Yep - going with the fav's here, Pittsburgh vs Philly for an all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl. I now dread the painful marketing and promotions we will have to suffer through as a result. Ben vs Donovan, yada, yada, yada.
Pittsburgh vs: Baltimore:
Pittsburgh has a stout defense, experience all over, a veteran QB and an offense that makes plays. They have a creative playbook and know when and how to use it effectively. The tight-end play from Heath Miller will make a difference vs Baltimore's stingy defense and their consistantly productive play-action pass will ultimately lead to big plays and a Pittsburgh win at home. If Baltimore stacks the line to shut down the run, Pitt's verticle passing game is likely to make some big plays eventually. Baltimore could pull this off, but out of the two games I feel the strongest about a Pittsburgh win at home. Pittsburgh's experience and opportunistic offensive makes them my pick over a very formidable Baltimore team.
Arizona vs. Philadelphia.
This is the more intriguing match-up. Arizona has something they haven't had in 40 years; no I'm not referring to a deep playoff run, I mean confidence. They've got tons of talent, solid coaching, a Super Bowl experienced quarterback and arguable the most feared receiver in the NFC right now in Larry Fitzgerald. Their defense embarrassed Jake Delhomme at carolina. Rarely is the word embarrassed used and it's not referring to the Cardinals. Confidence. And they get to host the NFC Championship game. If you picked them at the beginning of the season to reach the NFC title game, and you weren't joking, I need your opinions on some stocks I'm thinking of buying. I think they have the talent to get past Philly, but expect the Eagles experience, swagger and physical defense to win out.
Philly knocked out the Giants in NY, mimicking their run last year; by riding the defense and winning on the road. Two years in a row an NFC East team does it. I like Philly's chances here and expect their game to be to contain Fitz, play ball control and get Westbrook out into space to make plays. However, this is a perfect opportunity for Arizona to strike quickly and early, feeding of of the crowd and adrenaline, which could make McNabb force throws, resulting in mistakes. I expect Philly to be more confident and stout on defense and wins a low scoring game in the desert. But don't rule out the cards if they score early and get momentum.Arizona in the Super Bowl? If they can ride their wave of confidence and offensive power, they can.
Super Bowl: Pitt over Philly 29-16