By Josh Satler – ProFootball101.org
The Steelers come into the Super Bowl as the seven-point favorite, and rightfully so.
They led the NFL in defense in 2008 and have an offense that’s capable of making some noise as well.
For Pittsburgh to win on Sunday, they’ll need to do one thing aside from just showing up—limit Ben Roethlisberger’s dumb mistakes and ill-advised turnovers. If they can do (or limit) that, all they’ll need to do is follow the formula they’ve used all year and the rest will take care of itself.
Offensively, the Steelers must attack through the air in the beginning. The Cardinals will keep S Adrian Wilson close to the box and focus on keeping RB Willie Parker under wraps. This should allow Roethlisberger one-on-one opportunities to strike to his outside targets.
If this begins to work, the Steelers can then begin to feed Parker and Moore the football because Arizona will be forced to keep their safeties back in coverage.
Defensively, there won’t be any new wrinkles added by DC LeBeau at this point. There’s only one formula to use when facing Kurt Warner and his talented offense—pressure. The Eagles found out the effectiveness of this style of defense too late; had they played the first half as they had played from about midway through the third quarter until the final back-breaking drive, they’d be in Tampa.
So look for Pittsburgh to come after Warner and make his life miserable. RB Edgerrin James will be a non-factor on Sunday, so all they will need to focus on is disrupting Warner’s rhythm and keeping guys in his face.
And this should lead to a few turnovers.
This scenario is the most likely to play out, and this is why Pro Football 101 has the Steelers winning Super Bowl 43. By how much? Check back on Thursday for our in-depth analysis of the Super Bowl and on Friday for our Super Bowl best bets edition.