Super Bowl Sunday is finally upon us and it couldn’t have come quick enough. With all the non stop talk about the Harbaugh brothers matching up to Ray Lewis playing for the final time, its finally time to stop talking about it and let the play on the field speak for itself. But until then a little more talking.
The San Francisco 49ers enter the Super Bowl with a record of 11-4-1 after winning the NFC West title for the second year in a row. After last years disappointing NFC championship defeat to the eventual Super Bowl Champion New York Giants, the Niners return to their 6th Super Bowl with a record of 5-0 in their previous 5 appearances.
The Baltimore Ravens enter the big game with a record of 10-6 after winning the AFC North title in back to back years. Similar to the Niners, the Ravens avenged their heartbreaking loss last year to the New England Patriots in the AFC championship game by beating them convincingly in New England two weeks ago and return to their second Super Bowl in team history.
A good Super Bowl has to have good story lines to keep the conversation going during the weeks before it and this one has plenty of backdrop. This game has been named the “Harbowl” by many because of the coaching matchup between the San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh and the Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh. This being the first time in NFL history two brothers will be coaching against each other in the Super Bowl. Another big story heading into the game will be the final appearance of Ray Lewis in a NFL game. The sure fire hall of famer will end his 17 year career sunday trying to win his second Super Bowl and ride off into the sunset in the most perfect way possible. Another future hall member who will try to get his first Lombardi trophy will be Randy Moss, playing in his second and possibly last Super Bowl, knows he does not have many years left so he must make the most of this opportunity.
Colin Kaepernick leads the high powered Niners offense that has been firing on all cylinders this postseason into the big game to face Lewis and the Ravens always tough defense in one of the big match-ups this sunday. Kaepernick will shine on the big stage as he has done all year while in games and help the Niners get the lead early. His natural athleticism will cause countless problems for the Ravens defense throughout the game but the Ravens will fight back.
One big question mark for the Ravens seemingly all year has been quarterback Joe Flacco. After a shaky regular season, Joe showed critics he could deal by throwing 8 touchdown passes while not throwing a single interception this postseason, beating Indianapolis, Denver, and New England. Joe will make a early mistake that the 49ers will capitalise on and take the lead early. Joe will bounce back with the help of running back Ray Rick and keep up with Kaepernick.
One playmaker that I believe will be a big difference maker will be 49ers running back Frank Gore. With all of the attention seemingly on Kaepernick, Frank will not have the defense watching him all game, giving him opportunities to make big plays for the 49ers. Expect Frank to find the endzone a few times on sunday.
The Niners offense will exploit the Ravens defense’s flaws to take a early but the Ravens who have been riding on the will of Ray Lewis for the postseason. Joe Flacco will get the Ravens close at halftime with the help of wide recievers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. The game will stay close with each team trading possessions till the Niners take a double digit lead. The Ravens will fight back and make the game close late, but the Niners strong defense lead by Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis will shut the Ravens offense down and hold on to the lead for good. The San Francisco 49ers will win their 6th Super Bowl trophy and end Ray Lewis’s magical last ride. Frank Gore will get the MVP and the Niners will return to the top of the NFL.
San Francisco 27 Baltimore 20