Your Super-Duper Super Bowl XLVII Prediction: I Will NOT Say “HarBowl”
According to the number crunchers at PredictionMachine.com, it looks like you can bet the farm, the ‘Vette, your lucky socks…whatever on the Niners.
Seeing as I rather like my lucky socks, I’m not quite sure that I’m going to put my trust in computers. As fabulous as they are, computer generated statistics are not enough to sway me. I am a stat nerd. I follow the NFL for many reasons. One of those reasons is so I am able to formulate an educated opinion…and force it upon my readers. You’re welcome.
“Defense wins Championships.” You hear this time and again. Well, what happens when you’ve got two outstanding defenses? Likely a low-scoring game, by my prediction. On paper, the Ravens have the superior numbers defensively from the regular season. However, is defense really everything? Maybe not, when you’ve got rookie QB Colin Kaepernick. Boasting a 98.3% QB passer rating, Kaep certainly made himself known in his rookie season. On the other side of the ball for Baltimore, you have Joe Flacco. With his 87.7% QB passer rating, he’s not far behind Kaepernick.
Where am I going with all of this? Good question. This has got to be one of the more difficult Super Bowls I’ve been asked to predict. You’ve got two amazing and experienced defenses, a rookie quarterback that probably has some sort of motherboard behind his face, and a seasoned quarterback in Joe Flacco.
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for…Are you sure you’re ready for this? Okay. Here we go. And no. This has nothing to do with my Steelers background and disdain for Baltimore. Nope. Not one bit.
PREDICTION: 49ers 38, Ravens 31 (Aimee Miller)
The Ravens will go into New Orleans and knock off the 49ers and send Ray Lewis into the sunset. Joe Flacco will take advantage of a secondary that was vulnerable and attacked by Matt Ryan two weeks ago. Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta will be too much for the 49ers’ defense to overcome. His offensive line has played so well in the playoffs that they can stop the fierce pass-rush of San Francisco. Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce won’t have huge games, but it will be enough for Flacco to go off. He’s playing for the biggest contract of his career and won’t disappoint.
Colin Kaepernick is having a great postseason, but the Ravens won’t let him run all over them and will double-team Michael Crabtree. Their secondary has already stopped Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the playoffs. Vernon Davis might have a huge game with so much attention towards Crabtree and Frank Gore. Gore hasn’t been stopped in the playoffs, but the Ravens have toughened against the run since Lewis and Terrell Suggs have returned. I just don’t trust David Akers. I trust Justin Tucker much more than Akers right now. Akers might cost them the game he’s been so bad. This will be a defensive battle that will come down to the wire. The Ravens will come out on top and Ray Lewis’s legendary career will come to an end with the Lombardi Trophy. Joe Flacco will be Super Bowl MVP.
PREDICTION: Ravens 27, 49ers 20 (Joe Kleiber)
Madden picked the Ravens and usually when Madden picks a team to win a Super Bowl they pick correctly. The last decade E=mc² has proven to be the most valuable formula when it comes to predicting the champion. By Super Bowl Sunday, the Ravens and 49ers will have gone over film and strategy ad nauseam, meaning both teams are going to know exactly what’s coming when it’s coming. Super Bowls are never really high scoring – say what you will about a 23-17 game – but both teams have strong red zone defenses. I think Ed Reed’s playmaking ability and destiny just proves to be too much for the 49ers and young Kaepernick. Certainly expect the two gutsiest coaches in the NFL to throw some monkey wrenches out there as they both have proven they aren’t afraid to go for it in key situations. Plenty of trickery will be put on display, but the moment Ray Lewis announced he was retiring before the Ravens playoff run left the NFL saying “where’s Eli when you need him?”
PREDICTION: Ravens 23, 49ers 17 (Mike Barbosa)
I think San Francisco is the better team on paper, but if they played games on paper, well, Baltimore probably wouldn’t be here, because the Ravens had no right beating the Denver Broncos. But what I think will be evident on the field is that the 49ers’ defense will continue to sorely miss defensive lineman Justin Smith, who plugs up holes for others to make plays. However, I also think it will be clear that San Francisco’s offensive line will allow their offense to run as they please more often than not. Colin Kaepernick will make the Ravens’ defense realize that they haven’t seen someone quite like him. And lastly, I think little brother Jim proves he’s a better coach than John. The 49ers will remain undefeated in Super Bowls.
PREDICTION: 49ers 24, Ravens 20 (Joe Diglio)
Kaepernick takes the snap, fakes to Gore, and gets the edge on the outside fro a gain for 20. Remember that play, because the Ravens have been preparing for weeks to stop it…and they still won’t be able to. San Francisco has a way of running the same plays in so many different formations. This is not a gimmick offense, and when you take away one option, they will always have another one open. If the Ravens can shut down the running game, expect Vernon Davis to have a field day.
