Super Bowl 2013: Power Ranking Game MVP Candidates for XLVII

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst IJanuary 23, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after defeating the New England Patriots in the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New England Patriots 28-13.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Super Bowl MVP is a title that not many individuals get to boast.

Of the roughly 100 men from the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens vying for the Super Bowl XLVII MVP, there's a good chance we can pinpoint how likely a certain player will be in taking home the secondary trophy.

The list of MVPs is a long and storied one and includes legends like Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana. Over the years, it has also vindicated current stars Peyton and Eli Manning, Tom Brady and of course—Ray Lewis.

The 49ers and Ravens have also left their mark on the list, having six Super Bowl MVPs between them over the years. After Feb. 3, another name from those two teams will be added to NFL lore.

Here's a look at the five most-likely candidates to win this year's honors at Super Bowl XLVII, counting down from five and looking at this year's favorite in the process.

Note: This list is not an exclusive look at the players that have the best odds to win the award—that information can be found via Bovada.

5. Justin Tucker—Baltimore K

It's not often that kickers grab Super Bowl MVPs. However, after his remarkable rookie season, Tucker is now on the radar. No matter that the position has never won an MVP—those kind of statistics are meant to be broken.

He's had his fair share of big moments in 2012 and 2013—including a game-winner over the New England Patriots in the regular season and another in the AFC divisional round to send the No. 1 seeded Denver Broncos home for the summer.

In a game of this magnitude, we know that a field goal can affect the outcome of a game in far-reaching ways (see Adam Vinatieri with the Pats). Although Tucker is a rookie, kicking two or three field goals and a game-winner would put a great amount of public intrigue behind his candidacy as MVP—especially if this turns into a defensive struggle.

Kicker isn't an attractive position, but between Tucker and 49ers kicker David Akers, Tucker has the edge on consistency this season. He gets the nod and enters the top five as the ultimate sleeper for MVP honors.

4. Aldon Smith—San Francisco DE/OLB

Smith has demolished the NFL this season, accumulating 19.5 sacks on the way to being the face of a defensive line that is downright scary.  

If it wasn't for Denver's Von Miller doing much of the same on defense for the Broncos, Smith would be the runaway favorite for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. Winning that award would be secondary to a Super Bowl victory, something Smith can have a direct impact on.

The Patriots struggled to get pressure on Baltimore QB Joe Flacco in the second half of the AFC Championship Game. Getting to Flacco on Feb. 3 will be Smith's job, and if he succeeds multiple times, the 49ers have a great chance of winning this game.

Not many players impact a game the way this guy does. With a healthy Justin Smith on the other side and the rest of the unit in place behind him, Aldon will be able to pin his ears back and attack—something he does extremely well.

3. Joe Flacco—Baltimore QB

Flacco has been downright untouchable during this postseason, posting eight TDs and zero interceptions over the course of his team's three-game winning streak.

He's shown poise down the stretch, attacked defenses well and gotten a little bit of luck when he needed it the most. The 70-yard touchdown to Jacoby Jones in the game against Denver will go down as a huge misplay for safety Rahim Moore, but Flacco still has to take a chance for that play to ever happen.

Additionally, this game will be the passing of the Ray Lewis torch to the next great leader of the Baltimore Ravens. Flacco is a candidate, but he'll have to prove he can win the big game before the team anoints him as its next great one.

If he does win the big game, he'll have to beat a San Francisco secondary and linebacker corp that is complete with a multiple of Pro Bowl players and several All-Pro candidates. That kind of victory is certainly worth MVP consideration, and it would signal the arrival of Flacco for the world to enjoy.

2. Ray Lewis—Baltimore LB

Who else?

Despite playing just six regular-season games, Lewis has turned it on to the tune of 44 tackles in three postseason games and the most important stat of all—3-0 in the last three games.

As reported by NESN, Lewis can also become the first player ever to win two Super Bowl MVPs as a defensive player. When he won the award in 2000, his stat line wasn't mind-boggling, as his impact was more far-reaching than a box score could indicate:

Lewis was named MVP despite a relatively quiet stat line — three tackles, two assisted tackles and four passes defensed. He won the vote because he was clearly the heart and soul of that defense.

In similar fashion, you can tell the Ravens are feeding off their star LB in what has been his final postseason. In his final game, expect more of the same, and you can bet the selection committee will keep that in mind when determining the MVP.

If Lewis and the defense have a standout game against the No. 1 contender for the award, he'll likely be a shoo-in.

1. Colin Kaepernick—San Francisco QB

Kaep has gone from NFL project to backup QB to starting QB all in the matter of weeks, and he's now leading a dangerous dual-threat offense into the NFL promised land.

Continuing his ridiculous performances from the regular season, Kaepernick has broken a playoff QB rushing record, compiled a 2-0 record, won a road game in the Georgia Dome and now finds himself as the odds-on favorite for the award.

From beating teams through the air against man coverage to running the zone-option to perfection, Kaepernick is an explosive athlete that just happens to have QB passing skills and the ability to read a defense.

Throw that in with a great defense and the full trust of his head coach and there's some serious doubt that any team can stop this guy's hot streak. That being said, consider him the man to beat for the Super Bowl XLVII MVP, and along with that assertion, the 49ers to be the favorite for the Lombardi Trophy.

Ethan Grant is a featured columnist for B/R's Breaking News Team. Check him out on Twitter.


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