIII.

Fitzgerald defines class both on and off the field.

Fitzgerald defines class both on and off the field.

Sounds crazy doesn’t it?  Not if you’re Ken Whisenhunt, not if you’re Kurt Warner, and especially not if you’re Larry Fitzgerald.  Let me be the first to say that Mr. Fitz, as I like to call him, has officially landed himself in the top spot of the wide receiver echelon in my opinion.  Enough of the interviews with the verbally challenged T.O. or the other “thug-esque” receivers of the NFL.  It’s time Larry Fitzgerald becomes the poster boy of what a real man who is also an athlete looks like, acts like, talks like, and especially plays like.  His class is evident the minute he opens his mouth, not to mention the minute he steps on the field.  The verbosity with which he speaks appears as if he just stepped out of teaching a Harvard Law class, not a player who went to Pitt has been continually overlooked thanks to the likes of Reggie Wayne, Braylon Edwards and Randy Moss.  And while I’m on the topic and have the means to say what I’m thinking, he should have a Heisman Trophy on his shelf also, and I’m not just saying that because I haven’t liked Jason White since our days playing against each other in Western Oklahoma, Fitz earned it.

I could spend the whole article on Mr. Fitz, but his play this postseason speaks for itself.  Unfortunately for the Cardinals, the reward for their first four-game winning streak in over a decade is the best defense, statistically speaking, that the league has seen in over 20 years.  Much will be made about the familiarity that Coaches Whisenhunt and Grimm have with the Steelers personnel and play calling, but I’m of the opinion that the extra week to prepare benefits the defense.  Also, if anyone remembers what the stands looked like in Super Bowl XL, the amount of Cardinal fans across the country might be the only fanbase which will show up with a smaller contingent than Seahawks, and hopefully for the boys from Arizona this won’t turn into another “home away from home” situation for their black and gold opponents.

That said, I can’t wait for this Super Bowl.  Two teams playing at the top of their games meet at the perfect time, while both are peaking.  I hope both teams come in firing on all cylinders and we have one for the ages, and I wouldn’t recommend betting anything against this bunch from Glendale.  Incidentally, the last team to make the playoff with only nine wins in the regular season, the 1979 Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XVIII.  Ironically, they lost that Super Bowl to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

-asm

My apologies to Les Miles.

Read Full Post »