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Posted: Friday January 30, 2009 11:17AM; Updated: Friday January 30, 2009 1:48PM

Super Bowl XLIII Predictions

 
Peter
KING
24 21
Why the Steelers will win: I see the Steelers not doing anything revolutionary on defense, just playing their base defense more than anyone does against the Cardinals. They'll keep safeties Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark back in two-deep coverage on most snaps and make the Cards take 12 or 13 plays to score. If Arizona can do that and win, then God bless 'em.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... I think Kurt Warner will play well, not give the ball away, and will have a chance to win it in the last 10 minutes. I just think Pittsburgh will make more plays on defense than any other team Arizona has seen in the playoffs.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Willie Parker
 
Don
BANKS
23 16
Why the Steelers will win: The Cardinals' feel-good story will be the first casualty of Super Bowl XLIII, with Pittsburgh's rock-solid defense being a far tougher challenge than anything Arizona has faced en route to Tampa Bay. The Steelers offense won't be spectacular, but it won't have to be. Defense, which has long defined Pittsburgh football, will be front and center all game long, harassing Kurt Warner into mistakes and missed opportunities.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... Ben Roethlisberger won't be guilty of sheepishly celebrating a Super Bowl championship in this, his second crack at the Big Game. Though I don?t foresee MVP honors for No. 7, he'll do more than enough to wash away the memory of his mediocrity three years ago in Detroit, when the Steelers beat the Seahawks despite Big Ben, not because of him.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... James Harrison
 
Jim
TROTTER
24 20
Why the Cardinals will win: The defense is averaging four takeaways a game, the offense is scoring nearly 30 points a game, and the coaching staff is almost as familiar with the Steelers' personnel as its own. Not to be dismissed: The Cardinals are underdogs for the fourth straight playoff game, something that has strengthened their resolve.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... 1) I think Edgerrin James will be more valuable as a pass blocker than as a runner; 2) With the Steelers paying so much attention to Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin or Steve Breaston will come up with a game-altering play.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Kurt Warner
 
Damon
HACK
23 17
Why the Steelers will win: The Steelers played one of the league's toughest schedules and came through it with the league's best defense. They have faced every adversity and obstacle. Nothing will surprise them.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... I think James Harrison will force at least one turnover, most likely via a fumble while sacking Kurt Warner. Pittsburgh will capitalize on the mistake.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Willie Parker
 
Lee
JENKINS
24 21
Why the Cardinals will win: If any team can handle the Pittsburgh blitz, it is Arizona, with Kurt Warner's quick release and the ability of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin to beat single coverage. The Steelers have the best defense in the NFL, but the Cardinals' big-play ability is unmatched right now.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... I think the Steelers have presumably spent the past two weeks watching Fitzgerald shred lesser defenses in this year's playoffs, and they will not let him do the same to them. The Steelers will limit Fitzgerald, but in doing so, they will give Boldin a chance to make at least one huge catch and run.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Kurt Warner
 
Bucky
BROOKS
27 21
Why the Cardinals will win: The offense has been in an outstanding rhythm throughout the postseason. Led by Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner, the offense has scored 30 or more points in each playoff game while showing a more balanced look. Conversely, the defense has been stingy against the run and shown a surprising penchant for generating turnovers (12 takeaways) during the postseason. With the Cardinals playing well on both sides of the ball, I think they are primed to pull off an upset.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... I think the Cardinals will use the no-huddle often against the Steelers. The tactic will limit the amount of disguising the Steelers D uses before the snap, giving Warner a great opportunity to get into a rhythm. The Cardinals used the no-huddle with great success during their 21-14 victory over Pittsburgh in September 2007.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Anquan Boldin
 
Ross
TUCKER
24 21
Why the Cardinals will win: Simply put, it is their time and place in history. Both running games will be null and void, so this one will come down to making plays in the passing game. That favors Kurt Warner and his elite receiving corps, which will find a way to make one more play than Ben Roethisberger and the Steelers.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... Larry Fitzgerald will make a critical play that has a profound impact on the game. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau will attempt to double Fitzgerald as much as possible, but you simply can't keep a good man down. Look for Fitzgerald to make a Lynn Swann-type catch that will make all of the Steelers fans truly appreciate their team's adversary.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Kurt Warner
 
Adam
DUERSON
28 21
Why the Cardinals will win: Bottom line -- too many weapons. The Steelers just don't have what it takes offensively to build the kind of lead that would put the Cardinals away.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... I think Larry Fitzgerald will take at least one hit that makes him rethink his profession. Same goes for Warner. But that's why they get paid the big bucks, and a Warner-to-Fitz TD ultimately means so much more than a Wow-inducing hit.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Anquan Boldin
 
Dominic
BONVISSUTO
27 14
Why the Cardinals will win: Pittsburgh's strongest asset, its blitzing ability, will be nullified by the threat of short, quick routes by Arizona's receivers. Anytime the Steelers blitz, they'll leave single coverage on someone -- Boldin, Fitzgerald, Breaston, etc. -- and Kurt Warner is savvy enough to exploit the right matchup and make 'em pay.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... I think Matt Leinart will take a snap. It'll be in relief of Warner, who will be wobbly getting up from a monster blindside hit by LaMarr Woodley or James Harrison. Warner will take a few plays to clear the cobwebs before returning.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Larry Fitzgerald
 
Andrew
PERLOFF
21 16
Why the Steelers will win: The Cardinals got some breaks to get to Tampa -- the inexperienced Matt Ryan giving away his snap count, Jake Delhomme having the worst day of his life, the Eagles biting on a flea flicker. Arizona has played well and is growing in confidence, but it hasn't seen anything like Pittsburgh. The Steelers won't make those mistakes, and their defense will wear the Cardinals down.
Don't take it to the bank, but ... I think there will be a controversial call that will become as big a headline as any other facet of the game. The Steelers, in part because of their chippy play and in part because of luck, have been a magnet for officiating messes in what has been a bad season for the men in stripes. On at least one play, something will cause a 10-minute delay and test the limits of what is reviewable.
The Super Bowl MVP will be... Ben Roethlisberger
 

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