It is a cool thing to have brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl, but every media outlet is forcing it down our throats to the point of making you sick. The same thing is going on with the Ray Lewis retirement story. Now that I’ve got that out of my system let’s look at the game.
Will the rejuvenated Ravens defense have an answer for stopping 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick? They did a great job against Tom Brady and Peyton Manning during the AFC Playoffs, but Kaepernick’s ability to run is something that neither Hall-Of-Famer brings to the table. Kaepernick can do some serious damage with his legs, go ask the Green Bay Packers who were torched for 181 yards on the ground by the young QB.
The Ravens did face a similar QB in RG3, but I don’t think that means anything because they were missing key players in that game. This looks like an entirely different unit in my opinion.
I like the way this unit has come together in the postseason now that they have guys back healthy. They’ve forced eight turnovers in their three playoff wins coming into this game and seem to be locked in.
Trying to contain the 49ers ground game is going to be the key. Three of their four losses during the regular season came when they were held to less than 100 yards rushing.
I think the 49ers defense is highly overrated and their pass rush has been lacking since DE Justin Smith tore his triceps in Week 15. Aldon Smith hasn’t had a sack since Smith’s injury and that must change if the 49ers are going to have a chance at winning this game. They can’t afford to let QB Joe Flacco have all day to throw the football because he will make them pay if they do.
The Ravens have the edge in the kicking game as well and that could be the deciding factor in a close game. Rookie Justin Tucker ( 30 of 33 ) has been almost automatic for the Ravens and has a very strong leg. Tucker’s a perfect 2 for 2 in the postseason.
It’s been a brutal season for 49ers kicker David Akers ( 29 of 42 ) and he had a miss in the NFC Championship Game. He’s missed eight of his last 20 attempts. I understand coach Jim Harbaugh’s decision to stick with the veteran kicker. But will Akers’ slump have any impact on the coach’s decision-making?
I’m sick of hearing about the Harbaugh brothers and Ray Lewis’ impending retirement, let’s play some football!
My Pick: Ravens 27-16