Super Bowl XLVII: Beyond the coaches, Ravens and 49ers share similarities
Super Bowl XLVII contenders Baltimore and San Francisco have more in common than just the Harbaugh brothers. The Ravens and 49ers have similar defenses, and high-powered offenses.
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The Ravens also use a 3-4 defense, with Terrell Suggs joining Lewis at linebacker. Baltimore also has a ball-hawking group of defensive backs, including hard-hitting safeties Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard.Skip to next paragraph
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On special teams, it's been a up and down season for San Francisco placekicker David Akers. The usually reliable Akers enjoyed a stellar career with the Philadelphia Eagles before joining the 49ers before last season. However, an abdominal injury that required surgery has led to a subpar 2012 campaign for the former Pro Bowler, who made only 29 of 42 field goals this year. The Ravens, who fell short of the Super Bowl last year after kicker Billy Cundiff missed a short field goal in the AFC Championship Game, turned to rookie Justin Tucker to handle placekicking duties this season. All he's done is make 30 out of 33 field goal attempts in 2012.
Moving to the offensive side of the ball, both the Ravens and 49ers feature ball control with quick strike capabilities. The biggest difference is at quarterback. San Francisco starts second-year man Colin Kaepernick, who replaced the injured Alex Smith midway through this season. Kaepernick has tremendous running ability, with a strong throwing arm. In the seven games he started, Kaepernick completed more than 62 percent of his passes.
Though he's young, the Nevada product understands that long-time San Francisco fans are used to their team playing in the Super Bowl.
“It’s a great opportunity to get a win and to bring back the legacy to San Francisco that great teams and great quarterbacks have before,” Kaepernick told 49ers.com.
Baltimore has Joe Flacco as its field general. The even-keeled Delaware product doesn't run as well as Kaepernick, but might have a stronger arm to throw the deep pass. Flacco threw for more than 3,800 yards and had 22 touchdowns in 2012. The Ravens, just like their first Super Bowl squad in 2001, are better known for their defense. But Flacco knows it takes an entire team effort to win.
“You don’t get to this point without having a good football team and that’s in all three phases. This team has had such a great defense for many years, such big faces on that side of the ball. That’s what we’re known for. Us guys on the other side, we don’t have any problem with that. We know that in order to win football games we have to go out there and do our job, Flacco told assembled media Thursday in New Orleans.