The Super Bowl is finally here and all things considered has the makings of one that will be talked about for years. Both the 49ers and the Ravens are deep on both sides of the ball and are very physical. This game also has some family indications as well (you may not have heard that John and Jim Harbaugh are brothers this week). Here is my game prediction along with an x-factor for each team.
49ers x-factor: Aldon Smith, Linebacker: At one point this season, Smith looked like a lock to break the single season sack record with 19.5 and a few games left to play. He hasn’t had a sack since and now would be the perfect time to break out of the slump. If Smith can get to Joe Flacco and rattle him in the pocket, that would make the job of the 49ers secondary that much easier.
Ravens x-factor: Torrey Smith, wide receiver: The main flaw I noticed when watching the 49ers defense against the Falcons was their secondary against the big play. Julio Jones was getting separation with ease and nearly single handedly put the Falcons in the lead at the half. While Smith isn’t the caliber of player Jones is, he can certainly take the top off a defense with his speed. Smith has become a more all around receiver this season but his big play ability is his calling card. If he can make one of those, it has the potential to swing the game in the Ravens favor.
Prediction: This game when it is all said and done will mainly come down to one question: can the Ravens defense stop Colin Kaepernick and the read option? My guess right now would have to be no. There has yet to be a team that has truly stopped it (The Falcons came the closest as they took away the outside for Kaepernick) and even with over a week to prepare there are a lot of different schemes. It would be awesome to see a first ballot hall of famer such as Ray Lewis go out on top, but it’s awfully tough to go against the 49ers fantastic balance on both sides of the ball. My prediction is Ravens 20 49ers (-3.5) 24.