With the biggest sporting event in America on tap for tomorrow, I thought it prudent to put together a small preview with my predictions for the game, along with a projected outcome.
Both teams have a good shot at bringing home a title. For the San Francisco 49ers, it would be their sixth Lombardi trophy in six attempts and for the Baltimore Ravens, it would be their second in two tries.
For either team, a win solidifies their franchises in different ways. For the 49ers, it puts them in the conversation as one of the greatest franchises ever. For the Ravens, it puts them on their way to current AFC supremacy.
First and foremost, this is a game that will be dictated by two stout defenses. Both teams offer a throwback to old school football with their approaches on that side of the ball.
San Francisco had four players — Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, and Dashon Goldson — on its unit honored as defensive first-team all-pros. With only 13 positions available, that’s pretty impressive.
Baltimore plays the old guard to San Francisco’s new guard with stalwarts such as Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Haloti Ngata anchoring each level of the Ravens’ defense.
Although there has not been much the Ravens’ veterans have not seen in their tenure, I have to give the advantage to San Francisco. The 49ers are a younger bunch with more athleticism and a penchant for creating a little more havoc with their play.
Offensively, the Ravens are built for old school, possession-dominating football. Running back Ray Rice is a load to bring down and will be a workhorse for Baltimore. Quarterback Joe Flacco has a deep threat in Torrey Smith, along with sure-handed Anquan Boldin on the outside. Bernard Pierce is also a good change of pace back in third-down situations.