Super Bowl 2013: Potential Scapegoats in Super Sunday Showdown

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2013

Scott Norwood misses the potential game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV.
Scott Norwood misses the potential game-winning field goal in Super Bowl XXV.Mike Powell/Getty Images

For every Super Bowl hero, there is also a scapegoat. Fans on the losing end often blame a single person that they believe cost their team the game.

Probably the most famous example is Scott Norwood, who missed a field goal that might have given the Buffalo Bills the win in Super Bowl XXV. 

The matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens could end up having a similar outcome.

Of course, the reality is that it takes an entire roster of players to win a game and it takes just as many to lose.

However, these players will certainly be capable of making a single mistake that could live on forever.


Ted Ginn, PR, San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco's season came to an end in last year's NFC Championship Game thanks in part to two Kyle Williams fumbles on punt returns. The last of which came in overtime and put the New York Giants in position to make the game-winning field goal.

Ted Ginn was out that game, but with him the 49ers have a much more experienced player returning punts this time around.

Unfortunately, that has not made too much of a difference this year. The former first-round pick has fumbled or muffed four different kicks this season. Although he only lost one, he still does not instill total confidence.

Baltimore has recovered 12 fumbles this season and only lost five. The Ravens will be looking for the ball, so Ginn better hope he does not make any mistakes that could make a huge difference.


Bernard Pollard, S, Baltimore Ravens

Most of the time, Bernard Pollard does a lot to help the team. He is not only good in coverage, but he led the Ravens this season with 98 total tackles.

Every so often, however, he hurts the team with a devastating penalty.

Including the playoffs, Pollard has been flagged eight times, according to Every single one of them was a personal foul, usually some version of unnecessary roughness. To make matters worse, all but two came in the second half.

Pollard often has problems keeping his emotions in check during a close game. More than anyone else on the field, he has a high likelihood of being called for a 15-yard penalty in the fourth quarter.

If the 49ers are trying to make a late drive to tie or win, one of these calls could be devastating.


David Akers, K, San Francisco 49ers

A year ago, Baltimore's Billy Cundiff missed a short field goal in the AFC Championship Game that could have forced overtime.

The Ravens have since settled the situation with rookie Justin Tucker, who made 90.9 percent of his attempts this season.

Meanwhile, the once-sturdy David Akers cannot seem to find the center of the goal posts for the 49ers. The veteran's field-goal percentage of 69 percent was the lowest of his career as a full-time player.

He also missed his only attempt in the previous game against the Atlanta Falcons from just 38 yards away.

In a close game like this, the 49ers will certainly need to trust their kicker to make an important field goal. A miss in a key spot could end up being devastating for Akers, the team and the entire fanbase.