The day is finally, the best sports day of the year is upon us. Super Bowl XLVII kicks off today close to 6:30. This years Super Bowl is sure to be an exciting one. Not only will brothers Jim and John Harbaugh oppose each other, but we also get a halftime performance from the lovely Beyonce!
The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will battle for football’s ultimate prize. Now begs the question, which team will end the night hoisting the Lombardi trophy?
The Baltimore Ravens have been riding the wave of Ray Lewis’ last ride. Before the start of the playoffs Lewis announced that he would retire at the end of the season. This news has galvanized the Ravens and now they are in the Super Bowl.
The emergence of Joe Flacco has led the Ravens on the field. Flacco has silenced the critics and led his team to this game. Flacco will need to continue his outstanding play if Baltimore has any shot of winning this game. A victory tonight will undoubtedly elevate Flacco into the elite quarterback category. Flacco will need to find Torrey Williams and Anquan Boldin often and wear out the Niners secondary. Ray Rice is often the forgot man, but he plays such a huge role in not only the ground game, but in the passing game. If Rice can get loose, it may be a long day for the Niners.
Defensively the Ravens older defense will need to muster up all they have and keep the read-option attack of Colin Kaepernick under wraps. If Kaepernick is able to get out in space, the Ravens will be in trouble. If at all possible, they need the make him one dimensional.
Young Colin Kaepernick, inserted midway through the season, has carried the San Francisco 49ers to New Orleans for the Super Bowl.
The dual-threat quarterback has transformed the Niners offense, and they are now an explosive group. The 49ers success in the big game will revolve around the success of Kaepernick. In order to beat the Ravens Kaep will need to have success on the ground and in the air. He’ll need to attack the older, slower Baltimore defense and make them chase him around all night. Lets not forget about Fran Gore. He is still a force on the ground and can put up big numbers. The ground attack is important because it will open up the passing game. San Fran has a healthy pro bowl caliber tight end in Vernon Davis, they’ll need to target him, especially in the red zone. Michael Crabtree has emerged as a number one receiver this year, he’ll need to fin gaps in the defense and provide a target for Kaep.
On the other side of the ball the Niners will need to apply pressure on Joe Flacco. The key to this will be Aldon Smith. Smith has been in a five week sack slump. He is due, and will need a to have a big day. Justin Smith is back, that should limit some of the double teams he is seeing. Patrick Willis will need to be solid on rush and pass defense. The Ravens secondary will be huge also. Chris Culliver and company will need to make sure speedy receivers Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones do not get behind them. They’ll have need to match the physicality of Anquan Boldin.
So who is going to win? I think the San Francisco 49ers offensive attack wi be too explosive for this aging, slower defense. Baltimore’s road to the Super Bowl saw them take down super star drop back quarterbacks. Young Colin Kaepernick poses a different threat that I’m not sure the Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and company can handle. I look for Jim Harbaugh and the San Francisco 49ers to hoist the Lombardi trophy as the winners of Super Bowl XLVII.
49ers 27 Ravens 17