Super Bowl Preview: Why the Ravens WinBy James F.
The Super Bowl this year between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers is chock full of side stories to make the game one of the more intriguing Super Bowls in recent memory. There is the Ray Lewis retirement story has been a fascinating story throughout the playoffs as he has faced the possibility of ending his career the last three games, but the Ravens have rallied around him and extended his career each time. Win or lose, this is it for the future Hall of Fame linebacker.
There is the fact that The Ravens and 49ers were both so close a year ago to getting to the Super Bowl, only to lose in heart-breaking fashion in the conference championship games. The Niners lost to the eventual champion New York Giants in overtime thanks to two muffed punts late in the game. The Ravens lost to the New England Patriots on a dropped touchdown and a missed 32 yard field goal in the game’s final three plays. Both teams got back this year and kicked the door in.
Then there is the biggest story of all, the head coaches being brothers. John Harbaugh of the Ravens is going up against his younger brother Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers. This has never happened before, not in football, not in any other sport. Nobody really knows what will happen after this game unfolds. Will there be hard feelings? Will the losing coach be able to get over losing easier knowing his brother is a Super Bowl winner? Nobody really knows.
Then there are the two teams who are really very similar. Both started the season strong. Both stumbled a bit down the stretch. Both turned it on in the playoffs. So, now it is time to get down to it. Who will win the Super Bowl?
The Ravens are a 3.5 point underdog according to Intertops. They also have the Ravens at 2.55 and the 49ers at 1.57. We like the Ravens at 2.55 and here is why.
Ray Rice vs Frank Gore. We like Ray Rice. Rice is tough to tackle. When you can take a screen pass on 4th and 29 and get a first down, that is impressive. Also, Anquan Boldin. The man is a beast. He can be covered but he is so big he will still snatch the ball and watch as a safety just bonces off of him. And then there is Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. The 49ers defense id really good. But these two guys are superstars who have a knack for making the “big plays” on defense. If there is a guy who is most likely to return a pick for a touchdown in this game, it has to be Reed.
Also, Joe Flacco vs Colin Kaepernick. Flacco has the big game experience. He has paid his dues. He knows the pain of losing and how these opportunities don’t come around every day. He will step up on Sunday.
Also, the Ravens are the underdogs for the third straight week. They are used to it. They embrace it. And they will win on Sunday.