Bet on the Cards
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Well fans,the Vikes now have a two year December tradition of meeting and thumping that seasonís NFC Super Bowl representative. They are doing something right, apparently, but not entirely right. As badly as the Cardinals stumbled at the end of the regular season, first against Minnesota and then the Patriots, it was a poor bet that they would survive the initial wild card round of the playoffs. Now they will play the Steelers for the coveted Super Bowl rings in a domed stadium favoring offense.
Suddenly Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and Edgerrin James look like the unstoppable offensive juggernaut of Warner, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt of the St. Louis Rams six or eight years ago when the current thinking was that no defense in the league could slow them down. They won the one Super Bowl and then were defeated only by the superior magic of the ascending New England Patriots dynasty.
Now, it looks like they have the improbable mojo to beat Mike Tomlinís superior Steeler defense in a championship that will signify that offense is once more getting the upper hand over defense around the league. It has made NFL football more interesting that, recently, late-peaking teams like the Giants, the Steelers of a few years back, and now the Cardinals have derailed the obvious favorites at seasonís end.
I thought that the Eagles would beat Arizona with a tough defense that supposedly wins in the playoffs, but the Cards jumped all over them with a dynamite attack, while Donovan McNabb played tight and scatter-armed until it was just too late in the second half. Still, he would have won it for Philadelphia if his defense could have held one more time in the fourth quarter. It will always be a black mark in Andy Reidís resume that he took his timeout on third down and let the Cards think about a TD play rather than just grabbing the field goal. Now we know where the Chiller learned his canny, unflappable field generalship.
At the Super Bowl, two weeks hence, there is no doubt that the Cards are destinyís darling. Donít you wish you had bet upon them back in September? The two best athletes on the field will be Cards wideout, Larry Fitzgerald, and Steelers safety Troy Polamalu. Count on Fitzgerald to take the ball away from Polamalu rather than vice-versa, and Kurt Warner to get the ball to him. Bet lots of money on the Cards and send me a commission.
Talk back! Tell us what you think of this yearís teams. What would you do if you were in charge?
Go to winonapost.com, click on Football Forum to discuss this yearís season.