The match up for Super Bowl XLVII is incredibly difficult to call. Both teams have overcome adversity, and both teams have weaknesses. In fact, I don’t totally trust either quarterback, or defense. Baltimore shut out the New England Patriots in the second half of the AFC Championship game, but San Francisco runs a totally different offense. San Francisco plays physical, but their defense almost let the Atlanta Falcons run away with the game early on in the NFC Championship game.
As for the quarterbacks, Joe Flacco has won playoff games in each of his seasons in the league, but he has also lost playoff games in each of those seasons. Colin Kaepernick has great skills, but he was shut down by the Seattle Seahawks in a prime time match up earlier in the season.
Both teams also have questions on special teams. San Francisco’s place kicker, David Akers, has missed several field goal attempts. The Baltimore Ravens, on the other hand, have a better kicker in Justin Tucker, but have been known to blow coverages on kick offs and punts.
In the passing game, The Ravens have a slight edge with their deep threat of Flacco to Torrey Smith. Anquan Boldin, and Dennis Pitta are solid, but The 49ers have the better overall receiving corps with Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss, and Vernon Davis.
Both teams are solid in the run game. Baltimore’s Ray Rice is the top rusher in the playoffs this season with 247 yards. However, Frank Gore is number three with 230 yards in one less game. Right behind him is San Francisco quarterback Colin Kapernick has put up a jaw-dropping 202 yards rushing in his first NFL postseason. 183 of those yards came in one game against the Green Bay Packers.
Historically, both teams boast impressive records. San Fransisco is undefeated in five trips to the Super Bowl, and Baltimore has won one Super Bowl, and holds the best post season record of any team in history at .650. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco also has the most wins away from home of any quarterback in history at six.
San Francisco’s last Super Bowl victory was in 1988. Baltimore’s was in 2000. Because the 49ers history is much older than the Ravens’, I don’t see that playing any part in predicting this game. While they still have the mystique of being the 49ers, they are only three years removed from being one of the most underachieving teams in football. At the same time, the Ravens have been in the thick of the hunt for the better part of the past fourteen seasons.
In the previous round, both teams beat pass-first teams to get to the game, so it’s hard to tell how either will react to each other’s run-first attacks. But, it might be fair to say that the game will go to which ever team manages to pull off the first big pass plays, and if it comes down to that, my money is on Joe Flacco.
Being that both teams dodged bullets to get to the super bowl. The Ravens had a miraculous comeback against the Broncos, and the 49ers mounted an impressive come back against the Falcons. That should indicate that this game will be competitive until the end, even if one team gets off to a quick start.
On the line, the edge should go to San Francisco’s defense vs. Baltimore’s offense. Running the ball will be a challenge. So, I expect Baltimore to pass early to set up the run. Don’t be surprised if they take a shot at the endzone on first or second down of their first drive if they are not trailing.
San Francisco, on the other hand, has to hope that their read option offense has enough spark to confuse a veteran Ravens defense led by Ray Lewis who may have lost a step in terms of speed, but still reads an offense as well as anybody in history. I expect the Ravens to minimize Kaepernick’s rushing attack forcing Frank Gore to provide the bulk of the ground yards. Meanwhile, Kaepernick will have to rely on his arm, the major factor that set him apart from his teammate Alex Smith. Expect Gore to have a big game, and expect Kaepernick to air it out.
In the end, I believe that the Ravens’ experience, will outmatch the youth of the 49ers. The Ravens have spent years deliberatley improving their offense. The plan was to balance out their great defense to have a shot to win a super bowl. Now that they have made it back to the dance, I expect them to show up with their laces tied tight, and ready to rumble.
Ravens: 24 49ers: 17
Tags: afc, Alex Smith, Anquan Boldin, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Colin Kaepernick, David Akers, Dennis Pitta, featured, football, Frank Gore, Joe Flacco, Justin Tucker, Michael Crabtree, NFC, nfl, Popular, Previews, Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, San Francisco 49ers, Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVII, Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis
Well I figured I should say something after this devastating loss while the feelings are still raw. I won’t be joining with the chorus of second-guessers who need to point the finger at somebody as nothing at this point will bring back that winning Field Goal by the Atlanta Falcons. The Seahawks played tough , made a valiant effort and came up a little short after an amazing season that in a couple of months will give us all a lot of hope for next year.
Russell Wilson is definitely the real deal and we are seeing the development of the “changing of the guard” so to speak wherein Peyton Manning, Ray Lew Lewis and Tony Gonzalez type players give way to RG III, Colin Kaepernick and our own style of running QBs led by Wilson. This was not our year to go all the way but next year we will be ready and hopefully we can win the division and have the Hawks play here in Seattle with us the 12th Man there to give them that little edge they needed to go all the way this year.
Of course saying all of this doesn’t make it any easier for fans like me who have been following the Seahawks since they got started in 1976 back in the old Kingdome. I’m not sure how many emotional ups and downs my Higher Power has left for me here on this planet but I’m hoping he lets me hang around till we win it all. Life isn’t always easy but if nothing else being a Seattle Sports fan sure builds character…..Go Hawks!
