Official Super Bowl XLIII Prediction Thread

The moment every TSR reader has been waiting for is finally here: It’s time for me to hand out my Super Bowl pick.

I know, I know – you guys have been dying for this blog to come out since the Super Bowl XLIII matchup was set, but I wanted to take my time. I decided to go back and re-watch every single Arizona Cardinal and Pittsburgh Steeler game from this season in order to figure out each teams’ tendencies and therefore make the ultimate prediction.

But when I turned on my DVR to begin re-watching all the games I saw I had a couple of “Reno 911” episodes saved and I got lost in all the hilarity. (That Jim Dangle is one funny S.O.B.)

Needless to say, I didn’t re-watch one game, didn’t find one tendency and therefore my “ultimate prediction” is just going to be a flat out guess. Either way…

This is how I see Sunday’s big game playing out. The game will be tight for almost the entire first quarter, with both defenses playing well earlier on. The Steelers will strike first with a touchdown, then add a field goal to go up 10-0 midway through the second quarter. But thanks to the “don’t prevent the score” defense that every team seems to use right before halftime, Pittsburgh gives up a score right before Bruce Springsteen starts warming up, which in turn gives the Cardinals hope.

Your halftime score: an uneventful 10-7 Pittsburgh lead.

But the second half is where the action starts to heat up. All of a sudden the Steelers begin drumming up pressure and Kurt Warner has zero time to throw. Pittsburgh’s front seven starts suffocating Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower, all the while moving the pocket back so Warner can’t step up and deliver passes in a timely manner.

This leads to multiple sacks for the Steelers, which they turn into great field position. The Arizona defense, which in the first half had played damn near perfect football, starts to cave. Willie Parker starts finding open running lanes, which opens up the passing game for Ben Roethlisberger, who converts several third down conversions that essentially takes the life out of the Cards’ defense. Pittsburgh strikes twice for touchdowns in the third quarter, taking a 24-7 lead into the fourth.

Early in the fourth, Arizona offensive coordinator Todd Haley takes advantage of an overly aggressive Pittsburgh front seven and the Cardinals start attacking the edges and seams of the Steeler defense. All of a sudden, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breatson start to make plays in the open field and Warner gets into a rhythm. The Cards reach paydirt on a 1-yard James touchdown run and with still 11 minutes to play in the game, ‘Zona is still very much alive at 24-14.

Thanks to the offensive resurgence, the Cardinal defense forces a three and out and with the Pittsburgh defense still tired, Warner hits Fitzgerald on a reverse, pitch-back bomb to get the score within a field goal at 24-21 with seven minutes left to play.

But that’s as close as the Cards get to victory. Thanks to Parker, the Steelers drive into Arizona territory, eating up most of the clock. Big Ben then finds Heath Miller in the back of the end zone on a broken 3rd and 7 play to put Arizona away.

Super Bowl XLIII Final: Steelers 31, Cardinals 21.

Not that it matters because everything I just wrote will happen exactly as I laid it out, but feel free to post your score prediction for the game. Remember, only the people who don’t post a prediction are wrong…and those who predict the losing team to win.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Greg Cossell uses immense film study to predict Super Bowl winner

Greg Cosell of made his Super Bowl XLIII prediction on Thursday and claimed victory for Pittsburgh because the, “one-dimensional Cardinals can’t beat Steelers D.”

He even gave a predicted final score:

Larry FitzgeraldAfter careful deliberation and hours and hours of film study the past 10 days, I have come to this conclusion about Super Bowl 43: Steelers 27, Cardinals 20.

After reading that, one could come to the conclusion that Cosell was being facetious. He didn’t really spend “hours and hours” of film study the past 10 days – he just said that as a light-hearted way to set up the rest of his column.

But then he wrote this halfway through his article:

One of the continuing problems I see on film is that offenses get overly focused on locating and accounting for Harrison. LeBeau understands this and then burdens the offensive line with a lot of movement before the snap, particularly after the pass protection gets set. That creates confusion in many instances, particularly when Harrison and Woodley line up on the same side. Often, another rusher, such as linebacker James Farrior, is not accounted for and has a free path to the quarterback.

Okay, maybe he was being serious about watching hours and hours of film to come to his prediction. That said, does anyone find his predicted score interesting? He spent hours and hours of film study to determine that the Steelers will win by seven and that the total combined score between the two teams will be 47? Wonder where we’ve seen those numbers before? Ah, yeah –those are the exact numbers that oddsmakers gave for the point spread and over/under total for the game.

Come on, Greg. It took you hours and hours of film preparation to come up with the exact same numbers oddsmakers set the lines at? You could do a little better than that.

Super Bowl XLIII Notes 1/30

Ben Roethlisberger– Despite the best efforts of Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin to keep the story under raps, Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger apparently underwent an x-ray on his ribs on Wednesday. Big Ben suffered the injury in the AFC Championship Game, but there is no indication that he’ll miss the Super Bowl. (

– Hines Ward returned to full practice on Thursday and is on track to start Sunday against the Cardinals. (

– Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Steelers’ defense won’t let Kurt Warner enjoy a fairy-tale ending to his 2008 season. (Los Angeles Times)

– Tim Cowlishaw of the Dallas Morning News wrote an excellent piece featuring the top two safeties in this year’s Super Bowl: Adrian Wilson of the Cardinals and Troy Polamalu of the Steelers. (Dallas Morning News)

– Need picks for the Super Bowl? Head to our partners at Sports Gaming for daily picks & previews from some of the best handicappers in the business. They’ll give you top picks throughout the year.

Super Bowl XLIII Notes 1/29

Hines Ward– Steelers’ wideout Hines Ward did not go through 11-on-11 drives on Wednesday, but he did catch passes and made cuts on his sprained knee. He’s still expected to play on Sunday. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

– The Cardinals are expected to use rookie cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to shadow Pittsburgh wideout Santonio Holmes. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

– Speaking of Holmes, he admitted to the press on Wednesday that he used to sell drugs as a teenager, but now hopes to help at-risk teens in the same situation he was in growing up to turn the situation into a positive. (Associated Press)

– Former Steeler Rod Woodson believes that Kurt Warner and the Cardinals may go straight into their two-minute offense to start the game so that Pittsburgh’s defense can’t get into their blitz-checks right away. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

– Kurt Warner hopes the young Cardinals can avoid the pitfalls that come with playing in the Super Bowl. (

– Need picks for the Super Bowl? Head to our partners at Sports Gaming for daily picks & previews from some of the best handicappers in the business. They’ll give you top picks throughout the year.

Related Posts