Random Ramblings by PalmerSucks
January 29, 2009
OK, this time I really am out of here, but before I go�
Mill made an excellent comparison in his commentary with Super Bowl XIV and this Sunday�s matchup. Like now, the opposition was a heavy underdog (a lot heavier than Sunday�s, in fact) yet gave the Stillers all they could handle. They too pulled off trick plays, in XIV catching the Stillers flatfooted on a halfback option pass for a shocking early TD. Though the final score didn�t reflect it, the game was in doubt most of the way.
I attribute a lot of what went on to Bud Carson being a member of the Rams� staff, and being so familiar with the Stillers� schemes and player personnel. Now Kenny Jis steps into that role, and if there�s any advantage to be had from such familiarity, it will fall to the Cardinals.
But the �08 Cardinals aren�t the �79 Rams, and Kurt Warner is no Vince Ferragamo. No, the team that the Stillers will be facing Sunday, in so many regards and respects is � wait for it � the 2004 Cincinnati Bengals.
Like the �08 Cards, the �04 Bengals featured a leading passer (some might say a leading choker, but that�s for another time) and 3 legitimate receiving threats. The receivers didn�t possess blazing speed, but had size, quickness and the ability to beat defenders to the ball downfield. Together they were quite a load for any defense to handle.
Fine � that�s the obvious part. But where I really see the similarity of �08 Cards/�04 Bengals is with the defenses: both can be called �opportunistic,� which is code for �they�d really be a joke if they didn�t create all those turnovers.�
I mentioned in the other commentary how many yards the Cardinals defense has yielded during the playoffs. In so many ways, they�re just not that good. However, like the Bengals of a few years ago, they use turnovers as deodorant to cover up their stink. So far in the playoffs the Cards� D has notched a dozen takeaways, one of which went for a touchdown and to me was the key play in their opener vs. Atlanta.
Show me the team that�s notching 4 turnovers a game, and I�ll show you the winning squad. That�s why � again � the �real� game matchup is Stillers� offense vs. Cards� defense. And picks and fumbles, not slants and outs, are the key.
The next time you hear the media hyping Warner, remember, the Cards would be sitting at home if not for the turnovers caused by their defense. Like the Bengals D, however, this unit�s about as tough as wet cheesecloth � and dead in the water if they don�t steal the ball. I always had this to say about playing Cincinnati: you might still beat them if you turn it over more than they do, but no way they beat you if they don�t win the turnover battle. We�ll see how this plays out Sunday.
(The views of PalmerSucks are not necessarily those of Stillers.com -- but should be.)