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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Flacco and the Baltimore offense relies on a stout running game that features Ray Rice, who ran for more than 1,100 yards this season and is a better than average receiver coming out of the backfield. The 49ers can grind it out on the ground with franchise career rushing leader Frank Gore, who gained more than 1,200 yards during the regular season. Rookie LaMichael James can spell Gore with more speed and shifty moves out of the backfield.Skip to next paragraph
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Both quarterbacks enjoy talented receivers. San Francisco boasts Michael Crabtree, who caught 85 passes for more than 1,100 yards this year. Super Bowl veterans Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, and tight end Vernon Davis also make significant contributions. Baltimore can counter with leading receiver Anquan Boldin (65 receptions, 921 yards), Torrey Smith, Jacoby Jones, and tight end Dennis Pitta.
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Getting back to the head coaches, John Harbaugh of the Ravens and younger brother Jim of the 49ers both played football in college. Jim later played quarterback in the NFL for 15 years on four teams. John went immediately into coaching after college, working for their father Jack at Western Michigan.
John Harbaugh has been in the post-season playoff for each of his five years at Baltimore. Jim Harbaugh is only in his second year as head coach, but took the 49ers to the NFC title game last year. For both, this is their first trip to the Super Bowl.
Answering a reporter's question Thursday, Jim Harbaugh reflected on what it would mean to beat his brother's team in the biggest game of the year.
“If we are to win this game, it’s going to be earned. That would be the adjective I would use. This is a tremendous Baltimore Ravens team offensively, defensively and special teams."