Superbowl XL

- wadE

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Loyal readers are well aware of Wade and Alex's continued hilarity, otherwise known as their annual NFL Playoff predictions.

I am somewhat dismayed they don't include me, but since I am the resident NFL wonk of the group, I'm sure they wouldn't want me showing them up.

So far this postseason, I am 10-0... at least on teams that I wanted to win. So if I had bet with my heart instead of my head, I would be one game away from the perfect season, but in reality, going week by week, I am only 6-4, which is better than average.

Regardless, I am quite excited for Superbowl XL! Yet I again am somwhat dismayed because I was really hoping the NFL would hold off until #50 to break out the "L", but I'm guessing they were looking ahead to 46-49 and realized that Superbowl XXXX looked ok, Superbowl XXXXVIIII was a little out of hand. Either way, 10 more years to Superbowl L which I've been looking forward to as soon as I figured out that L equaled 50!

Beyond the ridiculous naming convention, the game itself should be a good one too. I like Seattle, and the ballsy Hasselbeck (didn't he actually lose that game where he said "we want the ball and we're gonna score"; so didn't the Karma Police already get him for that?). Shaun Alexander is the NFL MVP, and would look great in purple next year! The defense is the essence of the "no-name defense". Before the playoffs, how many people outside of the Pacific Northwest could name more than 2 (if any) members of that defense? And regardless of what you think of Craig Stadler, er, Mike Holmgren's coaching and front-office abilities, the one thing he does know is how to develop a quarterback. I wonder if folks in Green Bay ever wish Holmgren (and Hasselbeck) were back in Wisconsin?

On the other side is a Pittsburgh team that has finally proven it can win throwing the ball. I have been very skeptical of Ben R. (do you need me to type out Roesthlesnessesberger... wait, isn't there an "i" in there too?). I had a hard time giving a QB credit for being 15-0 or 25-3 when he only threw the ball 12-15 times a game. With such little pressue on a QB, I think even Joey Harrington could have a winning record. But over the past month Ben has shown he really is a big time QB who can lead the team with his arm when needed, and take a team to the Superbowl. The defense is strong (per usual), and the running game has finally found a rhythm with their own version of Thunder (Bettis) and Lightning (Parker).

Seems like a pretty even matchup, with Vegas (and myself) giving the edge to the Steelers. But I wouldn't bet against Seattle either. I think the key of the game will be the first Steeler drive. Will them come out throwing as they have the past few weeks? Getting those big gains, and early points against defenses that expected the smashmouth running game. Will Seattle be prepared for that, or will the Steelers change up and go back to the running game early? Or will Seattle know that the Steelers will probably go back to running after having so much success in passing... or will the Steelers know that Seattle knows that <smack>... thanks, I needed that.

So my dual-prediction is Pittsburgh 35 - Seattle 23 OR Seattle 16 - Pittsburgh 13.

If Seattle can't stop Pittsburgh early, expect a game similar to last week's Steelers v. Broncos game. Fall behind early, start to fight back but come up well short in the end.

If Seattle can stop them, I would expect a defensive struggle all game long, with Seattle eeking out a late victory.

With that being said, I'm sure both of those guesses will be wrong, and it'll be:

Pittsburgh 24 - Seattle 20


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