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NFL Super Bowl 47 Predictions and Preview: Inside The Wheelhouse

The final game of the 2012 NFL season is finally upon us as Super Bowl 47 is finally here. Two teams remain as the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers and the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens will battle it out for the Vince Lombardi trophy this Super Bowl Sunday. Two brothers will make history as for the first time ever it will be an all-Family bowl edition of the greatest sports game of the year. With that being said here is the preview & predictions for Super Bowl 47:

Super Bowl 47:

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers

[adinserter block=”1″]In recent years it hasn’t been this difficult to predict who will win the Super Bowl like it has been this year. Both of these teams certainly have their strength’s and weaknesses to make a strong case to be crowned Super Bowl Champions for the 2012 NFL season. Let’s take a look at each team this season before we get to who will be celebrating in New Orleans on Super Bowl Sunday.

The NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers have had a “banner year” in the NFL and have knocked off some of the top teams (New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers to name a few) in the NFL this season. The Niners got those victories in a pretty convincing fashion and rested on what they know best: defense. San Francisco’s defense is one of the best in the league and the old adage of “defense wins championships” certainly rings true to this Niners squad.

San Francisco made a pretty bold move halfway through the season when they switched starting quarterbacks from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick when Smith went down with a concussion. The move was highly questioned in the beginning, because you never see a top team make a drastic move such as that, but the Niners proved us wrong and showed us why Kaepernick was the right choice to be the starting QB for this team. Kaepernick has been nothing but extraordinary for San Francisco taking them to the Super Bowl as he has shown the ability to really open up this Niners offense, something Alex Smith just couldn’t do.

Since about Week 1 of this season I praised this team as being the “most complete team in Football” and they proved why on a weekly basis that they deserved that moniker. Defensively they were a solid unit who would shut down any team and now their offense has been able to catch up with their defense as being just as explosive. San Francisco deserved the right to be playing in New Orleans this Sunday for the Vince Lombardi trophy.

As for the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens it is a season of triumph and tribulations. They dealt with a decent amount of injuries to their defense that made them look inferior to many top AFC teams all season long, their offense was struggling severely and they just didn’t look like a team that should be competing for the Vince Lombardi trophy in February. Throughout the season in my weekly recap blog I criticized the Ravens as being one of the worst 8-2 teams in the league and that it was a miracle they were in first place of the AFC North.

Then the Ravens, like the 49ers, made a pretty drastic move midway through their season when they replaced Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron with former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. The move was very gutsy by the Baltimore Ravens coaching staff and proved to be the thing that this team needed to get them over the hump. While Baltimore “limped” into the playoffs, this team quickly became this year’s “momentum driving team.”

In 2010 it was the Green Bay Packers, in 2011 it was the New York Football Giants and in 2012 it is the Baltimore Ravens. What two of those three teams have in common is that they won the Super Bowl that season and allowed their momentum to carry them to the Vince Lombardi trophy. Being the “hottest team” at the “right time” certainly has its perks and the Ravens are hoping to capitalize on just that this Sunday.

These teams are pretty evenly matched in that their defenses are very good. The 49ers are the “new kids on the block” when it comes to top NFL defensive units while the Baltimore Ravens are the “old dogs” who are looking to end this defensive unit era (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs, etc.) on the highest of notes. While the 49ers defense will be amazing for years to come this is the “swan song” for this Baltimore defensive unit and they will put it all on the line in the Superdome. For that reason I am calling it even on the defensive comparisons.

Offensively is where these two teams have their differences. Colin Kaepernick has been very solid in his minimal chances as a starting quarterback in the National Football League. He has certainly made his mistakes but has overcome the adversity to rise back to the top. But while Kaepernick has been good, Joe Flacco has been that much better.

Flacco has had a QB rating of 114.7 throughout the playoffs accumulating 8 TDs, 0 INTs and 853 yards passing in each of the 3 playoff games he has played. These stats in the playoffs are very reminiscent of Aaron Rodgers in 2010 and Eli Manning in 2011, two quarterbacks who led their teams to the Vince Lombardi trophy at season’s end. Joe Flacco has been insane this postseason and the sole reason why the offense has the edge over Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers.

Due to that reason and the fact that Baltimore has been “red hot” at just the right time is the reason why I am picking the Baltimore Ravens to win Super Bowl 47. They are playing with the very dangerous “house money” and know that “they weren’t supposed to be here” on Super Bowl Sunday. Those are very dangerous cards to be playing with and that’s why I like the Ravens to get the upset over San Francisco in the Super Bowl.

[adinserter block=”2″]I believe Joe Flacco will carry this team offensively and earn a moment that will be very comparable to the journey Eli Manning has taken in his NFL career. Both of those players have had to prove a lot of people wrong throughout their time in the league and Joe Flacco will be able to put the most ultimate “resume builder” on his career highlight reel to prove why he deserves to be in the conversation with some of the league’s best quarterbacks. Say what you will about the man but I will look forward to seeing one of the league’s all-time greats, Ray Lewis, end his career hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy.

Prediction: Ravens 27 49ers 23

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Jeff Peck
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