Game day is finally here and we’re just hours away from the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens meeting in Super Bowl XLVII. What should football fans to expect as the game plays out? The SideLion Report staff gives their take.
Mike Bainbridge: Look at the past few Super Bowls. The winner has not always been the better team, which in this case is the 49ers. It’s always the trendy team that is seemingly on a roll. That would be Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. Despite playing against a stingy San Francisco defense, Flacco will make just enough plays, including at least one deep ball to Torrey Smith, to secure the victory in Super Bowl XLVII. Prediction: 24-19, Ravens win
Marty Medvedik: Will we finally get a Super Bowl overtime? These teams are so evenly matched that I think it might happen this year. Both teams have strong defenses and sound running games, which leads me to believe that it will be a low scoring game. I don’t think I can stomach a Jim Harbaugh victory in only his second year coaching in the league. I’m predicting a victory for big brother John’s team – a win in overtime, 27-24.
Braden Shackelford: Since Jim Harbaugh’s decision to make the transition from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, the 49ers offense has been unstoppable thanks in part to Kaepernick’s ability to take off and run. The 49ers are stout on defense as well, being one of the most consistent and tenacious units all season. Regardless of how good the 49ers have looked in the playoffs, there is something special going on in Baltimore and the Ravens’ defense has all the tools to match the 49ers’ offensive attack with Kaepernick on the exchange in the read-option. Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco has enough down the field threats to make one or two huge plays in the game that the 49ers won’t be able to match. The Ravens also have an elite run game, led by one of the best backs in the NFL in Ray Rice. They should be able to kill some clock late in the game that will ultimately seal the deal. It may not be wise to pick against a team that’s been so hot in the 49ers, but let’s not forget how young this 49ers team is and how much experience the Ravens have. When it’s all said and done, I think Ed Reed and Ray Lewis go out with a bang as the Ravens take this game in what could be one of the best Super Bowls in years, 24-20.
Ross Husson: I’m not really sure what to expect from this game and wouldn’t be surprised to see any team win. Both teams have pretty good running backs, both teams are known for their defenses, both teams have above-average (not great) quarterbacks, and both teams can pass the ball effectively if they want to. In the end, I’ll go with the Ravens after they’ve went on the road and beat probably the top two teams in the league. Also, I still hate Jim Harbaugh. Ravens – 24, 49ers – 13
Brandon Folsom: I expect Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco to throw for 335 yards. He is an underrated passer, and the media gives him too much stink over the way he plays in the regular season. They do not see him practice every day. They do not know what it entails to play 16 games in the NFL. They do not know what winning in the NFL means. My eye test trumps the media biases you read on the Internet and see on the television. Ravens 34, 49ers 27
Zac Snyder: A Ravens-49ers Super Bowl matchup may not have been predicted by many but Super Bowl XLVII has a chance to be one of the all-time greats. Both teams feature offenses that get the job done on the ground and through the air and stout play-making defenses. With so many similarities, it can be difficult to differentiate the two enough to make a prediction. I look to the team that can bring something different, and that is the 49ers with Colin Kaepernick. Joe Flacco may be one of the league’s best with the deep ball but isn’t the wild card that Kaepernick has proven himself to be. In the end, he’s the difference in leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl victory, 28-20.