Vince Lombardi famously said that every football game comes down to just a handful of plays. Therefore, we can expect the outcome of Super Bowl XLVII to be decided by just a few players. They aren't the biggest stars on their teams, but they'll be the players that make the difference on Super Bowl Sunday.
Who will those players be? Which unsung heroes will rise to the occasion in the biggest game of their lives?
Bernard Pierce is hardly unknown. Pierce actually led the Ravens in rushing in their AFC title-game win over the Patriots. But Pierce has shown a versatility that complements the tools Baltimore already has on offense.
Baltimore has enjoyed the benefits of a long-range passing game in these playoffs, but the difference in this Super Bowl might come down to how these Ravens move the ball on the ground.
While Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick and Ray Lewis will be claiming the headlines for most of Super Bowl week, Pierce and other "X-factor" players will be shaping the course of the game.
Join me, with fellow NFL Lead Writer Aaron Nagler and Senior NFL Draft Lead Writer Matt Miller, in New Orleans in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome as we break down the potential X-Factors in Super Bowl XLVII. Enjoy our takes on these two teams and leave your own thoughts in the comments below.
As always, thanks for watching.
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