Ravens and 49ers All Set To Fight It Out In New Brawl-eans
After all the talk, it’s finally here. After all the planning, the hype, and hoopla, it’s finally here. No, not the zombie apocalypse, it’s Super Bowl XLVII. We all know the two big story lines: the Harbaugh brothers squaring off in the most anticipated family battle since Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader matched light saber skills, and Ray Lewis playing his final game in the biggest farewell since Hawkeye got his discharge papers to leave Vietnam.
The historical numbers are there too. San Francisco tries to tie Pittsburgh for the most Super Bowl victories in NFL history (the consensus new name would be San Fran-six-co). It will be the first time two teams that have never lost a Super Bowl, with a minimum of one appearance, have squared off in the big game with the 49ers being 5-0 and Baltimore being 1-0. The Ravens also come into the game with the best winning percentage in playoff history at 13-7 (.650).
The most interesting facet of the game will be when San Fran has the ball and Colin Kaepernick lines up under center. As much as Baltimore is known for its tenacious defense, they have has as much trouble this year with mobile quarterbacks as Lindsay Lohan has of not getting arrested. Philadelphia’s Mike Vick and Washington’s Robert Griffin III each ran for only 34 yards against the Ravens but the defense focused so much attention on stopping the run that they let the QBs throw for 371 yards and 246 yards, respectively. Both tossed a TD and Vick ran one in. It’s no coincidence Baltimore lost both games. They will hard pressed to stop Kaepernick from running wild as only two games back he set the NFL record for rushing yards in a game (regular season or playoffs) by a QB with 181 against Green Bay. The next week when Atlanta took away Colin’s running lanes the young signal caller torched the Falcons to the tune of 233 passing yards.
Stopping the rush is easier said than done. Even with Kaepernick only taking over in week 10 the 49ers ranked fourth in the league in rushing with 155.7 yards per game. That number ballooned to 236 in the postseason. However, Baltimore may have an advantage when the ball switches sides. While San Francisco only allowed 294.4 yards a game this season (3rd best in the league) they regressed greatly against Atlanta two weeks ago. The 49ers allowed 396 passing yards to Matt Ryan and a total of 477 yards of offense. Joe Flacco will need speedster Torey Smith and the sure-handed Anquan Boldin to make big and timely plays to stay in the game.
More important than any of these stats is the story of Ray Lewis. Not because he is almost certain to retire after the game, but because he is so close to breaking a historic NFL record. Ray Lewis is this close the being the all-time crier in football lore. With only 26 more tears shed Lewis will pass former head coach Dick Vermeil for the elusive mark. In order for an eye droplet to qualify as a “tear” it must travel .75 millimeters down a persons cheek. When asked how he felt about possibly falling to number two Vermeil simply stated “if it happens, I think I’ll shed a tear or two”. Wow, powerful stuff!!
**NOTE** Nothing in the preceding paragraph was true (Don’t you people know a joke when you hear one??)
All jokes aside this is one of the hardest Super Bowls to pick. With my heart I would take the Ravens. They’re on a magical run, Flacco is playing out of this world and as I’ve said before it just has the same feeling as the NY Giants improbable championship runs. But…I once heard to never bet with your heart, bet with your head (I either heard my dad say it or one of the puppets on Sesame Street). With my head I have to take the San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl XLVII. They’re just the better team and make more plays.
Final score : 31-24 as Kaepernick wins MVP honors.