Ahhh…the Superbowl! This year pins two coaches together with a last name that has become almost as big as the woman performing at halftime! When I was asked this question from my fellow colleagues,”Al, who ya got?”…I responded with my gut, like I do every year. “The Baltimore Ravens will hoist the Vince Lombardi trophy, and not just because of Mr. Ray Lewis.” Let me explain.
First of all, if you're going to pick a Superbowl winning team, you have to be confident in the guy under center. I used to be a big criticizer of Joe Flacco, but that began to change once I saw him outplay Tom Brady in last years AFC championship game. That's right, in that game Flacco would throw for more yards than Brady, and two touchdowns! Brady would throw no touchdowns and two picks. Fluke from Flacco, right? Wrong. He would do the same thing in this years playoffs, not only again against “The Great” Tom Brady, but also “The Legendary” Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos! Colin Kaepernick is a special player, and will be for years to come, but Flacco has been down this road of facing elite quarterbacks before.
Next, you have to look at the defenses the 49ers have played in the postseason so far. The 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons to claim a right in this years' Superbowl. Neither one of those defenses even come close to the that of the Ravens. The Ravens have the leagues seventh best defense and are lead by, well, you know his name. With this being the last game Ray Lewis will ever play, you can bet that these black birds will be flying everywhere and emotions will be a driving force for victory.
Lastly, I have to talk about who I believe will be the “X Factor” in Sunday's showdown: Anquan Boldin. That's right Simon Cowell, this man needs to be on your next show. One game in particular you must examine when measuring the impact of this Ravens receiver is the wildcard matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. Like the 49ers, the Colts' defense in the middle of the field is like moldy swiss cheese; full of holes. This is where Boldin thrives, like he did against the Colts, as he chalked up 145 yards. Boldin is so athletic and quick that once he gets in the middle of the field, the 49ers will have no answer for him. They don't have a defensive back that can guard him one on one, which means that double coverage is soon to come. If that happens, opportunities for other receivers are sure to open up.
Well, only time will tell now who will hoist that Lombardi trophy. It will be great to Ray Ray (Ray Lewis) go out on top. He's a player who has inspired so many in the world of sports and took to every down as if it was his last. We at least know one thing is for sure; a Harbaugh will be victorious. I'm just certain that it will be the one rockin' the black and purple. Sorry Kev.