The Super Bowl is finally here. After two weeks of seemingly non-stop analysis and discussions by every media outlet in America, the game is about to be played. The 49ers and Ravens will end the speculation and finally determine which team is better this season. This Super Bowl has all the makings of a great game – two well coached physical teams that don’t make mistakes (both had only 16 turnovers all season long).
But who do I think will win the game? As much as people talk about Ray Lewis ending his career as a Super Bowl Champ is destiny, I don’t see it breaking down that way. The 49ers are the more complete team and for that I think they will win the game.
Big games are won at the line of scrimmage and the 49ers, you can argue, have the best offensive and defensive line in the NFL. If they take care of business up front, the 49ers will win the game.
The 49ers will be taking the NFL’s 4th best rushing attack (155.7 ypg) against the Ravens’ 20th ranked rushing defense (122.8 ypg) and I feel they will win this battle during Super Bowl XLVII. Colin Kaepernick proved last week that he truly takes what the defense gives him. Many QBs, after setting the all-time rushing record, would probably decide to keep the ball on a run more than 2 times in the next game, but Kaepernick did not because the Falcons were playing against that. Instead, Gore pounded the Falcons away up the middle. If the Ravens try to contain the edge against Kaepernick, the 49ers will manhandle the Ravens up the middle. And if they bring pressure in the middle, Kaepernick has more speed than the Ravens’ linebackers.
On the other-side of the ball, the 49ers’ bring the 4th best rushing defense (94.2 ypg) against the Ravens’ 11th ranked rushing offense (118.8 ypg). Once again, I feel that the 49ers will win this battle during the Super Bowl. Now that Justin Smith has had some time to heal, I feel Aldon Smith will get some opportunities to sack Joe Flacco. With both Smiths healthy, the 49ers have a great ability to bring pressure without bringing extra men in the box. This will allow the 49ers to stay in coverage to guard against the deep ball. It doesn’t hurt that both of the 49ers’ safeties were voted as starters to the Pro Bowl.
The glaring weakness for the 49ers is at the kicker position. David Akers has been beyond shaky this season, and if the game comes down to a field goal, a can guarantee 49ers’ fans will be nervous.
I like the 49ers to win the game, 27 to 21, which would also cover the common Las Vegas betting line of 3.5 – 4 points.
Either way this game has the potential to be one of the best Super Bowls in NFL history.
[Photo Credit: Fox5SanDiego.com]