Commentary

Five matchups to watch in Super Bowl XLIII

These five individual matchups could determine which team wins Super Bowl XLIII, writes Jeremy Green.

Originally Published: January 30, 2009
By Jeremy Green | Scouts Inc.

Here are five matchups that could determine the winner of Super Bowl XLIII:

1. Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger vs. Arizona S Adrian Wilson

Every single time Roethlisberger comes to the line of scrimmage, he will need to identify where No. 24 (Wilson) is. Arizona defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast does an excellent job of moving Wilson all over the field -- especially late in the snap count -- so the opposing QB doesn't have time to check out of a potentially bad play call. It will be important for the Steelers to be sharp in terms of getting their plays in and getting in and out of the huddle quickly. Wilson will align everywhere, but is best coming forward as a blitzer. He is a player who has some big play/bad play to him, so Pittsburgh's goal will be to identify him on the blitz and neutralize him, as well as find him when he is in the deep half or third in coverage to take advantage of him. If they can do that, the Steelers have a chance to be successful on offense.

2. Arizona QB Kurt Warner vs. Pittsburgh S Troy Polamalu

Warner will have to identify No. 43 (Polamalu) every time he comes to the line. While Wilson can change the game as a blitz player, Polamalu can change it via the blitz or in coverage. Look for Arizona to continue its trend of playing from the shotgun formation, which should negate Polamalu as a blitz player. Warner gets rid of the ball quickly, and if Polamalu can't get there, he is basically going to be playing catch-up all game. Also look for Arizona to stretch the field vertically early in this game. Polamalu is excellent in coverage as well, but Arizona feels the further it can keep him off the line of scrimmage, the better off it will be as the game goes on.