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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Slavin’s game plan

Published: February 3, 2006
Section: Sports

This Sundays 40th Super Bowl, being held in Detroit, should be another great game, as the physical defense and running game of the Pittsburgh Steelers will take on the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks, with their impressive ground attack. The two teams havent faced each other since November of 2003, a time when both were radically different, and not nearly as respected across the league.

The Steelers are coming in on a hot streak, with 7 straight wins, a streak that started in week 14 of the regular season and has spanned 5 away games, 3 of which were in the playoffs against such daunting teams as the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. This championship is especially important to Jerome Bettis, who was about to retire last year after his 13th season. After losing in the AFC Championship Game, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger begged him to play one more year, promising him a trip to his first super bowl.

The Seahawks have also had a challenging road to Detroit, having beaten the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago. They were 1st in total points in the NFL this year and third in rushing offense, led by MVP Shaun Alexander, who had 1880 yards and 27 touchdowns on the ground. Despite a concussion Alexander sustained earlier in the postseason, he will most likely play, as this is his first Super Bowl.

Personally, I have to pick the Steelers to win this weekend in Detroit. Both teams have excellent rushing offenses, but I like the Steelers' passing game with young QB Roethlisberger, quick, smart receivers like Hines Ward and Antwaan Randle EL, and their hard-hitting defense. Their long win streak gives them a distinct advantage, and is almost reminiscent of the World Champion Patriots who have had great success in the last few Super Bowls.