Friday, February 03, 2006


Super Bowl Prediction

So, I did pretty good through the playoffs, going 7-3 picking winners. Now comes a game that is really tough to pick, so I'm going to break it down:

Offense: These two teams will both want to establish the running game, moreso Seattle than Pittsburgh. Assuming the teams stay to form, Ben Roethlisberger will be taking to the air in an effort to spread the defense and open up the ground game for Jerome Bettis and Willie Parker. Meanwhile, Seattle will turn Shaun Alexander loose and dare Pittsburgh's defense to stop him. Odds are they will, to a degree. I like Pitsburgh's receivers a lot more than Seattle's and Jerome Bettis will be seriously motivated, as he plays his final game of his illustrious career in his hometown. Advantage: Pittsburgh.

Defense: Blitzburgh will be in full effect. The Steelers will put 7 and 8 defenders in the box to try and stop Alexander and mix schemes and blitz angles in an effort to confuse Hasselbeck. The Seahawks defense will also be loading up to put pressure on Big Ben and the runners, but the Seahawks can do so confident that their corners are OK in man-on-man situations. The Steelers have to make sure they get to Hasselbeck, because if he get s time to throw, the Steeler secondary can be had. Especially if Troy Polamalu is part of the blitz package. Advantage: Pittsburgh up front, Seattle in the secondary.

Special Teams: Should be pretty even, since neither team has a real breakaway kind of returner and they are not overly aggressive trying to block punts. Antwaan Randle-El can break big punt returns (2 TD's this year), but I don't see him getting many chances, since Seattle will likely key on him and try to kick away from him. Field position will be huge in this game and the team that does the best job of pinning the opposition deep will win. For that, it's the punters and gunners, and I like Pittsburgh's Chris Gardocki more than Seattle's Tom Rouen. Add in the fact that the game's indoors, and I like the Steelers. Advantage: Pittsburgh.

Coaching/Intangibles: Mike Holmgren has a shot at history, becoming the first coach to win Super Bowls with two teams. He has Seattle really clicking and knows how to keep 'em performing. Bill Cowher has toned down the emotion in the last few years, but don't mistake that for a lack of intensity. He and his staff have come up with schemes to rein in Peyton Manning and Jake Plummer this playoff season and they made the right adjustments against Cincinnati to enable them to come back and win. Plus there's the Bettis factor and a few boneheaded comments made by Seahawks players during the media days that you can bet will be on the locker room boards. Advantage: Pittsburgh.

Add it all up and I see a long day coming for Seattle. Pittsburgh 26-19.