All the creatures were stirring, even a mouse!
For some, this day is the greatest day of the year. A day filled with great food, great friends, and large amounts of deep fried food. For others, they don’t even know what the super bowl is. But I am here to say that this day is one that can be celebrated by everyone, football and non-football lovers alike. Hopefully, this will be a day that can be shared with your close friends and family as we celebrate one of our nation’s greatest past times: ridiculously overpriced commercial watching (and football of course)!
For those of you who want to know a little more about both teams, here is a preview of the game and some of the major story lines you should keep an eye on!
Super Bowl XLVII
San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens
Feb. 3, 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS
Mercedez-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
San Francisco 49ers (Home)
Record: 13-4-1 (NFC West Champions)
Record in Super Bowl: 5-0
Super Bowls: ’81, ’84, ’88, ’89, ‘95
Baltimore Ravens (Away)
Record: 13-6 (AFC North Champions)
Record in Super Bowl: 1-0
Super Bowls: ‘00
One of the biggest storylines revolving around this year’s Super Bowl is the fact that the opposing head coaches are brothers! Younger brother Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers head coach, and older brother John Harbaugh, the Ravens head coach, will be the first pair of brothers to face each other in a Super Bowl as rival head coaches in NFL history. Sons of a longtime college and professional football coach, Jack Harbaugh, it only seems fitting to see them both compete at the highest level of their sport. Whether it is called HarBowl I, the Super Baugh, the Harbaugh Bowl, the tension for the parents (who are rumored to not even be attending the game in person) will no doubt be high. But the real question remains, who do they root for? That I don’t think will ever be known, but I have to root for John because of his roots to the Eagles!
Flacco vs. Kaepernick
One is in his fifth year as an NFL quarterback, the other is 9 games into his NFL career as a starting QB. One has already played on the biggest stages in the NFL and finally broke through to the Super Bowl, the other is living in the moment of making it to his first NFC Championship game and now Super Bowl.
Kaepernick is not going to be an easy stop for a Ravens defense that has been on the field for 256 plays this postseason and having to stop three of the league’s premier quarter backs, Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to be able to advance to Super Bowl XVLII. The Ravens have allowed a lot of yards during the playoffs – 415.0 per game – but due to the volume of plays run against them, they’re allowing just 4.86 yards per play, the fewest among the 12 playoff teams. The two weeks of rest should help the two elder veterans on the Ravens’ defense, 37-year-old inside linebacker Ray Lewis
(who is set to retire after the game after 17 seasons in the NFL) and 34-year-old free safety Ed Reed (a former Philadelphia Eagle), as well as inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe, who has been battling ankle and back injuries.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco enters the Super Bowl as perhaps the hottest player in the league. After an up-and-down regular season, the 2008 first-round pick out of Delaware has been sensational this postseason, completing 51-of-93 pass attempts for 853 yards with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions for a passer rating of 114.7. With the combination of reshuffling his offensive line (allowing only four sacks this postseason) and a change at the offensive coordinator position to former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, Flacco has been able to capitalize on one of the best receiving crews in the NFL in wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith and tight end Dennis Pitta (a BYU grad, FYI for Rhett).
*All Stats Taken From YahooSports.com*
Relying On A Leg
The difference in this game could come down to the kickers. After 2010 Pro Bowler and All-Pro Billy Cundiff missed a kick that would have forced overtime in last year’s AFC title game, the Ravens replaced him with undrafted rookie Justin Tucker. The former Texas Longhorn standout was 30-of-33 in the regular season and 2-for-2 in the playoffs. Meanwhile, after a phenomenal 2011 season, former Eagle and now the 49ers’ kicker David Akers missed more field-goal attempts in the regular season and missed a 38-yarder off the uprights in last Sunday’s win over the Falcons. Akers’ accuracy has been in question since the end of the regular season, but last week the 49ers’ faith in him was solidified after adding Cundiff to the roster after the regular season, but then waiving him last Friday.
Granted, only 3 of the last 10 Super Bowls have come down to a field goal at the end of the game, but the last timeBeyoncé performed at a Super Bowl, the New England Patriots needed a last second field goal to beat the Carolina Panthers in 2004, 31-28. If that isn’t scientific proof for this game coming down to an end of the game field goal, I don’t know what is!
As the 49ers are the designated home team in the annual rotation between AFC and NFC teams, San Francisco elected to wear their red jerseys, which they wore in Super Bowls XIX, XXIV and XXIX. The Ravens also wore their white jerseys in Super Bowl XXXV, but unlike during that previous game, they will wear black pants instead of white, which they wore in their playoff wins against Denver and New England.
49ers- 28, Ravens- 14