Gridiron Guesses: CTV.ca's Super Bowl prediction
Are you ready to play some "Har-ball?"
No, that's not football spelled incorrectly.
Super Bowl XLVII will be the first time in the history of the U.S.' four major professional sports that two brothers face-off as head coaches in a postseason game.
Jim and John Harbaugh were raised under the same roof in Toledo, Oh., but on Sunday night, 1,000 miles away from where their lives began, the roof will be a little bigger when they lead their respective teams, the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens, onto the Mercedes-Benz Superdome field.
FYI: In lieu of the Harbaugh brothers facing off, terms you may hear at a Super Bowl party include: "Super Baugh," "Harbowl" and "Bro Bowl."
Our deepest condolences go out to parents Jackie and Jack Harbaugh, who will be faced with the task of wiping tears of joy from one son’s face while catching shark tears from the other.
San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Harbaugh brothers are coaching against each other.
Legendary linebacker Ray Lewis is playing in his last game.
New Orleans is hosting the NFL's biggest game less than a year removed from facing one of the NFL’s harshest penalties.
Yes, this year's Super Bowl has the makings of a great Disney movie, and the storylines to go down as one of the best in NFL history.
This year's game will also feature starting quarterbacks that have never played on football’s biggest stage, and for the first time in 10 years, a play-caller with the last name Brady, Manning or Roethlisberger will not take part in the Super Bowl.
Here’s a closer look at the two starting quarterbacks in this Sunday’s Super Bowl.
With his youthful swagger, mature patience and chaos-inducing runs, Colin Kaepernick has skyrocketed from little-known backup to potential Super Bowl MVP in less than a season.
In his first two postseason games, Kaepernick has amassed an incredible 698 yards and five touchdowns, confusing defences with read options more intricate than the tattoos than cover his body.
Nobody is happier about his rise to fame than head coach Jim Harbaugh.
After starting quarterback Alex Smith went down with a concussion in Week 9, the 2011 second-round pick out of Nevada was thrust into the spotlight, with most expecting him to be a temporary Band-Aid for the Smith solution.
Harbaugh made a bold decision to keep Kaepernick as the team’s starter, and while the move was criticized at first, it could very well be the sole reason the 49ers have made it to the big game in the "Big Easy."
During Tuesday's Media Day in New Orleans, Kaepernick made clear that this is merely the beginning.
"My dream was to play in the NFL. I wouldn't say my dream has come true yet. There’s still a lot of work to do."
Alex Smith: $9,500,000
Colin Kaepernick: $1,164, 610
Yah, the kid’s alright.
Out of all the reasons why the 49ers are favoured to win this game, perhaps the most obvious one is that nobody expected the Ravens to make it this far.
Nobody expected them to beat Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in a season, let alone in consecutive playoff weeks, especially with Joe Flacco at the helm.
What many fail to realize is that Flacco has quietly accomplished something that no other quarterback in NFL history has: he’s won at least one playoff game in each of his first five seasons as a player.
Flacco's eight touchdown passes and zero interceptions this postseason have allowed the Ravens to be more than the one-dimensional defensive team it has been for many years.
Prior to last season’s AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Ravens, Flacco received harsh criticism after declaring himself the best, despite never leading his team to a Super Bowl.
"I mean, I think I'm the best. I don't think I'm top five; I think I'm the best," Flacco said, in an interview with Baltimore sports radio station WNST 1570.
The Patriots would go on to win the game.
This season, Flacco has matured as a player, making his reads and throwing with a confidence that parallels the enormous strength in his arm.
Last week, the Ravens beat the Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
On Media Day, Flacco was asked if he believes he's an elite quarterback.
"I'm just going to let my play speak for itself. I don't know if it's answered it or not, it's really not my job to concern myself with that."
After defeating Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in their home buildings, it's hard to not consider him among the NFL's top play-callers.
If he leads the Ravens to the Super Bowl, Flacco might start to hear others call him something else: the best.
CTV.ca's "Super" prediction
Baltimore Ravens 31
San Francisco 27
Here's an interesting number: ZERO.
That’s the number of times the San Francisco 49ers have won a game this season when an opposing running back has 20 or more rushing attempts in a game.
In three postseason games this year, Ravens running back Ray Rice is averaging north of 21 rushing attempts per game, racking up 247 yards in the process.
I predict Rice will be busy on Sunday, carrying the ball 20-plus times en route to two touchdowns and the game's MVP award, with Dennis Pitta and Anquan Boldin finding themselves on the receiving end of Flacco touchdowns.
The 49ers will do everything that's expected of them, but it will be the Baltimore Ravens walking out of Louisiana with the Vince Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XLVII.
Touch 'em all, Joe!