The Most Surprising Stats Leading Up to the Super Bowl

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 25, 2013

The Most Surprising Stats Leading Up to the Super Bowl

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    The Baltimore Ravens will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII this year—a match that is surely to be analyzed in every which way over the next week.

    From the battle of the Harbaughs to the emergence of Colin Kaepernick as the Niners' savior to Ray Lewis' farewell game in the National Football League—the 2013 Super Bowl certainly isn't one without it's fair share of build-up and discussion.

    However, in terms of the football itself, one thing we know for certain is how evenly matched the two conference champions are this season. They are both strong, disciplined football teams who have every chance of walking away with everything or nothing from this one. 

    It might be only one little thing that takes place in the Super Bowl this year that completely changes the outcome and momentum of this one. One little statistic, one little bit of information could drastically change the outcome of the biggest game of the season.

    So it's important we look at the little stuff here heading into the most important game of them all—here's the 10 most surprising statistics heading into the Super Bowl.

10. The Coaching Brothers

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    We might as well get the biggest storyline/statistic out of the way here in that this will be the first ever Super Bowl coached between two brothers.

    John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens) and Jim Harbaugh (San Fransisco) did meet earlier in the regular season, where John's Ravens emerged with a 16-6 victory.

    Can the former Stanford coach Jim get back at 1-1 in his career record against his brother? Moreover, can he become the first NFL coach to beat his brother in the Super Bowl?

    Time will no doubt tell, but we certainly haven't heard the end of this brothers-coaching in the Super Bowl story. That will be around for much longer still.

9. The Mistakes of the Past

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    In 2011, both the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers lost their conference championship games—against the New England Patriots and the New York Giants respectively.

    Thus for them to meet again, the very next year in the Super Bowl is somewhat of a strange occurrence—something that's only happened once before in NFL history.

    The 1995 Super Bowl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys was the only other time in history where both teams would lose the conference championship game and then make it through to the Super Bowl game in the following year.

    The NFC team won on that occasion in Super Bowl XXX; is the same thing set to happen here?

8. The Elusive Coin Toss

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    You might not think that the coin toss is all that big of a deal when it comes to the Super Bowl.

    Simply put, you'd be wrong.

    One of the biggest prop bets and most stupidly-talked about things is the coin toss and what the outcome of it will be and how it will affect the final outcome.

    You'd be surprised, but the statistics on the coin toss and the relationship it has with the final score is uncanny—particularly when it comes to the NFC team.

    Through the last 15 years, the NFC has won 14 of the 15 coin tosses.

    However, it has only gone to win the Super Bowl on four of those 14 occasions.

    You be the judge.

7. The Rookie Quarterback

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    No rookie quarterback has ever won the Super Bowl. 

    Many have tried and many have come close, but no rookie has ever managed to take home the greatest prize in the National Football League.

    Not Kurt Warner, not Tom Brady, not Peyton Manning.

    None of the greats have been able to win the greatest prize in their opening season and, you know what, it isn't going to happen again either this year.

    For all those that have forgotten, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick is not a rookie and this is not his first year in the National Football League.

    The 49ers quarterback attempted five passes last year and managed three completions—making last season his rookie season and this year his second season.

    It's really not that hard to put together.

6. The Man Called Ray Lewis

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    Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will play his final game in the National Football League in Super Bowl XLVII—pulling the pin on what had been a remarkable 16-year career in the NFL.

    Arguably the greatest defensive player of all time, Lewis will finish his career with nearly 1000 tacked and over 40 sacks—numbers which are truly phenomenal for any player to achieve.

    Yet what is more incredible is not where it finishes for Lewis but where it all began, with his first ever career sack for the Ravens in 1996.

    The man it was against? 

    San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

    You simply couldn't make this stuff up.

5. The Philadelphia Eagles Curse

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    In 2009, the Philadelphia Eagles opened the regular season against New Orleans. The Saints would go on to win the Super Bowl that year.

    In 2010, Philly would open up against the Green Bay Packers who, would also go on to win the Super Bowl later that season over the Steelers.

    In 2011, the Eagles opened their season against the New York Giants who, you guessed it, won the Super Bowl later that year.

    The team that Philly opened the year against in 2012?

    The Baltimore Ravens.

4. The Superdome

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    The Superdome in New Orleans will host the Super Bowl for the sixth time in it's history, with the San Francisco 49ers more than happy to be heading back to that venue.

    The one time that the Niners played the Super Bowl was in 1990, where they beat the Denver Broncos—giving them a perfect record at the ground.

    What's more, San Francisco would go on to post the largest total in a Super Bowl—scoring 55 points to run out huge winners over the Broncos.

    Surely we can't see that many points this year at the 'Dome?

3. The San Francisco Coordinators

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    We all know the links between the two head coaches in this game (the hint's in the last name), but there exists a few other strange statistics between these two teams heading into the Super Bowl.

    The two current San Francisco main specialist coordinators—offense and defense—have both coached at the Ravens at some point in their careers.

    Vic Fangi—defensive coach at the Niners—was a defensive assistant at the Ravens from 2006 to 2009 whilst Greg Roman—offensive coach at the Niners—was the offensive line coach at Baltimore from 2006 to 2007.

    Weird.

2. The Destiny's Child Curse

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    Now this is what you call research, and boy am I proud of this one.

    Super group Destiny's Child will reportedly sing together at half-time in Super Bowl XLVII this year—something that leans significantly in the favor of the Baltimore Ravens.

    See, Desinty's Child have had a number of big songs over the years but none have been bigger and higher-selling than their smash-hit Bootylicious.

    That song was released in the year 2001, the year which, Baltimore won their first and only Super Bowl.

    Some say coincidence; I say science.


1. The Undefeated Champions

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    But perhaps the most remarkable and surprising statistic to come out the build-up into the 2013 Super Bowl is the fact that both the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens are undefeated when it comes to Super Bowl appearances.

    Neither of the sides have ever lost a championship game in their history; something that we know is going to change after this season is complete.

    Baltimore have only made the Super Bowl on one occasion—winning the Lombardi Trophy in 2001—whilst San Francisco are a perfect five from five, having won the trophy in 1982, 1985, 1989, 1990 and 1995. 

    Can they make it six straight here or will the Ravens end their undefeated streak at five? Either way, we know one of their records has to fall in Super Bowl XLVII.