Unfortunately, there is only one game left in the NFL season and it is the one we have all been waiting for. Coming into the season, the Steelers were a preseason favorite in the AFC as they have one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Ben Roethlisberger and a very strong defense. For some time now the Cardinals have always been a trendy pick to make the playoffs. Now that they finally got there, they are making the most of the opportunity. Here is my Super Bowl prediction along with my key to victory and x-factor for each team.
Key to victory: Edgerrin James RB: When James left the Colts after a seven year stint with the team, the Colts went on to win the Super Bowl. Now James finally gets to the big game and can have his time to shine. The Steelers defense is ferocious and will blitz Kurt Warner on every play. If James can make an impact on the touches he gets, it will throw the Steelers defense off guard opening up the passing game for Warner to get the ball to his all pro receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin.
X-Factor: Adrian Wilson S: Wilson is one of the best safeties in the entire league and doesn’t quite get his due. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even be able to tell that there is another Pro Bowl safety in this game other then Troy Polamalu but Wilson fits the bill. Wilson is a ball hawk and should have a huge impact on a Cardinals defense that has really risen to the occasion this postseason.
Key to Victory: The offensive line: I said it last year and I will say it again; the Steelers still need to improve on the offensive line. Roethlisberger does a great job of moving around in the pocket but he has taken a lot of shots over the years. The Cardinals have really gotten pressure on opposing quarterbacks and the offensive line has to play well for them to win this game.
X-Factor: LaMarr Woodley LB: It’s hard to go under the radar playing across from the defensive player of the year on one of the most popular teams in the league, but Woodley manages to do it. While Harrison faces constant double teams, Woodley should have favorable matchups on the edge and has shown that he is fully capable of making teams pay.
Prediction: While the Steelers have been here before and the Cardinals don’t have much veteran experience, they have players and coaches who have been here before. Unless the Steelers offensive line comes to play, the Cardinals defense could have a very big game and if it turns into a shootout, the Steelers don’t have the fire power that the Cardinals do. My prediction is Cardinals 24 Steelers 20.