At last, today’s the final day of the 2012-2013 NFL Season and we have the biggest game of the year in American Sports live from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana as the underdog AFC champion Baltimore Ravens face the odds-on-favorite San Francisco 49ers for Super Bowl XLVII. Sadly, there hasn’t been any trash-talking which is a bad thing for the sports and we the media as we’re virtually walking into a Harbaugh Bowl for some first time friendly competition in the big game.
Cont. after the jump.
The Ravens who weren’t sought out by many to make it to today’s game went through elite QB’s Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as well as rookie sensation Andrew Luck proving they could handle the pocket deep passers, but tonight they face one of the most dynamic athletes in NFL History with Colin Kaepernick. Since taking over for Alex Smith as the starting QB, Kaepernick has went 8-2 averaging over 200+ yards a game passing and averaging nearly 50 yards on the rushing end.
Heading into today’s Brotherly Love Super Bowl, the Ravens haven’t been fired up on the defensive end as I expect Ray Lewis’s last pre-game speech to be memorable as he’s going to have to be one to fire their team up. Along with Lewis, Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs have probably their toughest task in their careers today against the San Francisco O-Line. The 49ers have one of the greatest offensive lines in the history of the NFL and arguably the best we’ve seen since the 93’ Cowboys.
Kaepernick’s speed only gives the Ravens secondary more problems which could potentially cause confusion in their entire defensive scheme. If Colin develops the run game early in the game, this could potentially open the flood gates for the long ball to Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree and most all, Randy Moss with Frank Gore waiting in the wings for play-action to run one down at any given moment. For the Ravens offense, young Joe Flacco will be in the biggest moment of his tender 5 year career as outside of the Ravens defense, he’ll be the 2nd most important threat for the San Francisco if Baltimore wants a chance at winning this game.
Leading all post-season quarterbacks with a 114.7 passer rating (Kaepernick 2nd at 105.9) he’s increasing his rating by 27 points by throwing 8 touchdowns with no interceptions for the Ravens last 3 games in the postseason thus far. Flacco’s definitely proven himself as an elite-level QB this post-season as the Ravens future will still look bright on the offensive side of things next season when some of the vets decide to hang it up.
In comparison to Kaepernick, he’ll be facing one of the best defenses in football (if not the best) in the San Francisco 49ers but unlike Colin he doesn’t have the same speed and athleticism he does which will give the 49ers defense a better chance at stopping the long ball in their secondary as well as their tough run defense to stop Ray Rice. Rice who tallied over 1100+ yards in the regular season has yet to have that breakout postseason game this year as he’ll also be a major factor in the outcome of today’s game.
Dennis Pitta who’s been harboring a strained thigh is “probable” for today’s game will have to play through any pain today to give help to the Ravens offense freeing Anquan Boldin & Torrey Smith a few snaps helping Flacco with more targets to choose from.
While that may be the only major injury the Ravens have to deal with, Defensive-Tackle Justin Smith who’s dealing with a torn left triceps tendon will be playing today strictly on adrenaline as he’s expected to have surgery immediately following the game. Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith who also are dealing with (minor) shoulder injuries have been penciled in to play in today’s game as neither team should have any excuses pending the outcome of the game.
Being a life-long University of Miami football fan and growing up watching Joe Montana due to my family being huge 49ers fans, I’m torn in who to cheer for. But with Colin Kaepernick’s bright future and the youth of the 49ers team, I’m leaning towards seeing my veteran Miami alumnus’s leaving the NFL with that Vince Lombardi trophy.
With Alicia Keys opening up with National Anthem and Beyonce slated to end all competition during her halftime performance, we still do have the biggest American game of the year scheduled as we could be in store for an epic instant classic live from the N.O.L.A. Kick-off is expected to take off just past 6:30pm ET as the Super Bowl XLVII emanates live from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.--