Ravens vs 49ers: Players Who Will Break out of the Shadows in New Orleans

Tyler BrookeSenior Analyst IIFebruary 1, 2013

James is a solid backup to Gore, and could be a threat.
James is a solid backup to Gore, and could be a threat.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Ray Lewis, Colin Kaepernick and the Harbaugh brothers have been getting the majority of the attention during Super Bowl coverage.  However, there are several players that have been overlooked during the week that could be big keys to the game on Sunday.

The 49ers and Ravens have been preparing all week to contain the big players, but as we have seen in previous Super Bowls, sometimes the player that is overlooked has the biggest game.  With that being said, here are a couple of players that could break out on Sunday night.



LaMichael James

The Ravens will be paying a lot of attention to both Kaepernick and Frank Gore during the game, which means that a player like James can make some big plays in the running game.

While James hasn't had many carries this year, he has had some big plays during the 49ers' playoff run.  He has only had eight carries, but he had been able to run for 55 yards and a score. 

Gore will need to take some breaks throughout the game, and James can be a dangerous threat if Jim Harbaugh decides to give him a few more carries than usual. 



Dennis Pitta

While a lot of attention has gone to the receiving core of the Ravens, Pitta has been a very solid player in passing game. 

Both Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith get a lot of attention from opposing defenses, and that has given Pitta chances to get open throughout the season.  Joe Flacco may look for Pitta a bit more, as the 49ers had the fourth-best passing defense during the regular season, and could be containing Boldin and Smith more than expected.



Dashon Goldson

Flacco has loved throwing the deep ball during this year's playoffs, and will likely continue to throw it deep on Sunday.  Goldson will be key in containing the deep threats of Smith and Boldin.

Goldson was a solid safety during the regular season, leading the team with three interceptions and also grabbing 69 total tackles.  He will have a big task containing two deep threats on the Ravens, and he very well may make some game-changing plays during the game.



Cary Williams

The defense for the Ravens has been centered around Ed Reed and Ray Lewis for almost a decade, but Williams has become a huge part of the defense as well.

Williams will be asked to cover a talented group of receivers that include Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss.  At this point, he is used to covering elite receivers, and is able to keep up with them.

It's been a very productive postseason for Williams, who has had 24 tackles, two interceptions, and four passes defended.  His ability to press receivers will be a big help for the defense.  If Kaepernick decides to air it out, Williams could take advantage of his mistakes, and potentially get a big interception that could swing the momentum toward the Ravens.