The League

THE QUESTION

Unqualified Cards?

The Arizona Cardinals are only the second 9-7 team to reach the Super Bowl, but are they the least qualified to ever make it?

Posted by Emil Steiner on January 19, 2009 8:30 AM
FEATURED COMMENTS

yo22er: What is 'least qualified' supposed to mean? I would have thought that successive playoff wins against the Falcons, Panthers and Eagles ough...

frak: You have to admire Warner and the Cardinals ability to weather the blitz, which the Giants didn't. The Eagles blitz is like Pittsburgh's rus...

amercrutio100: I noticed this a long time ago. The best team rarely makes it to the Super Bowl much less wins it. The team that wins the Super Bowl is usu...

Make a Comment  |  All Comments (10)

ALL COMMENTS (10)
mayoungkin Author Profile Page :

Arizona is absolutely qualified for the Super Bowl, because they won the NFC tournament. Getting through that without a loss is no fluke. They may not beat Pittsburgh, but they can.

DutchyDC Author Profile Page :

If Arizona is the most unqualified team, then what does that make the Eagles and the Panthers? Even less than the least qualified team? Cardinals won and played well. Give them credit where it is due.

dgblues Author Profile Page :

I'm a Pittsburgh fan tried and true. I trust they're not going to underestimate that team.

Arizona is beyond qualified. They're hungry. They're on a roll. They're dangerous. Way dangerous. Nothing motivates a team more than being underestimated. (That would have worked for Bush's motivation too, except he's impossible to misunderestimate.)

Can Fitzgerald and Warner stand up to the League's number one defense? Which Steeler offense will show up to play, the champs or the chumps?

Finding out will be why it's called the "Super Bowl."

bkhoward Author Profile Page :

They're about as unqualified as the Giants were last year when they prepared to play the 18-0 Pats. How did that work? There are 30 unqualified teams this year; Arizona and Pittsburgh are not among them.

JPRS Author Profile Page :

Is this question serious?

A few years ago the Seahawks had a better record, but I don't think they were any better than the Cards are this year. The Seahawks that year had a better running game, but their 13-3 record was thanks in large part to a really weak conference, and a soft schedule.

The Cards this year haven't had as easy a schedule as the 2005 'Hawks. In some respects they're better than that Seahawks team, in others they're not (e.g. Seattle had a very good running game that year -- and the left side of its offensive line that year -- Hutch and Walter Jones was one of the best in the history of the game. On the other hand, that team didn't have a receiving tandem like the Cards. Defensively it's probably a wash -- even though statistically the 'Hawks had better numbers on the regular season).

Arizona reminds me a bit of the New England Patriots '85 team in the sense that they're a good team with flaws that's peaked at the right time (e.g. a team whose success is probably due at least in part to catching opponents by surprise). This Cards team too might even have the edge over the '85 Patriots.

Worst team ever?

Come on. Any team that makes it through three weeks of games against .500 or better NFL teams to get to the Super Bowl is qualified.

Will the Cards win? That's the more interesting question, perhaps. On a fast track, inside a dome, I think the Cards could create some problems for the Steelers. They're a good NFL team too, so you never know.

On the other hand, the Arizona defense underachieves, but it's got some play-makers and more than a couple Pro Bowlers. The Steelers have a very good defense this year, but they aren't the '85 Bears, or the 2000 Ravens. They have vulnerabilities.

All things being equal though, I'd say the odds favor the Steelers. The Steeler's have better balance, better defense, and a running game that's been more effective. Odds are they'll be able to dictate the tempo and play the kind of game that they want.

But you never know.

That's why we play the games.

jerkhoff Author Profile Page :

As a Pats fan, I'm obviously disappointed that my team didn't make the playoffs at 11-5, and I think that the Pats would have gone deep in the playoffs if they had squeaked in. However, that's the way the game works. We just happened to be playing in a strong division, and our team learned the hard way that every play of every single game can make a difference. The Patriots controlled their own destiny and would have gone to the playoffs if we had beaten either Indy or the second Jets game this season. No sour grapes here.

I would like to see the draft rules revised so that all teams who make the playoffs are considered to have finished ahead of all teams who didn't. Currently this rule applies only to the Super Bowl winner and loser, who pick 32nd and 31st respectively. I don't mind having the Chargers go to the playoffs due to being in a weak division, but I don't see why they should be picking ahead of other teams who didn't make it to the playoffs. Seems like kind of a double-whammy to me.

BTW, the Cards are going to win the Super Bowl, despite Troy Polamalu, who won last night's game almost singlehandedly for the Stealers. That interception/touchdown was a thing of beauty, start to finish...

SGfromMudville Author Profile Page :

They may be qualified, but they don't deserve to go because they lack character and sportsmanship. They showed up for the Pats game last month -- but only in terms of standing on the field for four quarters in their uniforms. They had made it in to the playoffs. They don't like the cold. They threw the game away.

It's one thing to want to protect your players from getting hurt, but they made no effort and showed no class.

yo22er Author Profile Page :

What is 'least qualified' supposed to mean?

I would have thought that successive playoff wins against the Falcons, Panthers and Eagles ought to satisfy any
'qualification metric' one cares to adopt.

What do the Cards have to do to earn respect? Beat Pittsburgh too?

frak Author Profile Page :

You have to admire Warner and the Cardinals ability to weather the blitz, which the Giants didn't. The Eagles blitz is like Pittsburgh's rush and , even though I think they'll ultimately lose to the Steelers, the Cardinals will make a game of it.

amercrutio100 Author Profile Page :


I noticed this a long time ago. The best team rarely makes it to the Super Bowl much less wins it. The team that wins the Super Bowl is usually the team that puts together a winning streak once they hit the playoffs.

 
 
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