Super Bowl 2013: Sleepers with Potential to Key Their Teams' Victories

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 30, 2013

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 29: Ted Ginn Jr. #19 of the San Francisco 49ers steps out of the tackle of defensive back James Sanders #39 of the Arizona Cardinals during the first quarter of an NFL game at University of Phoenix Stadium on October 29, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

No one would be surprised to see Joe Flacco or Colin Kaepernick lead their teams to victory in Super Bowl XLVII.

Likewise, not many would bat an eye if Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Vernon Davis, or Frank Gore shined bright at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.

Those are the usual suspects, but every now and then, a less than obvious player makes a splash at the year's biggest game.

The last time the Baltimore Ravens played in the Super Bowl in 2001, Jermaine Lewis keyed the Ravens' 34-7 triumph over the New York Giants with an 84-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Timmy Smith of the Washington Redskins (1988) and Larry Brown of the Dallas Cowboys (1996) are other lesser-known players that surprised the masses with huge performances in the Super Bowl. 

Here are the top sleepers candidates that could be key to their teams winning Super Bowl XLVII.


The Return Men - Jacoby Jones and Ted Ginn, Jr.

Dangerous return men can turn a game upside down; Ginn, Jr. and Jones are definitely what I'd describe as dangerous. There is no doubt that these two guys are on the opposing teams scouting report, but they may not be at the forefront of fans' minds.

The two men have 13 combined return touchdowns. If either of them explodes, you can bet that their team will be in a great position to hoist the trophy.


The Other Pass-Rusher - Paul Kruger and Ray McDonald

Terrell Suggs and Aldon Smith are the two most famous pass-rushers for their teams, but Kruger and McDonald are both very capable.

All it takes is two sacks and a forced fumble to become the most impacting defensive player in a game, and both men have the ability to accomplish that.

McDonald has only two sacks this season, but if the Ravens focus on stopping Smith and even Justin Smith, McDonald could register the cleanup sacks.

Kruger led the Ravens in sacks, but the 2011-2012 Defensive Player of the Year is Suggs. Kruger could easily play a huge role in neutralizing Kaepernick.


The Other Running Backs - LaMichael James and Bernard Pierce

Both teams utilize two running backs, and both of the backups are capable of strong games. James' speed and ability in the open field makes him dangerous every time he touches the ball.

Pierce could be starting for most teams in the NFL. His north/south running style lends itself to success against a defensive front like the Niners.

He could easily break off two or three long runs to spark the Ravens offense.


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