Today is the day. It’s finally here. Super Bowl XLVII. Our Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers at 6:30 on CBS.
You’ve heard all the narrative, listened to every single story about Jack, John and Jim Harbaugh, seen every piece of footage from Ray Lewis’s 17 year career and learned more about deer antler spray than you thought you ever wood.
We’re still a few hours away from kickoff and if you’re still looking to preview this matchup, we’ve collaborated the best BSR content in this nifty blog post.
If the Baltimore Ravens walk away victorious, what did they do to earn their victory? Matt Lund takes a look at three keys that could lead the Ravens to their second championship.
Follow the Falcons – Slow Colin Kaepernick
We know just how dangerous Colin Kaepernick is with his ability to run and scramble, but he’s just as dangerous with his arm as well. That will be the key for the Ravens, limiting what he can do with his feet and making him beat the defense by throwing the football.
Kaepernick only ran twice for 21 yards as the Falcons contained the edges for when he scrambled out of the pocket. Kaepernick however beat them with his arm which helped to open up the rest of the running game from Gore and James.
What should the Ravens defense expect from San Francisco’s passing attack? Matt Lund examines the 49ers receiving corps.
With the emergence of Colin Kaepernick behind center, the San Francisco 49ers have transformed their offense into a dynamic and potent one with their wide receivers and tight ends heading into Super Bowl XLVII.
The Niners explosive wide receivers start with Michael Crabtree, who’s blossomed into San Francisco’s legitimate threat in his fourth season, leading the team in receptions (85), yards (1105) and touchdowns (nine). Crabtree – listed at 6’1″ and 214 pounds – has finally given this team what they hoped for selecting him 10th overall in the 2009 NFL Draft.
Now that you know about San Francisco’s receiving corps, here’s everything you need to know about their ground game.
To stop Gore, the Ravens are just going to have to match that relentlessness. Some RB’s like Chris Johnson can be frustrated early in the game and then lose their confidence later on. Gore is not a member of that group (in the 4th quarter he averages 5.6 ypc, his best average of any quarter). He makes his hay by steadily chipping away at a defense, and then breaking three or four above average runs every game. Gore is not a toss sweep type of back either, so stopping him is going to rely disproportionately on the middle of the line getting push against the 49ers guards and center.
The direct opposite of Gore would be back up RB LaMichael James. James is best known for his days at Oregon where he could pick up 200 yards in the blink of an eye. Although he only has 8 carries this postseason, they’ve amounted to 55 yards, an average of almost 7 yards per carry. Even though he’s lightly used, James can’t be taken lightly because of his freakish agility in space. Any time he’s got room to work with he’s a potential home run hitter, and it would just take a missed tackle or two to spring him loose down the sideline.
How worried should the Ravens be about San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick? Matt Lund examines the challenge they’ll face in today’s game.
In the divisional round against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick gave the world a preview of this new hybrid of quarterback – a 6’4″, 230 pound quarterback with a strong, accurate arm that can throw to targets, and the ability to move with ease from the pocket and use tremendous speed to evade defenders.
The result was Kaepernick out-rushing the entire Green Bay Packer offense, running for 181 yards and two touchdowns. With Kaepernick using his legs in addition to his arm, Frank Gore also rushed for over 100 yards in the win over Green Bay.
Dave Gilmore pens a guest piece for BSR looking back at Super Bowl XXXV and the emotions surrounding the Ravens’ journey to the big game this season.
Last month, as it became evident that the Ravens were either intentionally or absentmindedly pulling a New York Giants and easing into the playoffs at near full strength, one thought dominated my mind that was a admittedly less ambitious than 12 years earlier: I just want to give a crap about the Super Bowl one more time.
Like everything I write, this alienates me from many sports fans, but I usually don’t care that much about the Super Bowl. I have an excruciatingly vivid memory of the last twenty-two Super Bowls, and I’ve had to gamble on the last seven just to feel any excitement about them.
Hopefully that will be enough to get you to 6:30. Thanks for reading BSR. GO RAVENS!