Super Bowl Predictions 2013: Power Ranking MVP Favorites
Roger Staubach, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana and Troy Aikman have more in common than simply being members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Perhaps more importantly, they're all recipients of the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player award, which is arguably the most highly coveted individual honor in all of professional football because it's an indication of a player's ability to deliver the goods when things matter most.
This year's edition of the most-watched event in North American sports pits two teams that have each gone over a decade without reaching the Super Bowl, and both have a handful of players who have realistic chances of leaving New Orleans with MVP honors.
Here's a look at the players who enter the game as favorites to exit the Big Easy with the big game's top individual award.
1. Colin Kaepernick
Simply put, there's no player that's exceeded expectations as wildly as San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick has this postseason.
But that's not why he should be considered the favorite to take home MVP honors, (which, by the way, he is according to OddShark.com).
It's because Kaepernick's been a difference-maker through and through, which is why he's racked up over 200 yards rushing and nearly 500 yards passing through two games, not to mention the five touchdowns he's accounted for.
Baltimore's defense ranks 20th in the league against the rush, which is certainly a good omen for Kaepernick because with Frank Gore accompanying him in the backfield, the pair could do some damage on the run. However, don't discount the former Nevada star's arm either.
2. Joe Flacco
Nobody wants to be predictable by ranking the two starting quarterbacks at the top, but Kaepernick and Joe Flacco have earned it.
If Flacco can defeat the 49ers, who boast arguably the most well-rounded defense in football, he deserves MVP honors, unless San Francisco shuts down Baltimore's passing attack completely.
3. Ray Rice
If the Ravens win and Joe Flacco isn't named MVP, Ray Rice will almost assuredly win, simply because the 26-year-old back is the most dangerous playmaker within Baltimore's offense.
Heading into the big game, Rice is averaging over 100 all-purpose yards per game, and perhaps more importantly, he's taken attention off of Flacco by forcing opposing teams to put more emphasis on defending against the run.
If Jim Harbaugh's game plan is geared towards neutralizing Flacco, Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin, Rice will lead the 'birds to victory.
4. Frank Gore
Averaging over 105 all-purpose yards through two postseason contests, Frank Gore has been a big reason why the 49ers have defeated both the Packers and Falcons, but that shouldn't come as any surprise.
Gore has been among the game's most consistent rushers, as he's had well over 1,100 all-purpose yards in each of the last seven seasons, and he's certainly capable of being the difference between a Super Bowl ring and a long offseason for the 49ers.
5. Ray Lewis
This one's for the sake of nostalgia.
When the Ravens won the city's only Super Bowl in 2000, it was none other than Ray Lewis who took home MVP honors.
Now, with the iconic linebacker set to take the field for the final game of his storied NFL career, there's no reason to think that the 13-time Pro Bowl selection can't put together one more legendary performance and become only the sixth player ever to win multiple Super Bowl MVP awards.
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