Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 1/21/13
For the first time in NFL history, two brothers will battle each other on the NFL's grandest stage, the Super Bowl. This season, Super Bowl XLVII is in New Orleans and the San Fransisco 49ers will be representing the NFC, while the Baltimore Ravens will represent the AFC.This will be the 49ers first Super Bowl appearance since 1995. The 1995 team is still scoring on the San Diego Chargers. They won the game 49-26, to secure the franchise's fifth Super Bowl ring. Last year, the 49ers fell one game short of the Super Bowl, losing to the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game.On the other side of the field, the Baltimore Ravens will be making their second Super Bowl appearance in team history, with their first and last appearance coming in 2000. In Super Bowl XXXV , the Ravens beat the Giants 34-7 and Ray Lewis was named the games MVP.Lewis is the only player left on the roster from the first Super Bowl team. In fact; Lewis is so old, he came with the building. He was the teams second, first-round pick (26th-overall) in the Ravens 1996 inaugural season. This season, Lewis announced before the Ravens wild-card game against the Indianapolis Colts that he would be retiring at the end of this year.Was the retirement speech enough to put the Ravens over the top? It's either that or something else that  has up until this point. Could it be that Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is in the final year of his contract and he stepped up his game even more to increase his value?In Flacco's first five years, he already has more road playoff wins -- 6 -- than any other quarterback to play the game. That's pretty impressive for a guy who gets very little respect as a top flight quarterback.Is it really a surprise that the Ravens beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game to advance to this year's Super Bowl?The last three times the Ravens and Patriots met, Flacco has outperformed Tom Brady and it hasn't even been close. Brady isn't the only future Hall of Fame quarterback Flacco has beaten recently. In the AFC Divisional Game, Flacco went into Denver and beat Peyton Manning. or, Flacco beat a good Broncos defense and Manning beat himself, with an interception to set up the game-winning field goal.No one was giving the Ravens a chance against Denver and hardly anyone was giving them a chance this week against the Patriots. In both instances, Flacco stood tall and made the throws when it mattered most, unlike Brady and Manning, who both had costly turnovers in their games.Make no mistake though, both teams are in the Super Bowl due in large part to their respective head coaches; Jim Harbaugh in San Fransisco and John Harbaugh in Baltimore. The Harbaugh brothers will be the first brothers to face off against each other in any major sport, in regular or post-season play.Jim Harbaugh became head coach of the 49ers in 2011 and he guided his team to the NFC Championship game last season. This season, he started out with Alex Smith at quarterback, but after a week 9 concussion, second-year back-up Colin Kaepernick came in and he didn't leave.Jim Harbaugh faced a ton of criticism for his decision to stick with Kaepernick after Smith was healthy, but so far it has paid off and they are one game closer to the ultimate prize this year than they were last. Kaepernick was 5-2 as a starter to finish the regular season and he is an electrifying player on the field.Kaepernick combined his quickness and speed, with his strong and accurate arm to lead the 49ers easily past the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional game. In that game, Kaepernick set a NFL record for most yards rushing by a quarterback, with 181. He and the 49ers offense embarrassed the Packers en route to Atlanta for the NFC Championship game.In the championship game against Atlanta, Kaepernick and the 49ers faced an early 17-0 deficit, but he and they didn't waver. Kaepernick held strong and started chipping away at the Falcons lead, one touchdown drive at a time. He didn't rush near as much in this game, but he didn't have too.49ers running back, Frank Gore finished the game with 90 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Vernon Davis led the team in receiving, following the blueprint of Seattle's Zack Miller from a week ago against Atlanta. Davis had five receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown.Atlanta did move the ball on offense, but they were unable to capitalize on a couple crucial drives late in the game and Matt Ryan had a costly fumbled snap late, which resulted in a Falcons turnover. Early on, it was all Julio Jones, all the time for the Falcons and he ended the game with 11 receptions for 182 yards and two touchdowns, including a ridiculous catch in the back corner of the end-zone for his second touchdown.The Falcons just couldn't hold off the surging 49ers in the second-half and once the 49ers grabbed the lead, their defense shut down the Falcons when it mattered most, to clinch the teams chance to tie the Steelers with six Super Bowl rings.In two weeks, the Harbaugh brothers will lead their teams out onto the field to battle each other in a brotherly fight like no other. The world will be watching as the brothers try to out-think, out-scheme and out-plan each other in order to capture the games ultimate prize.
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