From: Seattle Sportsnet
On behalf of: Concerned fantasy football owners everywhere
Date: September 17, 2012
First of all, congratulations on winning the first two games of the 2012 season. By virtue of record, your Falcons are better than 26 other ballclubs in the league. That’s a hell of an accomplishment. And on top of that, the team’s offense is flourishing, making your job among the most secure in America right now. That’s fantastic.
Anyway, enough with the small talk. I’m not writing to you today to comment on your success, great as it may be. I’m writing to you because I need your help.
You see, I am the proud owner of both Michael Turner and Julio Jones in my most important fantasy football league. As fate would have it, however, my team is struggling. You can probably imagine why. I have invested quite a bit in two of your employees, and yet here we are headed into Week Three and I don’t like what I’m seeing from these guys. Allow me to explain.
To begin, let’s talk about Julio Jones. My god, that man is a beast. He is the AK-47 of your offense, a bona fide assault rifle. Why you’ve decided not to fire him all up and down the field in fifty-percent of your games thus far is absolutely befuddling to me. Sure, he may be covered. Yes, he may even be double-teamed. But I know he’s faster than nearly every defensive back in the league. Send him on a go route every play. He’ll be open most of the time. He cannot be contained. He’s a dominating specimen. And he’s weird-looking, too. Which is good, because weird-looking players always play with a chip on their shoulder. They have to prove something looking all weird like that. Seriously. Just look at him. He looks like Seal with dreads. Or at least he did before he cut his hair. Now I guess he kinda just looks like Seal. It’s freakin’ weird.
If Julio is an AK-47, then that makes Roddy White a shotgun. He’s alright. Good for a couple blasts a game, nothing more. If you’re counting on a shotgun to be an explosive force, well let me tell you, you’re gonna lose more battles than you win, that’s just a fact. If shotguns were that great, no one would have invented assault rifles. Likewise, if Roddy White was that special, the Falcons wouldn’t have drafted Julio Jones. It’s a metaphor that kind of makes sense; let’s roll with it.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is this: Roddy White doesn’t need 11 targets a game like he had in Week Two. That’s far too many targets. Julio only got four targets to White’s 11. That’s not balanced. That’s like buying one of your kids a new Ferrari, then giving the other kid a hand-me-down Taurus. You have to love your kids equally. Why are you being a bad parent to Julio Jones?!
Sticking with the gun analogy, here comes Tony Gonzalez, your musket. Man, is that dude ancient. Every time he makes a catch, I feel like I’ve been robbed by the little old lady on the scooter from Dumb and Dumber. And I didn’t even see it coming! Throwing the ball to this guy should be considered assisting the elderly. I hope someone in the organization signs off on your community service every time you draw up a play for him. It’s nice that you guys keep him around and all, but Tony should be off somewhere ordering from the back of the menu at Denny’s. Let’s get past the fact that he’s a good guy and once played the game at a superior level. He’s Shadow from Homeward Bound. Yeah, he can still get it done a bit, but we all know that no one really likes him the way they like Chance and Sassy. He moves slowly and smells funny. The reaction he inspires from onlookers is one of sympathy above all else. He shouldn’t be catching touchdowns. Let’s get him in a rocking chair, pronto.
Enough about the passing game. You get my drift. More Julio, less everyone else.
Moving on. Michael Turner. The Burner. Is he the greatest player to ever emerge from Northern Illinois University? Probably. Did I do any research to back up my claim? No. But we’ll work off that assumption anyway. It’s Northern Illinois.
The Burner has a mere 28 carries on the year. Twenty-eight!!! I realize you came out before the season and said Turner’s workload would be reduced, but why? Just because the dude’s 30 now? He’s fresh! He didn’t even do much his first few years in the league! Just sat there on San Diego’s sideline holding LaDainian Tomlinson’s baseball cap, probably thinking about all the chicks he was gonna rail after the game. Those legs are doing fine! He doesn’t need rest! And frankly, just look at those legs. They’re like mini refrigerators. I don’t know even know how that dude takes shits without breaking toilets. What happened? Did he break your toilet? Are you upset about that? Let’s move past any toilet-breaking incidents and start giving this man the ball more. He has rushed for over 1,300 yards in each of the past two seasons! Doesn’t he deserve better?
Look, Dirk. I’ll admit you and I have had our differences. When you were coaching at Arizona State, your Sun Devils beat my Huskies on more than a couple occasions. That hurt me, but I’ve let bygones be bygones. Right now, we need each other. I play fantasy football, which helps the NFL generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, which in turn makes your salary feasible. So in essence, I am indirectly paying your salary. I, on the other hand, need you to make me look like a genius. And you are failing me miserably right now! That is not cool! I haven’t let up on paying your salary. My interest in the NFL could not be higher. It’s not going down anytime soon. I need you to reciprocate the concern.
And look, it’s not just me you’re failing. It’s every fantasy football owner that fields a made-up roster containing either Julio or Burner. We are all in this together! I know you might not like this. I know your goal as a football coach is to be gruff and secretive. But even though affability may not be your thing, I’m reaching out anyway. On behalf of thousands, if not millions of people who share an interest in these two athletically-gifted gentlemen.
Again, congratulations on your success thus far. You’re doing pretty good. A solid B-plus. But I want you to get an A-plus, Dirk. I want that A-plus. For you, for me, for all of humanity. Hand the ball to Michael, throw the ball to Julio. It’s that easy. Thank you.
Filed under: Fantasy sports