Super Bowl XLVII Matchup Prediction

1/31/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

Despite the fact that these two teams have been lauded for their defensive prowess over the past few seasons (or in the Ravens case, over the past decade), and the fact that the Ravens beat the 49ers by a score of 16-6 in 2011, I don't think either defense will shut down their opponent. What the defenses are going to need to focus on is holding the other team to field goals, and forcing turnovers. Turnovers don't just take points off the board - they often allow the beneficiary of the turnover to score more easily. I think whoever wins the turnover battle has a great shot at winning this game.

So who has the advantage? Here's a shocking stat: the 49ers and Ravens both gave the ball away 16 times during the regular season, and they also both forced 25 turnovers. So there you have it - no one has the advantage.
Jan 12, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) is pursued by Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden (93) on a 56-yard touchdown run in the NFC divisional round playoff game at Candlestick Park.  Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The way these two offenses are playing, I expect the game to start off in a ground and pound fashion, but quickly morph into a battle between the two quarterbacks. Either a Flacco bomb to one of his speedy receivers or an electrifying read-option by Colin Kaepernick is likely to spark the offensive game plans. Once the offenses get going, it will eventually come down to who can make the big play that wins the big game.

Who do I like? I know I've raved about Flacco's big-game excellence, but I'm taking the versatility of Colin Kaepernick. Not only can Kaepernick hit a home run to tie up the game or take the lead in a big moment, but his prowess in the rushing game can help the 49ers run the clock if they have a lead down the stretch.

In addition, it may not seem like it, but Kaepernick has been under an immense amount of pressure, and has responded incredibly. He replaced a quarterback in Alex Smith who was playing extremely well with a quarterback rating of 104.1. If Kaepernick didn't make it to the Super Bowl, a lot of people would have considered the 49ers' midseason quarterback change a bad move, but that didn't faze Kaepernick. The young dual threat simply took the NFL by storm with electric performances on his way to the biggest stage in sports.

I think Kaepernick steps up one final time for the 2012 San Francisco 49ers, using his versatility to put up points in a number of ways. Flacco will be ready to make his case for that giant contract he's hoping for, but when it comes down to it, Kaepernick makes the big play - whether it be a run or pass, and whether it be to take the lead or hold the lead - that ices the game.

49ers win 31-27.
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