Super Bowl 2013: 3 Keys to Success for Baltimore Ravens
The storyline of Jim vs. John Harbaugh will undoubtedly eat up a lot of media attention, but let's not forget there's a game to be played.
The Ravens have some serious problems on their hands and it all starts with Colin Kaepernick, but it doesn't end there.
Here are three keys to a Super Bowl win for Baltimore.
Stop the Run
This has to be the most obvious key to the game for Baltimore.
Colin Kaepernick has proved to be one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the NFL, and with weapons like Frank Gore and LaMichael James out of the backfield, the Ravens must stop the rush in order to win this game.
That's not to say you want to make Kaepernick throw the ball—as he's proven he can do that with the best of them—but the 49ers are much more dangerous when they're gaining big chunks of yardage on the ground, like they did against the Green Bay Packers.
Averaging 236 rushing YPG this postseason, the Niners will be looking to establish the run early and often.
If Baltimore can get the better push up front, it will immensely increase its chances of winning Super Bowl XLVII.
Call it cliché, but the Ravens got to the Super Bowl by taking care of the football.
Flacco has taken a bulk of the criticism in the past for turning the ball over in big situations. However, so far this postseason, the fifth-year QB has thrown five touchdowns and zero interceptions.
After Rice fumbled twice against the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card Round, he hasn't coughed up the rock and has scored a touchdown in each of the past two games.
In order to beat a defense like San Francisco's, the Ravens have to play mistake-free football and make the most of every opportunity to put points on the board.
Pound the Ground
Joe Flacco is playing the best football of his career this postseason, but Ray Rice is still the X-factor for Baltimore.
Whether it's carries out of the backfield or screens and short dunks in the passing game, Rice is undoubtedly the key to a Super Bowl win for the Ravens.
He didn't have as big of a day as expected vs. the Patriots, but he did open the scoring for Baltimore and took some of the pressure off Flacco with the threat of the run.
If Baltimore can execute all three of these aspects of the game, it will be leaving Louisiana with a Super Bowl win.
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