With a lot of talk surrounding Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers’ read option leading up to the Super Bowl, the Ravens defense will have to step up.
Several members of Baltimore’s defense will likely play well against the read option, including safety Ed Reed and linebacker Ray Lewis.
However, linebacker Terrell Suggs will either have a great game and blow up the read option in the backfield, or he’ll allow Kaepernick and running back Frank Gore to get past the first line of defense and into the secondary.
Judging by Suggs’ fairly unimpressive numbers this season, it’s likely that Suggs will turn up as a disappointment in the Super Bowl, regardless of whether or not the Ravens win on Sunday.
While Suggs missed eight games this season due to injury, when he played toward the end of the season, his numbers weren’t very impressive.
The biggest game that Suggs had by far all season was in the divisional round against the Denver Broncos, when he recorded 10 total tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble.
When the Denver game is taken out of Suggs’ stats, he is only averaging 3.1 combined tackles this season, including the regular season and postseason, and only has two sacks.
Suggs also is a player who prefers to rush the quarterback rather than stay back and wait for the play to develop.
It’s possible that with Suggs’ play style, Kaepernick will be able to run the read option, and get the ball out of his hands or leave the pocket by the time that Suggs gets there.
Who will have the better game?
Lewis is more likely to be the linebacker who stays back and waits for the play to develop and then make his move, which makes him more likely to put up bigger numbers than Suggs.
The opportunity is certainly there for the Ravens to get hits on the quarterback, as the 49ers gave up 41 sacks and 68 quarterback hits during the regular season.
The Ravens defense hasn’t been as good as it has been in past years, however, as they had only 37 sacks.
Suggs may have put up better numbers had he not been coming off of injury, but he hasn’t done enough so far this season to prove that he could show up in a big way on Sunday.
Many fans are expecting him to, though, as he is right up there with Lewis and Reed as recognizable names on the Ravens’ roster, but expect Suggs to have a disappointing game.