Super Bowl Predictions 2013: Players Who Won't Live Up to Hype

Nick Juskewycz@@NickJuskewyczContributor IIIJanuary 30, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Like any Super Bowl, the battle between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will feature some of the biggest NFL icons from the 2012 season.

Some are young rising stars. Some will be playing their final game in an NFL uniform.

However, there are always a handful of people who don't perform to the necessary standards.

Ray Lewis

Expectations are through the roof for the final game of the future Hall-of-Fame linebacker.

If the Baltimore Ravens expect to contain the dynamic offense of the San Francisco 49ers, Ray Lewis will need to play one more remarkable game on defense.

There's one problem though. Lewis hasn't played against the read-option before. While Baltimore did play against the Washington Redskins and gave up 423 yards in early December, Lewis was still sidelined with his torn triceps. 

Baltimore fans might consider that not having their defensive captain before is a positive sign. However, is it realistic to expect Lewis to be disciplined for 60 minutes against a scheme he is on the field with for the first time in his 17-year career?

Unfortunately for Lewis, his teammate Terrell Suggs will be in the same boat. Suggs missed the Redskins game as well because of torn biceps. 

With two of its best defensive players going against a prolific offense like the 49ers for the first time, Baltimore will have trouble stopping Colin Kaepernick.

Joe Flacco

As recent as two months ago, the Baltimore quarterback was arguably playing for his contract. Now people want to know once again, is Flacco an elite quarterback?

Going against a San Francisco defense that is ranked fourth against the run and pass, this is a tough match up for him. 

While Flacco does have eight touchdowns to zero interceptions in the postseason, he has only completed 54.8 percent of his passes.

What's going to make it more difficult for Flacco is if the Ravens can't stop the 49ers early. If San Francisco sustains drives in the first half and eats up a lot of time, Baltimore might be forced to ditch the running game earlier than they want to.

The Ravens did have two comeback wins against the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos in their last two games, but Baltimore never trailed by more than one possession.

Furthermore, the San Francisco coaching staff has done an excellent job in the playoffs making halftime adjustments against Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan. The second ranked scoring defense should be able to have its way versus Joe Flacco. 

Randy Moss

For how many different reasons the San Francisco 49ers have made the news in the NFL this season, you have to go pretty far down the list to find Randy Moss. 

Now that has all changed. At Super Bowl Media Day, according to ESPN.com, Moss claimed that he is the greatest wide receiver of all time.

Why did he wait until now to make this statement? Shouldn't he have expressed his opinion when he retired in Summer of 2011? Did he mature and become a better player in 2012?

Regardless, Moss has brought a spotlight to himself for the Super Bowl and people will be looking for him to show up in big moments.

For a receiver that only has 33 catches and three touchdowns this season, unless it's a game-winning touchdown reception, it's doubtful that Moss will make a significant impact on the outcome of the game.


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