The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Who captures Bowl?

by Daniel Sayers
reporter

   Super Bowl XL pits the Seattle Seahawks against the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most coveted trophy in sports.
   The Matt Hasselbeck-led offense comes into this game as the No. 1 seed from the NFC.
   The Steelers, the sixth seed from the AFC, have played three straight road playoff games. The Seahawks held the best record in the NFC and have played brilliantly in their previous two playoff games but have faced nothing like the Steelers team.
   Winning is possible but much scheming and plotting must be done with a little luck thrown in.
   The Seahawks have one of the most prolific offenses in the league. With Shaun Alexander averaging 4.7 yards per carry, the team has plenty of firepower.
   The question is how do they slow down the Steelers blitzing 3-4 defense and create running lanes for Alexander?
   The Seahawks will have to start the game with their offense wide open hoping to stretch out that blue-collar defense and create those running lanes.
   One option for the Hawks is starting the game with a three-receiver/one-tight end set and allow tight end Jerramy Stevens to stretch the middle of the field using hot routes, check downs, seams and corner routes.
   Involving Stevens early will most likely get safeties Troy Polamalu and Chris Hope on their toes and keep them from their run responsibilities.
   Stevens, this offense’s x-factor, must find a way to get open.
   His presence will allow Darrel Jackson, Bobby Engram and Joe Jurevicius to start sinking under and over the safety with dig routes and post patterns, even some quick slants.
   And, of course, once the defense starts back pedaling, here come the delayed hand-offs, draws, ISOs and dives.
   Then Alexander would have lots of options and plenty of running space.
   It will take extreme execution and precision from the Hawks offensive line and quarterback Hasselbeck.
   The Steelers defensive linebackers are the best in the game. No doubt, they will be all over Alexander the entire game.
   But if the Seahawks can get the Steelers out of rhythm with an even balance of run and pass, a little play action here a little shout gun spread out there, these guys will be running all over the place.
   Then, suddenly, Alexander’s job would become all too easy, especially for a guy who had 28 touchdowns in the regular season and rushed for 1,880 yards.
   The Seahawks have several tactics they can use super Sunday to shut down the Steelers offense.
   They can stack eight men in the box, stop the pounding from Bettis and lock the corner and safety doubled up on Ward.
   Antwaan Randle El is fast and elusive, but Big Ben does not look his way that often.
   Or they can play an aggressive 4-3 defense with an outside emphasis on Parker, with a soft-cover-two/switch-cover-three defense keeping everything in front of them.
   But with the NFL’s best pass rush defense leading in sacks with 50, the Seahawks could easily cause Big Ben to make some key mistakes.
   Do not expect either of these teams to step out on the field and put up 400 or 500 yards of offense. The day will be a grind-it-out, play-it-safe Super Bowl. Not that there won’t be some excitement. The tricky Steelers will attempt some wild plays in this game. But it will come down to the last person with the ball and the quality of the kicker.

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