PREDICTION: 49ers 27, Ravens 20 (Jared Bissonnette)
It’s really not a strong case for the Ravens. Frankly, I am not impressed. They’re average on offense, and that’s for any offense they’ve gotten. The numbers don’t jump out at you. Somehow they have momentum on their side. They’ve got plenty of feel-good story lines. San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick has been impressive…so far. But, the Super Bowl is not just a game; it’s anything but the game. Baltimore has caught fire in a bottle. So, against any real logic, I have to go with Big Moe’ that’s rolling with the Ravens. Just a gut feeling.
PREDICTION: Ravens 24, 49ers 14 (Dean Jackson)
It kills me to pick against my team, but I just don’t think they’re good enough in this particular matchup. The matchup to watch, for me, will be to see if the continued resurgence of the Baltimore offensive line thanks to the addition of Bryant McKinnie can stand up to the vaunted Aldon/Justin Smith-led 49ers front 7. Given time to throw, Flacco can do some serious damage against the Niner secondary, its weakest link. But will he have that time? Conversely, I have my doubts about whether the Ravens have the discipline to handle the diversity and physicality of the San Francisco running game. Dallas ran all over this Baltimore defense in Week 6, and San Francisco may do more of the same. I’m hoping for a closely contested game. But sadly, I don’t quite see it.
PREDICTION: 49ers 27, Ravens 17 (Nick Rust)
The 49ers aren’t just going to beat the Ravens; they’re going to thoroughly embarrass them. The Baltimore Ravens are a fraud team. Joe Flacco is a fraud quarterback and Ray Lewis is a criminal, who’s washed up and uses illegal substances. If you’re looking for someone to make 8-10 meaningless tackles in the Super Bowl, he’s your man. The Ravens beat a Broncos team with a minor-league secondary and an old quarterback coming off neck surgery who didn’t look very interested in continuing a 4-hour plus game in sub-zero temperatures. As for New England, they have an obvious mental hurdle they need to overcome when it comes to the playoffs now. Whether Brady’s too old, the defense sucks, or Belichick has lost it, they haven’t been an intimidating team in the playoffs for several years now. Couple this with the fact that Gillette is one of the quietest venues in the league and that the Patriots are a shell of their former selves offensively without Gronkowski and with an aging and now ball-dropping Welker, and you just don’t have an elite team.
So, congrats to the Ravens for making the Super Bowl, but you didn’t earn it. And, if you think playing the two most immobile quarterbacks in the league, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, is somehow going to prepare you for playing the hottest and most athletic quarterback in the league, you have another thing coming. Not only is Kaepernick going to throw all over a terrible secondary and a washed up Ed Reed, but he’s also going to run all over them as well. There is no way Lewis, Suggs and the rest of the aging, slow Ravens defense will be able to contain Kaepernick. San Francisco’s offensive line is second to none. The Ravens will be hard-pressed to get any pressure, and with Kaepernick’s cannon of an arm and Frank Gore racking up 4-5 yards on first and second down, they will be susceptible to the long throw via the play-action, as well as the regular 15-plus yard scramble from Kaepernick. 41-10 49ers, and that’s a conservative prediction.
PREDICTION: 49ers 41, Ravens 10 (Erik Sprague)
When two great defenses go head-to-head, the game usually comes down to which defense can make more of an impact. I don’t see the Super Bowl being any different. The only problem is that the Ravens’ defense cannot compete with the powerhouse that is the 49ers defense. The Niners ranked second in the league during the regular season in points allowed per game, while the Ravens ranked 13th. However, both defenses have taken alternate roles during the playoffs, which makes this game so much harder to predict. The Ravens have taken a new life with the idea that any game could be Ray Lews’ last, while San Francisco’s defense has looked vulnerable against the Packers and Falcons.
The reason I am taking the 49ers in this one is because the Ravens’ offense is nothing like those two offenses they have played. Flacco is far from Aaron Rodgers and Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin cannot compete with Roddy White and Julio Jones. Also, Jim Harbaugh has had two weeks to figure out the problem with his defense the past two games and that fact should not be overlooked. I trust Jim to make the necessary adjustments. As long as Colin Kaepernick does not have three or more turnovers, he will lead the Niners to their first Super Bowl win since Steve Young was slinging it. For the record, if the Ravens do win, Ray Lewis has to go down as one of the best players ever. How do you lead a team to two Super Bowls with Trent Dilfer and Joe Flacco as your quarterback? It’s just not possible.
PREDICTION: 49ers 24, Ravens 10 (Matt Levine)
I’ll keep it short and sweet. While I would like nothing more than for the Ravens to beat San Francisco, preventing them from tying my Pittsburgh Steelers in all-time Super Bowl championships, I’m not sure it will happen. You know what? Nevermind. Scratch that. The 49ers are starting a 1st year starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who may not be ready for the biggest stage in his life. Plus, I wrote earlier this season that Joe Flacco would become elite, and a Super Bowl ring might just put him at that level. For any of the haters out there, just take a look at these numbers: 8 TD, 0 INT, average passer rating of 116. These are the numbers that Joe Cool has posted in 3 games this postseason. Enough with the hate, he’s good, and he just might add a ring to his resume.
PREDICTION: Ravens 27, 49ers 24 (Evan Kendall)