Monday, January 19, 2009

Arizona & Pittsburgh to Face Off in Super Bowl XLIII

The Arizona Cardinals will be going to the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history with a 32-25 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship.

The Cardinals had 24-6 lead at the half but the Eagles scored 13 points in the 3rd quarter and took a 25-24 in the 4th quarter. But Kurt Warner had one more drive in him and the Cardinals took the lead and never looked back. Warner had four touchdown passes, three of them to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

Warner is experience a renaissance. A decade ago he was the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams and guided the team to a Super Bowl title in 2000. Two years later, the Rams were in the Super Bowl but were upset by the New England Patriots. The Pats began a dynasty and Warner's career went on a rapid descent. He got hurt and ended up losing his job to Marc Bulger. Warner hooked on with the New York Giants. He started off well but ended up losing his job to Eli Manning. He's been with the Cardinals for the last four seasons and has battled for his job with veteran Josh McCown and Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart. But Warner has taken advantage of opportunities when presented to him. His strong Christian beliefs are a testament to his perseverance. If the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, Warner will be one of the biggest stories in sports in 2009. The Cardinals last won a title in 1947 when they won the NFL Championship when they were known as the Chicago Cardinals.

The Cardinals will have their hands full with the Pittsburgh Steelers who defeated the Baltimore Ravens 23-14 to win the AFC Championship. This is the second time in four years the Steelers have reached the Super Bowl. They won Super Bowl XL defeating the Seattle Seahawks. The game came to a hush late in the 4th quarter when Ravens running back Willis McGahee collided with Steelers safety Ryan Clark helmet to helmet. Both players went down but McGahee got the worst of the collision and was done on the ground for over ten minutes. Fortunately, he was conscious and was able to move his limbs but did complain of severe neck pains.

The Steelers will be favored to win but the Cardinals have defied oddsmakers with victories over the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and now the Eagles. I'm picking the Cardinals. Super Bowl XLIII takes places on February 1st.

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