The League

Charles Mann
Pro Bowl Defensive Lineman

Charles Mann

A 12-year veteran lineman, elected four times to the Pro Bowl.

Cards in the Zone

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The matchup to watch for this Super Bowl is the Steelers defensive backs against the wily Cardinals receivers. You have the great hands of Fitzgerald, the YAC of Boldin against Polamalu and that secondary.

To me that's really what will set the tone. Warner has already shown that he can get the ball out quickly and won't get rattled. Even if you knock him around he's still going to deliver the ball.

If I was a betting man, which I'm not, I'd say Arizona is sitting in a really good position. They have nothing to prove. They're already talking sixth championship in Pittsburgh. Like I said before, being the underdog is a real leg up.

In addition, the Cardinals have looked like the hotter team the past few weeks. Pittsburgh won the Super Bowl in 2006 largely because of Ken Whisenhunt's offense. Big Ben Roethlisberger doesn't have that now. He has a new system, but it was Whisenhunt's schemes that won it for him. Ken's only 46-years-old, but he's done an incredible job. Now he's got everything in place to win.

And the Cardinals believe in him. I've watched Fitzgerald blossom over this season and now he's playing like a champion. There are certain moments in time when you see this. Like with Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice and, I'm sorry to say, Terrell Owens, where a team says time and time again that they have to stop that one guy, and they just can't get it done. These are moments when that player becomes unstoppable. It's like being in the zone, but for more than one week. Fitzgerald is there now.

For such moments to happen, the QB has to be just as on as his wide receiver and right now Warner is playing really solid consistent football. When I look over at the Steelers they haven't looked as sound fundamentally sound as the Cards in recent weeks. Roethlisberger doesn't look that good.

The Cards have done everything they need to do and they are having one of those Cinderella seasons. In this modern era it doesn't matter how you start. The team's that hot at the end usually wins, and Arizona is hot now.

By Charles Mann  |  January 30, 2009; 11:32 AM ET  | Category:  Arizona Cardinals , Pittsburgh Steelers Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Charles Mann stick to Eastern Motors commercials instead of prognostication. The Crudinals will be smart to give up on the run early. NO One has run on the Steelers in years and I don't see it happening Sunday. I would play 4 wide most of the game and make the Steelers LBS play in space. Throw in draws and screens move the pocket and they should be able to move the ball. Look for them to throw alot to their backs and TE's early. The Crudinals will score points. They are too talented to shut down competely. The main matchup will not be the Steelers D vs the Crudinals O But the Crudinals D vs the Steelers O I believe the Steelers will run the ball sucessfully. Eating up time on the clock resting the defense while wearing down the crudinals defense. The Steelers will have to score points in this game. And I think they will. Steelers bring home #6

Posted by: tsamm | January 30, 2009 2:36 PM

Hey TSAMM, you posted your reply to the wrong message. Charles mentions exactly NOTHING about the Cardinals running game.

"The Steelers have to score points in this game"? Really. Holy cow, man - you're a freaking genius.

Posted by: mcoghlan1 | January 31, 2009 1:22 AM

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