SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — It’s official: Two-thirds of the Arizona Cardinals want — actually, they don’t want — they believe the Seattle Seahawks will win the Super Bowl.
In a non-scientific poll with no margin of error, two out of three Cardinals interviewed this week at the Waste Management Phoenix Open favor their NFC West division rival over the Denver Broncos in Sunday’s big game.
“Much as I hate to say it, I’m going to have to go with the defense. Defense wins championships and that’s a known fact. I’ve got to go with the Seahawks,” Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said prior to teeing off in the Annexus Pro-Am.
Kicker Jay Feely also picked the Seahawks, sort of.
“I’m pulling for Denver and Peyton Manning. I’d love to see him win that, and I don’t want to see Seattle win but I think Seattle is going to win. I think their defense is too tough,” he said during the CBS Outdoor Special Olympics Open. “They’ve got a great secondary. They’ll be able to shut down those receivers. And the worse the weather is the more it helps Seattle. They’re comfortable in that. They want to run the ball.
“They want it ball control. If it’s bad weather, obviously Denver is not going to be as effective throwing the ball.”
The respect for Manning and what he has done, not only this season but throughout his entire career, is what swayed head coach Bruce Arians’ prediction on the game.
“I think it’s going to be a great game. I hope the weather doesn’t affect it too bad. I think Peyton will win it in the end,” he said.
Full disclosure: Arians was Manning’s first quarterbacks coach. During the three seasons they were together in Indianapolis, Manning completed 60.4 percent of his passes for 12,287 yards and 85 touchdowns.
So, Coach Arians, are you making that prediction with your head or your heart?
“Both,” he said.
Feely, meanwhile, headed to New York Thursday. He’s one of three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which will be announced Saturday. The winner of the award will be recognized on the field prior to kickoff of the Super Bowl.
If that’s Feely, then, yes, he’ll be at the game, albeit a little begrudgingly he admitted.
“I never want to go see another person play in the game that you want to be in, especially watching Seattle,” he said with a smile.
Back to Peterson.
Does it hurt to say the Seattle Seahawks are going to win?
“It definitely does,” he said laughing.