Super Bowl Comparison – Offensive Line & Defenses

Jan 26, 2009


I continue the Super Bowl comparisons with a look at the Offensive Line and Defenses.

Arizona attempted 630 passes and was sacked 28 times.  That averages a Sack every 22.5 pass attempts.  Pittsburgh attempted 506 passes and was sacked 49 times.  That’s a Sack every 10.3 pass attempts.  I realize Kurt Warner has a quick release and Big Ben is more likely to try and make a play with his feet that could lead to additional Sacks, but clearly Arizona has better pass protection.  Arizona has even improved in the playoffs allowing just three Sacks in 92 pass attempts (30.7).  Pittsburgh is prety much a constant with five Sacks in 59 attempts (11.8) What about run blocking?  Pittsburgh outran Arizona 1690 to 1178.  However,  their yards per carry was 3.7 while Arizona’s was 3.5, which put them 29th and 31st in the league.  Plus, Pittsburgh had just two more rushing TDs than Arizona.  In the playoffs Pittsburgh is averaging 3.1 yards per carry, but they did face Baltimore, which has to count for something.  Arizona is at 3.3 yards per carry in the playoffs.  Pittsburgh has a slightly better run protection, but overall the Cards have the better unit.

Advantage:  Arizona

Now let’s turn to the Defenses.  Pittsburgh not only has Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, but they also lay claim to the league’s #1 Defense.  They allowed just 237.2 yards per game, which was almost 100 yards more than Arizona (331.5).  They also led the league in fewest points allowed at 13.9.  Arizona was 28th at 26.6.  Besides Harrison, Pittsburgh was led led by Troy Polamalu (7 INTs), James Farrior (133 Tackles), and LaMarr Woodely (11.5 Sacks).  Arizona was led by Karlos Dansby (119 Tackles), Adrian Wilson (75 Tackles, 2 INTs), and Rookie Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (4 INTs).  In the playoffs Arizona has narrowed the gap, but Pittsburgh clearly has the better Defensive unit.

Advantage:  Pittsburgh

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7 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Frank
    January 26th, 2009 at 8:06 am #

    Well done on crunching numbers to give us a better view. Good stuff!

  2. LestersLegends
    January 26th, 2009 at 8:08 am #

    Thanks Frank.

  3. CK0712
    January 26th, 2009 at 8:23 am #

    but clearly Arizona has better pass protection

    thank you, i was beginning to think it was only I who thought this.

  4. LestersLegends
    January 26th, 2009 at 8:30 am #

    part of it is big ben holding on to it too long vs. warners quick release, but I still give the edge to arizona here.

  5. CK0712
    January 26th, 2009 at 9:11 am #

    agreed!! warner works good under pressure too!

    i do give the edge of the dline to the steelers as well, however dominique has shown some very very solid potential to be a beast in the bowl!

  6. LestersLegends
    January 26th, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Ben makes mistakes so I could see him picking one off.

  7. CK0712
    January 26th, 2009 at 9:22 am #

    again, agreed! dominique has over come alot to even get in the draft but to actually be picked, given his “health” issue, they made a big deal over. Now look, he’s turned into a solid player & will only grow better as time goes on!
    i really do need a football fix lester’s……sunday was boring LMAO!

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