By Daniel Hill
When the San Francisco 49ers play their brand of football, they cannot be beaten. In all but one of their losses this year, their opponent jumped out to a quick lead and San Francisco couldn’t regroup and get back into the football game.
The 49ers did suffer two blowout losses this year. The New York Giants beat them 26-3 and the Seattle Seahawks beat them 42-13.
The 49ers have learned how to battle back from early deficits. This is due in large part to the maturation of Colin Kaepernick at quarterback.
In the NFC Championship game, Atlanta jumped out to an early 17-0 lead, but Kaepernick regrouped, and San Francisco made adjustments to beat the Falcons. Kaepernick had an efficient day and was 16 of 21 passing for 233 yards and one touchdown.
The 49ers are dominant at the point of attack on the line of scrimmage. With Frank Gore and LaMichael James in the backfield, the 49ers were fourth in the NFL in rushing yards for the season. Kaepernick adds another dimension to the rushing attack with the utilization of the zone read offense. On defense the 49ers have six Pro Bowl players to Baltimore’s two.
It’s nearly impossible to run against the 49ers front seven, and they generate so much pass rush that it’s tough to succeed with the aerial attack. With dominant defense and a diverse offense, the 49ers should outmuscle the Baltimore Ravens and establish their physical dominance. The Ravens are an aging team on defense. They defeated Indianapolis, Denver and New England in the AFC playoffs, but the 49ers are on a higher tier physically than those three teams.
Super Bowl XLVII might not have much offensive fireworks, but it will be filled with brutal hits and a physical brand of football. The 49ers will outlast the Ravens in this heavyweight bout.
By Greg DeVries
The San Francisco 49ers will easily win this year’s Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens. All eyes will be on second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but the Ravens will not have an answer to what he brings to the table.
In his second game of the playoffs against the Atlanta Falcons, Kaepernick was 16-21 passing for 233 yards and a touchdown. Even if the Ravens are ready for a quarterback whose efficiency is as high as Kaepernick’s, he can also run the ball. In his first game of the playoffs against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns. He can beat a defense a lot of ways, and Baltimore’s defense is not the Raven’s defense of old.
This Ravens defense ranks closer to the middle of the pack. They allow 228 yards per game through the air and another 123 on the ground. This ranks 17th and 20th in the league respectively.
The Ravens will have a tough time trying to slow down this surprisingly productive San Francisco offense. Despite being known as a defensive team, San Francisco’s offense ranked 11th in total yards and in points per game during the regular season.
With playmakers like Kaepernick, running back Frank Gore, tight end Vernon Davis and wide receiver Michael Crabtree, San Francisco just has too many weapons for the Ravens to handle.
Defensively, the 49ers are stout. They own the line of scrimmage and disrupt offenses by playing physical football. The team’s leading tackler is NaVorro Bowman, who recorded 149 tackles on the season. To put this in perspective, Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis only recorded 57 tackles on the year. The 49ers had six players record more than 60 tackles on the year, and three of them were linebackers. The 49ers’ pass rush is led by second-year linebacker Aldon Smith. Smith had 19.5 sacks on the season. Only one player on Baltimore’s defense recorded more than five.
By Parmida Schahhosseini
At 6 pm, Feb. 3 the stage will be set for two brothers as their teams battle in the trenches toward the ultimate goal of hoisting a Lombardi Trophy.
The “Superbaugh,” as many are starting to call it, is going to be a great matchup as the two coaches, Jim and John Harbaugh, will try and earn the victory for their respective teams. The Ravens had to deal with the injury to Terrell Suggs, the loss of their shutdown cornerback Lardarius Webb, and injuries to linebacker Ray Lewis.
However, despite the adversity, the playoffs are a different animal. The Ravens have been playing well. Injured playmakers got back together on defense in the first playoff game. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is playing at a high level with eight touchdowns and zero interceptions during the postseason. The Ravens offense has scored touchdowns in nine of their nine red zone trips. On the other side of the ball, the Ravens defense has only allowed 43 points in the three postseason games.
This game can belong to anyone, but this is the Ravens year. The 49ers haven’t been as strong against physical teams such as the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants, and the Ravens play physical football.
While the 49ers do have Colin Keapernick, the Ravens did a good job on RG3, who plays a similar style, with a depleted defense. The Ravens beat the Colts, Peyton Manning and the Patriots at Foxborough after trailing 13-6 in the half. The Patriots were 67-0 when leading at the half. The Ravens’ season ended in New England last year, but they came back and got revenge. After defeating the Colts, Ray Rice called this team the “team of destiny.” An announcer called the Seahawks the “team of destiny” after Marshawn Lynch scored a touchdown as they came back from a 20 point deficit during Atlanta’s game against the Seahawks. Seattle lost 30 seconds later to a Matt Bryant field goal. The Ravens are a team of destiny.