Does anybody else hate the fact that we have to wait an extra week for the Super Bowl? Personally, I hate it. Now I know this will never change because god forbid we take money out of anyone’s wallet. That would be a crime. But, from a fans perspective it really irks me that we have football every Sunday for 20 weeks in a row, and then before the most important game of the year we decide to take a week off. The only thing in sports worse than this is the time they take off before the College Football National “Championship”. Now I get why they take the week off. It helps set the stage by building up the anticipation for the game, the players get to have time with their families and friends in a different city every year, and the NFL gets to grab its share of the prize through player appearances and media week. Also, the host city boosts its economy while the NFL is in town. With all that being said, I still wish they would do away with the circus that is media week.
Lets move past the things we can not change. However, I do think the week off has an effect on the outcome of the game. The Ravens have been riding this wave of “destiny” as some would call it. When people say that Ray Lewis is destined to win this Super Bowl in his last season, I say they are carrying momentum through the playoffs. Most of this momentum is due to getting injured players back at the right time and Joe Flacco playing out of his mind right now doesn’t exactly hurt either. In my opinion the week off definitely favors the 49ers. It gives some of the injured 49ers a chance to get healthy, most notably Justin Smith. And it could possibly slow the Baltimore train that steamrolled its way through New England(which feels like a month ago not a week ago). Now am I saying that I want the Ravens to win and it’s an unfair advantage for them to have an extra week off? No not at all. I actually want the 49ers to win, due to my slight dislike of Ray “I didn’t do it” Lewis. What the Ravens need to do to win this game is try to be the more physical team. That is not an easy task when playing San Francisco. If you have watched them play this year you’d know that Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, and Aldon Smith are beasts on the football field. So, lets assume that the 49ers are going to be the more physical team on Sunday. How else can the Ravens win this football game without divine intervention? Well, a heavy dose of Ray Rice would be a nice start, but that will only be effective if Joe Flacco starts the game by taking deep shots down the field. This will stretch the field, keep the 49ers secondary honest, and prevent them from creeping towards the line on running plays. Once a nice balance of run and pass has been established that should allow an opportunity for them to go play action to Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin throughout the game. This game plan should allow the Ravens to regain their momentum they’ve been carrying the past couple of weeks. While I believe this will work in the first half and the Ravens should jump out to an early lead, I don’t see them sustaining their offensive attack. Ultimately, I think the outcome of this game will come down to the team that is more physical and whichever QB plays better. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been waiting for Colin Kaepernick to make a huge “rookie” mistake that will cost his team a game. It just hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not about to pick this game for it to start. I think he’ll play mistake free football and manage the game as he has done since he took the reigns of this machine 10 weeks ago. I see this being a close game where the Ravens jump out to an early lead. However, in the end I see the 49ers controlling the time of possession and just playing too physical a brand of football for the Ravens to withstand. Sorry Ray, your “path” ends in New Orleans. You’ll have only your own shortcomings to thank for losing this game. My prediction for this game is 27-23(San Francisco). Enjoy the game!