NFL Picks

Welcome back! Our final installments of the NFL Picks will highlight the culmination of the NFL season as the post-season winds down. This week, we look over the AFC and NFC conference championships. The regular season doesn’t matter anymore. Every game could be the last. Check your insight against ours, including last year’s NFL Picks champ: Scott!

The cast

Tom Asselin
Tom is the veteran. Crusty, grumpy… well, maybe just grumpy… He needs to rely on his experience to fend off the newcomers.

Marko Bilandzjia
Marko is one of the new guys. Will the rookie come through in his predictions?

Josh Boulding
With only mediocre NFL experience, does he stand a chance against the veterans?

Kevin Chaves
As a hockey fan sticking his nose into America’s league, only time will tell if Kevin Chaves can make the plays on this season’s outcomes.

Scott Christiansen
Scott is an experienced contributor to the section but new to the Picks.

Mike Collins
Mike is another experienced contributor.

Adam Peleshaty
Another newcomer to the section, Adam will try to take an underdog win.

Brad Pennington
Brad knows basketball. Will that help picking the pigskin winners?

Jo Villaverde
Jo, the contender, was in the running last year. His football experience may just land him on top this season.

Here’s the big one. Only three days left until the final showdown between this season’s AFC and NFC champions and the brewers and snack makers everywhere have been working overtime to supply everyone with enough essentials to help us through these trying times. Of the 32 teams participating, only two now remain to challenge for the prestigious cup and ring.

In accordance with this great tradition, we, the Pickers have laid down our pens and our dignity in the final weeks of this post-season. Here are our final bites of wisdom:

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Arizona Cardinals

Super Bowl XLIII - Tampa Bay

Picking Arizona to win are…

Is it just me or do Cardinals seriously need to be feared more because come Feb. 1 they will have to be. To everyone that tells you that defence wins championships, you can tell them right back that Cardinals win championships and that Cardinals are pretty. In fact they are so pretty that the gap between the two scores will be pretty big. How big? 31-14.

It is red-hot offence clashing on a cold iron defence this year as the Steelers and Cardinals meet for the Super Bowl. The safe bet here is Pittsburgh. Defence is traditionally the factor that decides the big one in more sports than just football. The Cardinals have a chance, though, as long as they can stay healthy, penalty free and hold onto the ball. Given an early TD from Warner to Boldin or Fitzgerald and watch the Cardinals hold on over a stumped Steelers. Arizona just has too many weapons for the Steeler’s secondary to contain them all.

The Arizona Cardinals have the advantage and this is entirely due to having former Steelers Offensive co-ordinator Ken Whisenhunt as their head coach. I believe that it is Arizona’s defence, not Pittsburgh’s, that will show best because of Whisenhunt’s familiarity with the Steelers’ offence. Arizona’s offence is also much better than the Chargers and Ravens which could mean the Steelers’ D may be on the field for most of the game, which is never good. Cardinals win their first and Kurt Warner retires a redeemed champion. Arizona 30, Pittsburgh 20.

Picking Pittsburgh to win are…

I have supported Arizona all year. While I never thought they would make it this far, I’ve gone on record saying they are a better team than people think they are. They have proven me right and I am excited to see one of my favourite quarterbacks, Kurt Warner, in the Super Bowl again. Unfortunately however, I do not think they will win. This is a classic offence versus defence game and you almost always pick defence. While Arizona could reasonably pull through, the Steel Curtain and a solid offence led by one of my other favourite quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger, should be too much for the Cardinals to answer. Steelers win by 10.

History shall prevail here. It’s a known fact that offence wins the story and defence wins the glory. The Arizona fairy tale has been very well written but the happy ending will not happen. Pittsburgh’s defence is going to win the Super Bowl by stuffing the run and limiting Kurt Warner’s passing threats. I would love to say that the Cards have a chance, but they don’t. Steelers win 27-17.

One thing is for sure, the Cardinals will be in the game. The Steelers won’t run up the score on Arizona, and this could mean danger for Pittsburgh. If Arizona can hang around in the first half, I honestly think that they can pull it out late with a couple of big plays. But it is just too difficult to go against the Steelers. Take Pittsburgh 24-17.


Published in Volume 63, Number 18 of The Uniter (January 29, 2009)

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