All eyes will be on the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers when they take the field in the New Orleans Superdome on Sunday for Super Bowl XLVII.
The Super Bowl is the climax of the NFL calendar, so the game is expected to generate the proper amount of buzz to carry everyone into the bevy of offseason activities.
What better way to send out the 2012 season than to have the 47th edition of the Super Bowl be the best one yet. For that to happen, however, it is imperative that the game prove that the hype is legitimate.
Through the years, this game has indeed lived up to its name. Players show up with their Sunday best and teams battle it out until the clock strikes zero.
The games truly have been great.
The fact that this year's edition is preceded by so much buildup prior to kickoff puts pressure on everyone to deliver. And as the matchup develops, there could be some epic performances come Sunday.
Here are 10 individual or team records that could fall in Super Bowl XLVII.
Current Record Holders: Jake Delhomme to Muhsin Muhammad for an 85-yard touchdown in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Both quarterbacks in this game have big-time arms, but Baltimore Ravens signal-caller Joe Flacco has the reliable deep-threat to connect with.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith has a career yards-per-receptions average of over 17, and even scored on a 59-yard reception in the team's divisional-round victory over the Denver Broncos.
The Ravens' balance on offense will allow the team to stretch the field in the passing game. Whether it is early to loosen up the San Francisco defense or late in the game after establishing a presence on the ground, look for Baltimore to swing for the fences in this one.
Current Record Holder: Gary Brackett for the Indianapolis Colts with 12 solo tackles in Super Bowl XLIV.
The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers possess a similar recipe for success: establish the ground game, protect the football and play stout defense. This method oftentimes results in a slower-paced contest.
With both teams attacking the matchup so similarly, the outcome will largely be dictated in the trenches.
Whether it is Ray Lewis or Patrick Willis sniffing the ball out, Brackett's record is in jeopardy.
Current Record Holders with Three Sacks: Reggie White (XXXI) and Darnell Dockett (XLIII).
Though he has been held without a sack over his last five games, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith is capable of taking over a game by himself.
The Baltimore Ravens have allowed 42 sacks in 19 games this season. Whether due to poor offensive line play, straying from Ray Rice or Joe Flacco holding the ball too long, this team is vulnerable here.
Game situations may dictate Smith's chances to get to Flacco, but if Baltimore becomes too reliant in the passing game, look for a big showing out of the second-year pass-rusher.
Current Record Holder for Longest Kickoff Return: Desmond Howard with a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XXXI.
Current Record Holder for Punt Return Yards, Single Game: Desmond Howard with 90 punt return yards in Super Bowl XXXI.
Current Record Holder for Punt Return Yards, Career: John Taylor with 94 total punt return yards in Super Bowls XXIII, XXIV and XIX.
Jacoby Jones has been a special teams threat his entire career, tallying seven touchdowns in six years in the NFL. In 2012 alone, he scored on two kickoffs and one punt with longs of 108 and 63 yards respectively.
This game could be played close to the vest, as both the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will want to control the clock and take their shots when the time is right. This will give Jones plenty of chances to shine in the return game.
San Francisco yielded the second-highest yards per kick return in the NFL this season, and also allowed a punt return for a touchdown.
Jones is a threat anytime he touches the ball on special teams. An elevated number of punts could pad his yardage totals as the game progresses.
If Jones is able to surpass all three totals, he would be a shoo-in for MVP similar to his predecessor Howard.
Current Record Holder: Steve Christie with a 54-yarder in Super Bowl XXVIII.
Scoring could be at a premium in Sunday's matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.
While the 49ers' kicking situation is shaky with David Akers' recent troubles, the Ravens bring in one of the better kickers from the regular season in rookie Justin Tucker.
Tucker made 30 of 33 kicks this season, including a perfect 4-for-4 in 50-plus yard attempts. His long of 56 would surpass Christie's record, and this game could offer up the opportunity to do just that.
With no wind in the dome, Tucker's big leg might be the deciding factor in this game.
Current Record Holder: Washington Redskins with 280 rushing yards in Super Bowl XXII.
The Washington Redskins were known for their smash-mouth style of football during their run in the 1980s. While the San Francisco 49ers aren't quite that rough-and-tumble, they do have quarterback Colin Kaepernick who will help the overall rushing total.
Couple the dual-threat signal-caller with Frank Gore and LaMichael James, and San Francisco could put up a very impressive total on the ground.
The Baltimore Ravens are allowing 128.3 rushing yards per game this postseason, but the 49ers have rushed for 472 yards and seven touchdowns in just two games in these playoffs, so something has to give here.
As long as this game is close, San Francisco possesses enough in the passing game to keep the Ravens off balance.
Current Record Holder: Washington Redskins vs. Miami Dolphins with 81 rushing attempts in Super Bowl XVII.
The matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers possesses plenty of talent on the offensive side of the ball. However, most of the success will be predicated on sound rushing attacks.
If this game is as close as it is expected to be, look for a healthy dose of Ray Rice and Frank Gore. Both will be complemented with either Bernard for the Ravens or Colin Kaepernick and LaMichael James for the 49ers.
Though the majority of the scoring could come through the air, the dirty work will be done on the ground—as both teams play well to their own strengths.
Current Record Holder: New York Giants with a 9:59 drive in Super Bowl XLII.
Continuing with the overwhelming theme here, both the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers will set out to run the ball a lot during Sunday's matchup.
If executed well, we could see very few possessions in this contest due to how successful both of these teams have been in carrying out their game plans.
For a winner to emerge, however, scoring is imperative. As methodical as things could get between the Harbaugh brothers here, expect long drives all game long.
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