03 February 2006

Superbowl XL, Predictions

I've been far more off than on this NFL Playoff (good thing that I've stayed away from Nevada this year) Season.

But that won't stop me from putting out my guesses as to the results (and they are guesses).

I'm going to be ultra specific (so that I can be spectacularly wrong).

First Quarter:
Both offenses will be tight, neither will attempt anything long, but both teams will put together at least one drive that results in a field goal, score at the end of quarter one, 3-3. Leading Rusher Alexander between 7-10 carries, 37-45 yards, As far as receivers, none will have better than 2 catches or 25 yards total. QBs Matt and Ben will both be at around 60% completion with under 7 attempts for the quarter.

Second Quarter:
Here's when the game get's interesting. Sometime between 7 minutes and 3 minutes remaining in the half Pittsburgh will try their first 'gadget' play of the game. I predict a reverse, then HB pass to a WR. It will result in an interception run back deep into Steeler territory, eventually resulting in Seattle's first touchdown. The defenses will otherwise control the second quarter as well, with Seattle getting one additional field goal. Alexander will have pushed his carries to 15-20 and yardage 60-80. Ben's completion percentage will drop to below 50% while Matt will still be at about 60%, both QBs will have less than 20 attempts by halftime. Score Seattle 13 Pittsburgh 3.

Third Quarter:
After being harrassed for most of the first half Hasselbeck will finally start showing the effects of the hits, hurries and sacks (between 2-3 by mid 3rd Quarter) and will throw his first interception, which will result in Pittsburgh's first touchdown. Pittsburgh will also begin to establish a stronger running game and Bettis/Parker will combine for 75 yards in the 3rd Quarter alone accounting for an additional touchdown. Seattle will look a bit lost for most of the quarter on offense and defense. Score at end of the third quarter Pittsburgh 17 Seattle 13.

Fourth Quarter:
Seattle will regain some form and their linemen will start getting the hang of the blitzes. They'll score quickly on their first possession of the quarter regaining the lead. Pittsburgh will try another trick play that will lead to a large loss and result in a quick three and out. Seattle will put together another solid drive, but stall near the endzone, make their fieldgoal and be leading 23-17 with about 6 minutes left. Pittsburgh will go with got them there, and put together a lengthy, run dominated march down the field that eats up most of the clock and puts the Steelers ahead by 24-23 with between 1:15 and 1:30 left to play.

Seattle will have their timeouts so they won't be forced to abandon the run completely, and with the Pittsburgh secondary in pass protect mode Alexander will get loose and break a gain of +25 yards that will quickly get Seattle past midfield with two timeouts left and first down. Holmgren will manage the clock brilliantly, Hasselbeck will keep his head, and with a 3rd and 12 on about the 20-25 with less than 25 seconds left they'll go for the endzone and one of three things will happen.

A) Jurevicius makes an amazing grab, and Seattle wins their first Superbowl, final score 29-24 Seattle
B) Polamalu blitzes and causes Hasselbeck to fumble, Pittsburgh recovers and Bill Cowher, Jerome Bettis and all of Western Pennsylvania will celebrate the Steelers return to Superbowl mastery, final score 24-23 Pittsburgh
C) Incomplete pass, Seattle lines up for their 4th Down field goal and nail it, final score 26-24 Seattle.

Clearly I'm hedging my bets, but if I had to pick the most likely scenario, I'd go with the Seahawks winning a close one with a final drive that results in a touchdown.

And if you care about the betting here's Bodog's line on the game, and their Team Props, Player Props.

You can really go crazy with the crazy betting on the Superbowl. (all those props are for straight up sucker money, though)

(but I am liking that Kobe +5.5 and his total v. New Orleans on Sat. against the total both teams score on Sunday)

UPDATE: I got a few things right, and had Seattle scored as well as moved the ball well these predictions would have been much closer. Seattle dominated both sides of the ball except for giving up three big plays (the scramble then pass across field, the reverse pass (which if I knew they were going to run, how come it fooled Seattle?) and the longest run from scrimmage in Superbowl history (no excuse for that lapse)). Also Seattle moved the ball at will between their 20 and Pittsburgh's 40 and then repeatedly stalled. If their receivers could have kept their feet inbounds with those long pass plays (more Hasselbeck's fault then the WRs) a completely different game. Oh well, it was still watchable, you got to be happy for Bettis, and I nailed the Kobe thing (he scored 35 on Sat, total both teams 31)

1 comment:

benning said...

I would've enjoyed the Jurevicius prediction - he's a good player, passionate. As Penn State fan, then a Tampa Bay Bucs fan, I enjoyed his play.

Did you get the same Halloween, skeletons-dancing-in-the-graveyard feeling when the Stones did their halftime 'show'?

What a horrid show, and the pregame stuff was unbearable. Then, Aaron Neville needs to retire from national so-called singing work - never did learn if he knows the melody to the anthem. He didn't come close!

What a crummy bunch of idiotic 'entertainment' they foisted on us. And nary a U.S. serviceman or woman to be seen. Classy, huh?

Next time could we just have the game and some marching bands?