It’s finally here. The world’s single biggest sporting event will occur between two NFL powerhouses. Get ready for Super Bowl XLVII by reading this preview.
ProFootballGolden’s September 5th Super Bowl prediction was Baltimore-San Francisco. Emblazoned with headlines, if this magical selection would come true we would truly have a ball on February 3rd.
Indeed, the 49ers and Ravens will be squaring off with no shortage of headlines. Head Coaches Jim and John Harbaugh will have their teams brawl it out for a ring. Ravens LB Ray Lewis is playing in his last game, as his storied career will come to a close.
Here is a preview that will set you up for the big day.
Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore vs. San Francisco, 6:30 PM ET, CBS
San Francisco Offense vs. Baltimore Defense
The Niners offense is explosive. QB Colin Kaepernick is nothing short of versatile; he displays talent in many ways on the football field. The one thing that concerns me is that the 49ers are not meant to come from behind. If they are losing by more than ten, all bets are off as the Baltimore’s defense can take care of business. Lewis is going to be locked and loaded.
Baltimore Offense vs. San Francisco Defense
Ravens QB Joe Flacco is a leader, and RB Ray Rice is a pounder. Both will have career games, as the elite Niners defense will be guessing from kickoff to kneel-down. The aerial attack of Baltimore will be unleashed early on to make the 49ers play the deep pass. Draws and counters will then be utilized, and MLB’s Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman will be thwarted.
Lewis will have your eyes glued to your TV. His highly motivated squad will be swarming all over the ball. His defense, offense, and special teams will be revved up to the maximum human capacity of adrenaline. Ray knows how to win the big games, so keep your eye out for his mentoring of the younger players.
Will Flacco Or Rice Take Control Of The Offense?
Flacco and Rice have been nothing short of phenomenal. When the team needs them to step up, they do so. Flacco led the Ravens in amazing fashion in double overtime against the Denver Broncos a few weeks ago, and Rice once turned a 4th-and-29 into a first down with unparalleled hustle. Flacco will lead the team in the first 3.5 quarters, and Rice will close out the game in bewildering fashion.
Kaep Attack: How Niners Can Use Pistol To Slice Baltimore’s Defense
Ever since Niners HC Jim Harbaugh made the switch from conventional QB Alex Smith to the elusive Kaepernick, San Fran’s offensive attack has been virtually unstoppable. They are heavily relying on the innovative pistol formation, a crossbreed between the shotgun and standard formation. Backs can run through all the gaps. Kaep also has been successful on the read option. To keep the Ravens defense on their knees, the Niners should call a mix of read options. They can send the running back outside and the signal caller inside, and then flip it by sending their running back up the gut and letting Kaep sweep out.
The Case For The 49ers’ Inside Linebackers
Willis and Bowman are two of the league’s top interior linebackers. They are talented at stopping the run and pass, making them nothing short of versatile. The dynamic duo will be a tall task to stop for the Ravens. They will have to mix running inside and outside, and throw in counters and play actions.
Ravens QB Joe Flacco: 21-34, 356 Yards, 2 Touchdowns, 1 Interception
Ravens RB Ray Rice: 21 Rush Attempts, 166 Yards, 1 Touchdown
Ravens WR Torrey Smith: 8 Receptions, 89 Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta: 5 Receptions, 29 Yards, 1 Fumble
Ravens LB Ray Lewis: 12 Tackles, 1 Forced Fumble, 1 Interception
Ravens PK Justin Tucker: 2/2 FG Attempts (Made: 33, 53 Yards), 3/3 Extra Points
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick: 14-24, 189 Yards, 1 Touchdown, 1 Interception, 6 Rush Attempts, 49 Yards, 1 Touchdown
49ers RB Frank Gore: 15 Rush Attempts, 68 Yards, 1 Touchdown
49ers WR Randy Moss: 5 Receptions, 23 Yards, 1 Touchdown
49ers LB Patrick Willis: 9 Tackles, 1 Interception
49ers PK David Akers: 1/2 FG Attempts (Made: 24. Missed: 33), 3/3 Extra Points
Super Bowl MVP Pick: Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco
Final Prediction: Ravens, 27, 49ers, 24
Conclusion: Lewis’s storied career will be rewarded with a ring, as things will fall in Baltimore’s direction. We’ve learned to never doubt #52, and he will lead his squad to a victory in the biggest game of the season.