Super Bowl XLVII is arguably one of the most even matchups in recent memory. While there are a lot of things that could ultimately decide the winner, what are the most likely things that could tip the scales in the 49ers direction?
Lets look at the Top 3 reasons why the 49ers could take home the Lombardi Trophy later tonight.
3. Defensive Pressure
While the Ravens need to keep Joe Flacco on his feet, the 49ers defense is going to do everything they can to wreak havoc. Aldon Smith is going to be key, as he hasn’t had a sack since Week 14 (19.5 sacks over the first 13 games). Justin Smith, who will need offseason surgery on a torn triceps, will also be vital.
That said, the 49ers also feature Ahmad Brooks, NaVorro Bohman and Patrick Willis, among others. They don’t necessarily need to record sacks, but if they can fluster Flacco, it will be more than enough.
2. Frank Gore & The Running Game
Heading into the season it looked like the 49ers would utilize a variety of running backs, but in reality, Frank Gore has been the man in 2012. He rushed for 1,212 yards and eight touchdowns during the regular season and has been even better in the playoffs (209 yards and three touchdowns in two games).
With the Ravens proving prone to rushing TD in the regular season (15 TD allowed) and being forced to focus on containing Colin Kaepernick, Gore’s ability to make plays is going to be a key.
1. Colin Kaepernick
The 49ers were heavily questioned for making the change from Alex Smith, but Kaepernick has proven that they made the right decision. Thus far, he has shown that he can stay within himself and not get lost in the moment. He also has proven that he can beat teams both running or throwing the football, putting added pressure on defenses.
Can the Ravens keep him from breaking big runs? If they do, can they keep him from making big plays to Vernon Davis or Michael Crabtree down the field?
Even if they focus on those things, and stop both, will it allow Frank Gore to break loose?
It’s a tough situation for the Ravens defense. If Kaepernick can keep things together, he should be the biggest reason why the 49ers win.
What are your thoughts? What do you think the 49ers need to happen to win tonight?