Well, here we are. The final game of the season. After a long year we’re down to the Ravens and 49ers. Hey, did you know this is Animal Man’s last game? Did you know the two coaches are brothers? Breaking news, we know.
As for the TSS Playoff Challenge, it’s down to Tinsley and Gotty to see who’s this year’s champ. The prize? We print out pictures of his favorite Nightcap on glossy paper and deliver them to his house.
Without further ado: here are their picks for Super Bowl XLVII.
5 Reasons The 49ers Will Win (Gotty)
1. Even though he only has nine starts under his belt, Colin Kaepernick has proven himself as a dynamic playmaker, able to make it happen through the air or on the ground. No matter what vaunted defense lines up across the ball, he’s conquered them mightly. The second-year QB beat the Packers with his legs (playoff QB-record 181 rushing yards) and cut up the Falcons with his arm (16-for-21, 233 yards).Expect his success to continue agains the Ravens.
2. Vegas has San Francisco as a three-point favorite to win. Those same bettors expect a high-scoring game (at the time of this post, the OU was set at 47), which slightly favors the Niners, who have managed to put up a rough average of 30 points per their last six games.
3. Ray Rice is a force, which goes without question. However, San Fran’s rushing defense has been an opposing force versus running backs all season.
4. While Baltimore’s defense has been playing at a high level all postseason, their secondary is old and not as mobile as they once were. That spells trouble when viewed against the young, talented receiving corp the 49ers have. Michael Crabtree has four scores over the last three games and should add to that come Sunday.
5. Much has been made about Joe Flacco and his great playoff performances, and while he can have great games he can sure have some stinkers. Especially against elite defenses. This may be the game that gives all of his critics extra ammo.
Final Score: 21-17 49ers
5 Reasons The Ravens Will Win (Tinsley)
1. The Niners defense – who somewhat resemble those dominant Ravens’ defenses of yesteryear – will be the toughest Joe Flacco has faced in the postseason. Chances are he’s due for an interception (zero thus far), but he understands the magnitude of the moment – a Super Bowl victory/immortality, a fat paycheck and a chance to go down as hands down the franchise’s best quarterback ever (which isn’t exactly saying a lot, but still).
2. Something tells me this is the game where Ray Rice explodes. His combination of rushing and receiving will have to be on full display to keep defensive freaks like Aldon Smith and Patrick Willis somewhat honest. I’m saying 130+ all purpose yards.
3. With two weeks of prepartion, this bend-but-don’t-break Ravens defense will be the most equipped to try to contain Colin Kaepernick and this San Francisco read-option offense. It may not sound like an advantage, but if it’s one thing the Ravens do on defense, it’s communicate; something Ray Lewis says was lacking in many opponents who lined up against San Fran this year.
4. According to TDdaily.com, a poll revealed 82% of women think John Harbaugh is the sexier brother. The importance in all this? Well, have you ever done a co-ed March Madness pool with some women who wouldn’t know college basketball if you introduced them to Jay Bilas? Chances are those women do the best in those pools because they pick based off the most irrelevant factors like team colors, mascots, beaches, etc. Same goes for this poll and the Super Bowl.
5. All the publicity is centered around first ballot Hall of Fame lock Ray Lewis and his impending retirement, which is fine. But the game will not be decided by just him. It could be a tackle. It could be a forced fumble. It could be an interception. But somehow, someway, Ed Reed will be the definitive play this Sunday in New Orleans.
Final Score: 27-24, Ravens