Super Bowl Predictions
Brother vs. Brother
The Super Bowl may very well be the biggest pop culture event in America. Every year, people crawl from under their rocks and wander out of the woodwork to root for the last team standing, the NFL champs, the big dogs, the ones headed to Disney World. What has become America’s new old pastime will undoubtedly yield a battle for the ages as this year’s super bowl features two tough teams that didn’t have dumb luck (I’m looking at you, Rodgers) get them to the big dance.
The other alluring element of this year’s big game is that the most unlikely of stories is attached to it: brother vs. brother. It’s the HarBowl: a battle of the Harbaughs. One Harbaugh enters, only one comes out alive. That was a joke, but this is a rare moment in American sports. It is conceivable that football could be played another 200 years and this wouldn’t happen again. We are literally witnessing football history.
On one side, you have the aging but still hard-hitting Baltimore Ravens, who haven’t lost a step in their defense-first philosophy. Last year, they were knocking on the door, but blew a field goal in the closing seconds that would’ve sent the New England Patriots home instead of to last year’s Super Bowl. Maybe The Ravens did have a little touch of luck getting the “W” in the Denver game, but after seeing them pull off the impossible like that, it’s clear that this team doesn’t quit until the game clock is at zero.
The Ravens are playing with purpose. Faithful team leader and defensive captain, Ray Lewis, is retiring after this season and this is his last chance at once again attaining Super Bowl glory. Their defense is firing on all cylinders, and Quarterback Joe Flacco is starting to make those difficult throws (most of them to red-hot receiver, Tori Smith) that he has to make in order for the Ravens to win. Runningback Ray Rice has also been finding the gaps and consistently running the ball well throughout the post season. Their offense may be a little awkward at times, but their top-of-the-game defense will always keep them in striking distance.
And on the other side, you have the San Francisco 49ers, a team that was also knocking on the Super Bowl door last year (a year ago, they lost a close one to the streaking New York Giants, last year’s Super Bowl champs). The 49ers also have a good defense with three out of four linebackers being named pro-bowlers.
Defensively speaking, they are smart, athletic and just all around fierce. While their defense is solid, their last defensive appearance made it abundantly clear that they need to tighten up their secondary.
The 49ers are not without issues as David Akers (who has been clutch for pretty much his whole career) has been ice-cold all year long. Luckily enough, Kaepernick and company have been scoring touchdowns to compensate for the many missed field goals. This is why I believe the true edge belongs to the 49ers in the way of Colin Kaepernick. The super bowl will be Kaepernick’s 10th game as a starter, and he is playing like a seasoned, ten-year vet. He’s got moves, he’s got speed, he’s got an arm and I think he may just be too much for the Baltimore Ravens to contain for four quarters.
Many people questioned Jim Harbaugh’s decision to bench talented quarterback, Alex Smith, and replace him with the very green Kaepernick. After this, one has to think Kaepernick and Harbaugh silenced all the doubters and showed that the right decision was made. Kaepernick proved himself as a clutch QB throughout the post-season and was a catalyst in the 49ers getting to the Super Bowl. On paper, the 49ers are good without Kaepernick. They were good with Smith at QB, but Kaepernick brings the 49ers to a Super Bowl level, as he can be the game manager or the playmaker.
Competition is what makes this country great, and the Super Bowl is an embodiment of that very philosophy. In some kind of way, we all long to be the best at something. This is why I believe Americans turn up in record numbers every year to watch this game. It’s not about the commercialism, the hype or any of the other bells and whistles that come equipped with this monster event — it’s about watching modern-day gladiators fight for a chance to be the best.
17-14, San Francisco 49ers win a close one, securing their 6th super bowl win and maintaining their undefeated Super Bowl record.