Sunday’s Super Bowl will be the first time ever the two opposing team’s head coaches will be brothers. And it’s fitting because both teams are so similar that they could be “brothers”, as in two identical or very similar styled teams.
The Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49er’s are two very physical, hard hitting, run the ball down your throat, smashmouth football teams. Both teams are known for having great defenses. The Ravens have historically been led by great defenses, this year’s defense isn’t as stout as usual, ranking 17th in total yards per game this season, but they still get the job done and will knock your head off if you come across that middle. The Niners defense ranked 3rd in the league this season in total yards per game. The Niners ranked 4th in the NFL in rushing yards given up per game while the Ravens ranked an unusual 20th.
So as you can see by the stats that the Niners D doesn’t play around out there on the field and they cherish the opportunity to lay the lumber on opposing players.
Baltimore has been the defense of the decade and the 49er’s “D” may possibly be the defense of the next decade, or the next few seasons at the least. 49er’s Middle Linebacker Patrick Willis who wears #52 is the best in the game at his position, and we all know #52 for the Ravens Ray Lewis may be the best Middle Linebacker to ever play the game. Both leaders hit hard and they demand that the rest of their defensive teammates follow their lead and do the same...just ask Patriots running back Stevan Ridley who was literally knocked out last week by hard hitting Ravens safety Bernard Pollard.
On the offensive side of the ball both teams feature an downhill running game. The Niners were 4th in the NFL in rushing yards per game and the Ravens finished the season ranked 11th. You HAVE to be physical to run the ball down other team’s throats consistently, enforcing your will upon them.
It will be fun and interesting to see which of these physical offensive lines can impose their will on the other teams top notch physical defense! Expect tough runs for short yardage, big hits, and maybe even a few helmet to helmet hits or hits on defenseless defenders. The Harbaugh brothers have done an great job of molding these two teams into tough old school types.
San Francisco switched to quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the season and now feature the pistol/zone-read offense. Kaepernick has been torturing teams when running the ball, much like RG3 and the Redskins did all season. But Kaepernick better beware of Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, and Bernard Pollard when running the ball on Sunday or else he may be injured like RG3 is now.
Often times the Super Bowl will be a matchup of a great offense versus a great defense...but this time is different. Two similar tough and extremely physical teams matchup and that’s why this will quite possibly be the most physical Super Bowl in history. A standoff between two physical Goliaths, Ali-Frazier, Holmes vs Norton.
Which team can impose their will and break the other? That’s what this Super Bowl will be all about, and whichever team can accomplish that will hold the Lombardi trophy after the game Sunday Night. Will Ray Lewis and the Ravens D pass the torch to Patrick Willis and the Niners...or will Ray-Ray go out on top? I don’t know but it’s gonna be damn fun to watch. In the immortal words of Bart Scott...Can't Wait!