The 2013 Super Bowl will be won at halftime in each team’s respective locker room.
The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers looked like completely different teams in the second half of their conference championship games. Halftime adjustments will definitely be a factor in determining the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.
That's a testament to the great coaching staffs that are led by brothers Jim and John Harbaugh.
Both coaches, and their staffs, proved that they have what it takes to change their game plan to meet the situation they are facing.
They did it in the moment, too, with all of the pressure and weight of the world mounting on their shoulders.
Atlanta came out strong and possessed a 17-point lead in the opening minute of the second quarter. Even after a second-quarter resurgence, the 49ers still trailed by 10 points going into the locker room.
At Foxboro, the Ravens hung in there with the New England Patriots thanks to a rare clock-management error by Tom Brady. The Pats clinged to a 13-7 margin at the half instead of a potential 17-7 lead.
That’s when Baltimore turned on a different gear.
In the past the team deferred to Ray Rice and the running game, relying on its staunch defense to keep it in the game. New offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell and John Harbaugh turned QB Joe Flacco loose on the Pats’ secondary instead and it paid off big time.
Both the Ravens and the 49ers shut out their opponents in the second half, which is a true testament to the quality of the defensive minds that are in charge of these teams' defenses.
So what’s the halftime picture going to look like in New Orleans?
If it’s a close game, like in Foxboro, will John Harbaugh turn Flacco loose again? Or, will his brother and the tough 49ers defense be ready to slow him down as they did in the second half against Matt Ryan?
The Niners allowed zero second-half points by Ryan after the QB threw three touchdowns and put up 24 points in the first half.
One thing is certain: Both of these great coaches are familiar with one another and will engage in a chess match that may help us decide who the better Harbaugh really is.