What do the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens need to do to win? Read below to find out.
San Francisco 49ers
For the 49ers to win, they'll need Colin Kaepernick to continue to do what he's been doing.
In the playoffs so far, Kaepernick has thrown for 496 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He's also rushed for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
He's been a revelation and the main reason why the team has advanced to the Super Bowl.
If they want to win, he has to continue it. There's no other way around it.
The 49ers put all their eggs in one basket when they made Kaepernick the starter. They traded stability and experience in Alex Smith for excitement and inexperience in Kaepernick. It's worked beautifully.
But Kaepernick hasn't looked liked a rookie yet. He hasn't had that one game where everyone is shaking their heads in confusion at his sub-par performance.
The Super Bowl would be a bad place for it to start. If Kaepernick can continue this fine play, then there is no reason why the Niners shouldn't win. On paper, the Niners are the better team.
But one thing is abundantly clear—they can't win without Kaepernick.
For the Ravens to win, they need to stop the win.
Unfortunately for the Ravens, it's not about stopping one guy. They have to deal with two guys.
Their first task is dealing with Frank Gore. Gore has been tremendous this playoffs, rushing for 209 yards and three touchdowns.
He helped lead the Niners' fourth-ranked regular-season rushing attack, where they averaged 94.2 yards on the ground per game.
If the Ravens can stop Gore, great. They still have Kaepernick to deal with.
Kaepernick had his historic rushing game against the Green Bay Packers, where he ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
The Ravens will want to study the tape of the Atlanta defense, who held Kaepernick to only 21 yards rushing.
Still, this two-headed monster is quite dangerous and nearly impossible to stop once they get going. They combine speed with power, and the read-option elements add just enough confusion to make the defense stop and think.
The Ravens were not good against the run this year, giving up an average of 122.8 yards per game. The return of Ray Lewis helps.
But is it enough? If the Ravens can contain Gore and Kaepernick, then they stand a good chance of winning.
If not, it could be a really long game.
This game will come down the run game—whether the Ravens can stop it or not. If they can, they'll be hoisting that Lombardi Trophy. If not, the 49ers will bask in the glory.
The prediction here is that the Ravens will not be able to stop Kaepernick or Gore, and thus it will be the 49ers who come out on top, by a score of 21-13.