Super Bowl 2013 Kickoff Time and 5 Other Facts for Ravens vs. 49ers
Super Bowl XLVII will pit the San Francisco 49ers against the Baltimore Ravens and will be televised on CBS this coming Sunday.
Several obvious storylines will dominate. First of all, the head coaching battle between John and Jim Harbaugh is unparalleled in NFL history, and future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis is taking his final ride in the 17th season of an illustrious career.
Kickoff is currently set for Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET in New Orleans' Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
But there are several other facts that may get lost in the hoopla—some with direct relevance to the game, others interesting from a historical standpoint. Here is a breakdown of some of the other interesting things to know about Sunday's showdown.
Nobody has it better than the 49ers in the Superdome
Borrowing from the postgame rallying cry coined by the junior Harbaugh, the Niners have the best winning percentage of any team to play in the Super Bowl venue in New Orleans.
Now, that doesn't really matter much considering that the Saints were the opposing team in many of those instances, but history is on San Francisco's side here to a degree.
Not all of those previous games were meaningless, either.
Super Bowl XXIV took place in the Superdome, though, and it pitted the Niners against the Denver Broncos. Led by legendary QB Joe Montana, who completed 22-of-29 passes for 297 yards and five touchdowns, San Francisco rolled to a 55-10 victory.
It's hard to envision that sort of blowout with two siblings coaching against each other. But with the Niners' ability to come back, as demonstrated throughout these playoffs, they would appear to be the most likely candidate to get it done if they get off to a strong enough start.
20 is the magic number for San Francisco
Simply put, the Niners need to reach 20 or more points to claim victory on Sunday. Since Harbaugh took the reins, the team has never lost when reaching or exceeding that threshold.
Thanks to the explosiveness brought on by first-time starter Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco's offense is getting more big plays both on the ground and through the air. Kaepernick's unique athleticism allows plenty of flexibility for Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman.
With deep threats like TE Vernon Davis and playmakers like Michael Crabtree, there is a great chance that the Niners will reach or exceed 20 points in this one.
However, it remains to be seen if their defense can stop the Ravens, whose quarterback, Joe Flacco, is also playing at an extremely high level as of late.
Joe Cool has a chance to join very elite company
Speaking of Flacco, there was never much doubt that he had the physical tools and prototypical size to succeed in the NFL. However, inconsistency on accuracy and an inexplicable emphasis on the passing game made it difficult for Flacco to thrive under former offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Suddenly, Jim Caldwell took to calling the shots for the fired Cameron near the end of the regular season and Flacco has looked like a completely different player since.
The accuracy numbers may not look pretty, but that's because Flacco has been unleashed and is encouraged to throw the ball down the field at a much higher rate under Caldwell. It has translated to an outstanding postseason, where Flacco has thrown eight touchdowns and zero interceptions on over nine yards per attempt. His 114.7 passer rating is best amongst playoff QBs.
Should that pick-less streak continue, Flacco would join Steve Young, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Phil Simms and Drew Brees as the only ones to make it through the playoffs with eight or more TDs and zero INTs.
All of those aforementioned players won the Super Bowl and won the Pete Rozelle Trophy as the game's MVP.
Halftime entertainment performs for free
Strangely enough, an A-list performer like Beyonce—who is headlining the Super Bowl halftime show—does the massive gig for publicity purposes only.
That has been characteristic of all preceding entertainers as well, according to John Turner of Sporting News.
Beyonce has drawn controversy lately after having a backing track support her during the Star Spangled Banner at President Barack Obama's inauguration. Any assertion that she couldn't sing was promptly put to rest in a Thursday press conference, though.
She opened it up by singing the national anthem a cappella, and did very well, as reported by Chris Strauss of the USA TODAY.
It was something of another free show for the press corps and other media members.
Only previous Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh matchup was a Ravens win
Last Thanksgiving, Baltimore played host to the Niners in the night game. It promised to be a physical, low-scoring battle, and it indeed was.
John got the best of Jim by a score of 16-6, handing the younger Harbaugh what turned out to be the most lopsided loss of his first season at the helm.
But this game should be a lot different. The Niners are more of an attacking offense with Kaepernick under center, and Flacco is, as mentioned, playing at a higher level than ever.
Something to take note of too is that the Niners defense hasn't quite been the same lately, while the Ravens defense seems to be peaking at the right time, led by Lewis' whopping 44 tackles in the previous three contests combined.
There has to be some sort of pseudo-psychological advantage on the Ravens' side, though, thanks to the prior victory.
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