Ravens vs 49ers - The Ultimate Super Bowl XLVII Preview

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Feb 2, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; General view of Super Bowl XLVII roman numerals on a barge on the Mississippi River with the Crescent City Connection bridge (Greater New Orleans bridge) at Woldenberg Park in advance of Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Super Sunday!

Not since the Civil War has there been such emphasis on a brother against brother  conflict.  The Harbaugh Bowl.  The Harbaughl.  The Breaux Bowl.  Super Bowl XLVII features brother head coaches John and Jim Harbaugh going up against one another for a championship for the first time in the history of the major sports as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers face off for the ultimate prize.  You can skip the ten hour pregame show and just read this.  Here’s my preview of  “the Big Game.”

Something’s gotta give.  The 49ers are 5-0 in their previous Super Bowls while the Ravens are 1-0 in their previous appearance.  Both teams were within view of the big game last season as both the Niners and Ravens failed to advance from their respective conference finals.  The #2 seeded Niners took the more conventional route this season as one of the favorites in the NFC throughout the season while the Ravens took the more difficult route as the seventh time a team that played in the Wild Card round reached the Super Bowl in the last eight seasons.

TV

CBS will carry the game, with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms leading the broadcast.

Kickoff

Don’t turn your TV on before 5:25 PM Central time.  Everything before then is absolute fluff.

The Line

The latest Bodog.net spread I saw was San Fran -4 with an over/under of 48.  To get the insider’s scoop, check out my guy Bart and his handicapping expertise.  For some fun Propositional wagers or Prop Bets if you prefer,  check out this post.

The Baltimore Ravens

August 17, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis (52) dances prior to their preseason game against the Detroit Lions at M

The Ravens join only the 2010 New York Jets as the only teams to defeat both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the same postseason.  They are led this postseason by quarterback Joe Flacco, who’s put up a league best 114.7 passer rating while throwing 8 TD’s and 0 INT’s this postseason.  Running back Ray Rice is the little engine that could, as the little bowling ball running back always seems to come up with the big play when needed.

The Ravens offense has been clicking this postseason in large part because of their passing attack, with Flacco going to wide receviers Anquon Boldin, Torrey Smith and Jacoby Jones and tight end Dennis Pitta.

On defense, the Ravens’ spiritual and emotional leader is the retiring Ray Lewis, who’s had himself an interesting Super Bowl week.  Lewis returned for the playoffs from an arm injury and controversy followed him as he reportedly used a deer antler spray which contains a banned substance.  Besides avoiding questions about that, Lewis also ducked questions about a murder he was involved in back in 2000 following a Super Bowl party in Atlanta.

Win or lose, Lewis announced that this would be his “last ride” which seemed to propel his Ravens teammates to make a playoff push as they defeated the upstart Indianapolis Colts at home before heading on the road to beat Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Denver and Tom Brady and the Patriots in New England.  Not too shabby. 

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