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The Ravens' defensive superiority dates back to the dawn of the new millennium with Ray Lewis’ championship team.
After retooling on the run for more than a decade, Baltimore is finally starting to grow a little long in the tooth defensively.
Ray Lewis is 36, Ed Reed is 33 and Terrell Suggs will turn 30 next season; all three are regarded as invaluable to this excellent defensive unit.
While many Ravens players might enjoy a half-price meal at Denny’s in the near future, San Francisco’s core group of players are strikingly young.
Aldon Smith, one of the league’s top pass-rushers as a rookie last season, is just 22. The super-hero-esque Patrick Willis is 27, Michael Crabtree 24 and all-world TE Vernon Davis 28.
Unless Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense makes a serious leap, John Harbaugh will continue to rely on an old defense that is destined to burn out.
The pool of young talent available at Jim’s disposal is one critical advantage over brother John.