Super Bowl 2013: Unheralded Players Who Will Come Up Huge in Title Tilt

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIIJanuary 27, 2013

LaMichael James could come up huge in the Super Bowl.
LaMichael James could come up huge in the Super Bowl.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Super Bowl 2013 is a week away and everyone is trying to figure out which players will have the biggest games. What I want to know is which unheralded players will come up huge in the title tilt.

In so many Super Bowls, the unheralded players are the ones who come up big. David Tyree is a famous example.

Which unheralded player will come up huge in this Super Bowl? Read on to find out.


LaMichael James, RB, San Francisco 

LaMichael James was used sparingly in his rookie season with the 49ers. 

However, he's come on strong in the playoffs.

James has eight carries for 55 yards, good for a healthy 6.9 yards per carry. He also has a touchdown.

Frank Gore gets all the attention, and rightfully so, but James has shown that he's a threat with the ball in his hands.

He could also see a lot of action on Super Bowl Sunday. The Ravens have the 20th-ranked rush defense, giving up 122.8 yards per game on the ground.

Look for James to get a bunch of carries to spell Gore and come up with some big plays against the poor Ravens rush defense. 


Jimmy Smith, CB, Baltimore

Jimmy Smith has not lived up to expectations since being selected 27th overall in the 2011 NFL draft.

That could start to change.

He started to see more playing time in the playoffs, playing in 43 percent of the snaps in the AFC Championship Game. 

Smith could also receive a plum assignment and could be tasked with covering Michael Crabtree.

Crabtree has been stellar for the Niners this postseason, catching 15 passes for 176 yards and one touchdown.

At 6'2", Smith has the size and strength to match up against the physical Crabtree, and might be the only Ravens cornerback who can stone him at the line.

The Ravens need to stop Crabtree to win the game. Smith might present the best option.


Andy Lee, P, San Francisco

Punters play a more important role in games than most realize.

Andy Lee could come up huge for the Niners.

He's been great this postseason, averaging 47.3 yards per punt, and holding opposing returners to only 1.2 yards per return.

Field position is so crucial and its importance is only heightened in a tight game.

If Lee can keep the Ravens buried, it'll be tough for their offense to get going.

Lee has been great all year and he'll continue that in this game as he makes it hard for the Ravens to get good field position.