The Super Bowl XLVII matchup is set. It’s going to be brother against brother, Niner against Raven, Jim against John, Harbaugh against Harbaugh. The San Francisco 49ers will face the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.
It’s tough to get back to the playoffs, much less to a conference championship game, so this Super Bowl matchup is testament to teams working their way up the playoff ladder as both the conference championship game winners went home as losers last year. The Niners and Kyle Williams fumbled away their chance for a Super Bowl against the Giants while the Ravens were a Lee Evans dropped TD pass away from a trip to the big dance last year.
The 49ers advanced to the Super Bowl by defeating the Atlanta Falcons, overcoming a 17-0 deficit on the road to charge back to a 28-24 victory. Meanwhile, the Ravens kept the Ray Lewis retirement tour going, cruising past the New England Patriots in Foxboro. Pretty damn impressive on both counts.
If you’re looking for a blueprint to follow from the Super Bowl teams, there are plenty of things to draw upon. Both of these teams do it with strong lines on both sides of the ball. They play physical and smash mouth football on offense, but use that to set up their aerial attack. The Niners use the read option and Kaepernick as a dual threat. He proved that when he dismantled the Packers last week.
The Ravens do it a little more ‘by the book’ on offense, but Joe Flacco has weapons at all levels of the field – from Ray Rice running and short routes, to Dennis Pitta and Anquan Bolden attacking the middle of the field to Torrey Smith to blow the top off opposing defenses.
Prepare yourselves for two weeks of Harbaugh sibling rivalry while Jack Harbaugh, father of the two brothers, will become a media sensation. Let the hype begin.