NFL: 5 Storylines Heading Into Super Bowl 47
After a long and grueling season two teams came out on top and now compete against each other for the ultimate prize in football, the Vince Lombardi trophy. The Baltimore Ravens take on the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans in less than two weeks. Before I give my official prediction next week, here are five storylines that fans should focus on before the big game.
1. Harbowl or Superbaugh…What Ever You Like To Call It
Sadly, this is the number one storyline everyone is focusing on. Sure, it’s a great story, but focus should be placed more on the players rather than the coaches. Really how many split screens of Jim and John Harbaugh are we going to see during the game? If their parents (Jack and Jackie) go to the game how many times is CBS going to put the camera on them? John and Jim both have worked hard to get to this game. It took John five years to get to the big game, while Jim only took two. Both tremendous stories, but enough is enough on them. Really, they’ll talk a little bit before the game, and then shake hands afterwards. Why this is the number one storyline is beyond me, but this will be shoved in the face of football fans.
2. Joe Flacco Elite Status?
I think every quarterback should just say their elite during the season. It seems to work. Last year, Eli Manning said he was in the same league as Tom Brady and backed it up in the Super Bowl defeating Brady and winning his second Super Bowl. Joe Flacco this offseason said he was elite. It was an up and down season, but Flacco has looked elite in the playoffs. He has thrown for 853 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions. Flacco now has the Lombardi trophy in his sights and a new contract as well. A good time to make it to the Super Bowl for Flacco as this is his last year under contract.
3. Colin Kaepernick From Back-up to Star
Yes, I called Colin Kaepernick a star. The second year pro from Nevada was a back-up months ago and now is playing in the Superbowl. Sure, it wasn’t right that Alex Smith lost his job due to a concussion instead of poor play but Colin Kaepernick was hot and stayed hot. It was a tough call from Jim Harbaugh, but it paid off so much. Kaepernick may be a “rookie” of sorts, but is a veteran on the field. He never loses his composure and can burn you running and throwing the football. He also makes smart decisions in the option game, which will no one has been able to stop. Remember he was down 17 on the road against Atlanta and led his team all the way back for the win. Which QB do I give the edge to? Right now I’m saying Kaepernick due to his threat of running. Still, both QB’s deserve plenty of kudos for their performance this year.
4. Ray Lewis’ Last Game
A few weeks ago Ray Lewis announced that this would be his last playoff run. Was it motivation for his team to make it to the Super Bowl? It seems like it. The Ravens have never quit, kind of like their defensive leader Lewis, who returned from a major injury involving tears in his triceps. Lewis is a first ballot Hall of Famer and will be a huge factor in this game against the 49ers.
5. San Francisco’s LineBackers
I’m going to say this right now: for the 49ers to win this game they have to stop Ray Rice and get pressure on Joe Flacco. How do they do that? They do it with their four linebackers that are four of the best in the game. It all starts with Patrick Willis. He’s the leader, but then teammates Navarro Bowman (111 tackles), Aldon Smith (19.5 sacks) and Ahmad Brooks (6.5 sacks) also provide great athleticism at the linebacker spot. All of these guys are young and all know how to tackle and rush the QB. They will all be the X-Factors for the 49ers and will be the difference if they win or lose.
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