Super Bowl 2013: Ranking Likeliest MVP Candidates in New Orleans

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Super Bowl 2013: Ranking Likeliest MVP Candidates in New Orleans
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The Super Bowl MVP award is given to the guy who makes the biggest plays and leads his team to victory on arguably the biggest stage in professional sports.

While quarterbacks are usually the favorites to win the award, don't be surprised to see a defensive player or wide receiver take home the hardware this year.

Here's my take on the four likeliest candidates to win Super Bowl XLVII MVP.

4. Ray Lewis

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It's the perfect storyline to end his iconic 17-year career: Ray Lewis, Super Bowl XLVII MVP.

It's definitely a possibility for Lewis to earn the title, as the 49ers will be utilizing the ground game often, where Lewis can have a big impact for Baltimore's defense.

Lewis has 44 tackles this postseason—highlighted by a 17-tackle effort against the Denver Broncos—which leads all NFL defensive players by far.

If this turns out to be a low-scoring affair and Lewis makes huge plays for the Ravens, there's a good chance he'll be Super Bowl MVP. 

3. Michael Crabtree

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Michael Crabtree's career season has spilled over into the playoffs, as he leads the 49ers in receiving, with 15 receptions, 176 yards and two touchdowns.

With Kaepernick looking his way often (18 targets in two games), Crabtree is sure to make an impact on this game for San Francisco's offense.

It's going to take a pretty gaudy performance for Crabtree to take home the trophy, but if he goes for triple-digit receiving yards and scores multiple touchdowns, we could see the first WR to win Super Bowl MVP since Santonio Holmes in 2009.

2. Joe Flacco

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Five of the last six Super Bowl MVPs have been quarterbacks, and if the Ravens win in the Superdome, it's going to be on the right arm of Joe Flacco.

Of course, Baltimore's defense will need to contain San Francisco's offense, but the Ravens' offense is going to begin and end with No. 5.

He's been sensational this playoff season, throwing eight touchdowns to zero interceptions, putting him among names like Joe Montana, Phil Simms, Steve Young, Troy Aikman and Drew Brees for most playoff touchdowns thrown without an interception.

With Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith stepping up and completing this Ravens passing game, as long as Baltimore wins, Flacco will be the Super Bowl XLVII MVP.

1. Colin Kaepernick

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He's the most dynamic quarterback in the NFL and will more than likely be Super Bowl MVP if he leads the 49ers to a win in New Orleans.

Kaep has easily been San Francisco's postseason MVP thus far and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down, as he proved against the Atlanta Falcons that he can be an effective passer in the pocket.

Then, there was his day against the Green Bay Packers, when he set an NFL record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback with 181.

Like it or not, Kaepernick is likely to find the end zone—whether it's on the ground or through the air—and has the best chance of anyone playing on Feb. 3 to win the MVP award.

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