The seemingly endless wait to kickoff for the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII is almost over. Stories have been written about this game for two weeks, with everyone trying to figure out what will happen.
Rather than go down the prediction road, we are going to tell you what you should expect to see happen.
We have had ample evidence, from both the regular season and playoffs, to see what makes the Ravens and 49ers tick. Now it is up to them to decide what kind of game they are going to play. Both have the ability to change styles on a dime, so things will never be boring.
Here are our expectations for Super Bowl XLVII.
Big yards and big plays
Despite being known more for their defenses, the Ravens and 49ers have turned into very good, occasionally great, offensive teams.
In three playoff games this postseason, the Ravens have racked up 1,274 yards. They have 13 offensive plays of at least 20 yards, including three touchdown plays. Joe Flacco has yet to throw an interception in 93 attempts.
For the 49ers, their offense has looked better than ever in the postseason. They have put up 952 yards in two games, including a franchise-record 579 against Green Bay. Their 472 rushing yards in two games is 26 more than the Ravens, who have played one more game.
On top of those numbers, neither defense has been particularly effective. The 49ers have allowed 55 total points (48 from the defense) and 829 yards in two games. The Ravens have played a bend-but-dont-break style, as evidenced by the 1,245 yards they have given up.
So even though a lot of the game will be built around the incredible defensive talent on the field in this game, there will be plenty of offensive fireworks.
One big turnover
A key reason for the success of the Ravens and 49ers this postseason is getting the timely turnover. All turnovers are great, but there are certain situations where one can shift the momentum of a game.
It looked like Colin Kaepernick was in trouble against Green Bay after throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown on his second pass of the game. He then went on to have one of the best playoff performances in NFL history.
The 49ers got the key turnovers against Green Bay, when Aaron Rodgers floated a pass deep over the middle that was intercepted by Tarell Brown and returned into Packers' territory, and against Atlanta, when Roddy White slipped allowing Chris Culliver to pick off Matt Ryan.
The Ravens took advantage of a horrible decision from Peyton Manning to set up the game-winning field goal in the second overtime. In the AFC Championship, Bernard Pollard knocked Stevan Ridley out cold and forced a fumble that turned that game around.
The team that is able to force the other into making that one big mistake is going to walk away with the Lombardi Trophy.
Battle of wits
As much as the hype of the Harbaugh brothers might be grating to some, it is completely justified considering how good both John and Jim are at manipulating the game in their favor.
Both the Ravens and 49ers model themselves after their respective head coach. The Ravens are very workmanlike in their approach. It isn't always pretty, but when push comes to shove they get the job done.
The 49ers approach the game almost like they are fighting for survival on a deserted island. They have a set plan at the beginning, yet have been willing and able to adapt to everything that is going on around them.
Neither coach has an advantage over the other because they know each other so well. It all comes down to which coach makes that one move that puts his team in a position to deliver the knockout blow.
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