So it is finally here; the biggest sporting event know to mankind: The Super Bowl. Many people thought that this should have been the match-up of last years big game and were disappointed when both teams lost to the Giants and Patriots respectively. Now, all of those downers can get excited because one year later we finally get the Sup-Har-Bowl. Now the big question remains: who is going to win it all? Let’s take a close look:
All signs point towards the Ravens winning this game. It would be a fairy-tale ending to the remarkable career of one Ray Lewis. Also, Baltimore sort of fits the mold of the Super Bowl Champions from the two years prior (in the sense that they are the team that comes from out of nowhere and gets red-hot at the right time). Additionally the Ravens had the good fortune of playing in the Eagles’ home opener this season; for the past three years, the team that takes part in that game has won the Super Bowl (for those of you who are into freak coincidences like that). Anyways, it just seems “right” for Baltimore to win this game. But does all of this really make practical sense? After all, the 49ers seem like the odds on favorite to win this game because they are the more balanced of the two. If we are going off of year-long standards, the Niners had the better offense and defense. Of course one can never discount the value of playing really well when it counts, and both of these teams have done so during the playoffs. In the big scheme of things, it is pretty safe to say that both San Fran and Baltimore have been even during the month of January; and that makes for one hell of a game. With that being said, expect the 49ers to walk away with their sixth Super Bowl victory in six tries.
To elaborate on this, you should consider the X-factor for this game: Colin Kaepernick. When the Ravens have played “mobile” quarterbacks this season (RGIII and Mike Vick), they have finished with a record of 0-2. In both of those games, the Ravens did a nice job in containing those QBs and not allowing them to run wild. Unfortunately that left lanes open for wide-receivers and tight ends over the middle of the field and both guys took full advantage of it. If you would take a look at what happened during the Eagles and Ravens game from Week 2, you would notice that Vick only ran for 34 yards on 10 attempts. However, since the defensive coordinator (Dean Pees) was clogging up the B-gaps and 9-holes, this left the middle of the field open for Brent Celek, who racked up eight grabs for 157 yards. It is possible that Pees will have his guys containing the outside again as well as throwing a spy on Kaepernick in this game. If that is the case, Vernon Davis could find some favorable looks. It will be interesting to see what the Ravens choose to do with Terrell Suggs. In their last game against the Patriots, T-Sizzle was playing a lot of coverage down the field instead of rushing the passer. Baltimore should probably try and roll with a lot of man-to-man coverage in order to prevent receivers from running open in the middle like they were in the NFC Championship game against Atlanta. Colin is deadly with his bullet-passes and if the Ravens fail to get pressure on him, then they could be in for some trouble. If all of what was stated above was too confusing, let’s just say that the 49ers present too many options on offense for an aging Baltimore defense to contend with. Don’t forget that San Fran has a great ground game as well and can chew up yards as well as time of possession with Frank Gore and company. It is almost like a lose-lose situation for the Ravens.
Despite what was said above, this should be a great game. For Baltimore to really succeed in this one, they will have to get pressure in Kaepernick’s face with a bull-rush out the middle. They will need to make sure that they have a lot of bodies around the line of scrimmage as well as not allowing lanes to open up for him to escape and run. Anyways, the 49ers should get the job done and little Jimmy will walk out with the Lombardi Trophy in front of his older brother. (Talk about an awkward night at the dinner table)…
San Francisco 25, Baltimore 21