Originally posted on BlackSportsOnline  |  Last updated 2/3/13
Football is the ultimate team sport. And with that it also means more than any other sport it becomes games within the game. Here are a few key match-ups to look for in this game, who has the advantage and who ultimately should win this game. The first key match-up to look at is going to be the Ravens Offensive line versus the 49ers defensive line. Both strengths of each team, it is imperative that they each get going early. The Baltimore Ravens have only given up seven sacks in three playoff games and the San Francisco 49er leading sack man Aldon Smith, with 19.5 sacks on the season, has not recorded a sack since week 14.  More importantly he has only recorded one sack with Justin Smith out of the lineup. With Justin Smith returning today he should have more opportunities for one on one match- ups. If the 49ers can’t get pressure on Joe Flacco its going to be a long day for that defense. I do think that the Ravens offensive line is playing well right now and their ability to be balanced on offense will play to their favor. Advantage RAVENS The next match-up to look at is the Ray Rice versus the 49ers front seven. The 49ers might arguably have the best linebacking core in all of football with All-Pro Linebackers Patrick Willis and Navaro Bowman. They are fast. They are physical. And they are very smart football players and can cover running backs and tight ends in space. Ray Rice has on more than one occasion carried this team and offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell isn’t afraid to feed him the ball even if the run isn’t working. I think the running game of the Ravens won’t be effective and Ray Rice best opportunity to contribute to this game will be in the screen and catching the ball out of the backfield. Advantage 49ERS We also need to look at the 49ers secondary versus the receivers of the Ravens. This I think will be the most important element in today’s game. The Ravens receivers are averaging 16.7 yards per catch in the playoffs and the big plays that have been made by Boldin, Smith, and Jones have lifted the Ravens to where they are right now. If there is a weakness in the defense of the 49ers it has to lie on their outside corners. Atlanta took advantage of them in the first half of the NFC Championship game, and I think the Ravens will look to that game as a strength versus weakness match-up in their favor. It will be key that the safeties stay at home and don’t get beat deep. Advantage RAVENS Looking at Colin Kaepernick versus the Ravens defense I think this match-up is the best shot that 49ers have of winning this game. Kaepernick is a dynamic player and hie effectiveness out of the Pistol Formation both rushing and passing should keep the Ravens on edge. The Ravens defense is probably as healthy as it has been all season with its four stars (Nata, Suggs, Lewis, and Reed) all playing together for only the 4th time this season. The Ravens will have to play assignment football to try and contain him, and I don’t think the NFL has quite figured this out yet and there will be holes for Kaepernick to take advantage of. Advantage 49ers All in all, this is one of the most balanced Super Bowls we have had in a while and I could see the game going either way for either team. I like the Ravens in this game to win on account of the play of Joe Flacco and his ability to take advantage of the 49ers on the outside. 27-21 Ravens over 49ers I will be live tweeting and updating for BSO during the Superbowl. Be sure to follow my personal account @KlassikSports for up to the minute updates on Super Bowl XLVII.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Tim Tebow: ‘I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in’

Olympic athletes warned about Rio's 'human crap' waters

T.J. Ward: Broncos defense doesn’t care who’s playing QB

Tokyo already dealing with rising costs for 2020 Olympics

Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd carted off practice field


Report: Bills and Tyrod Taylor continue to talk extension

Report: Title contender planning to poach Curry from Warriors

Fitzpatrick on negotiations: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody

NBA players to fund health insurance for former players

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Royals want to package Ian Kennedy, Wade Davis in trades

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ordered to pay $900K to auction house

Six potential landing spots for Nick Foles

Jack Nicklaus puzzled by Tiger Woods' woes, golf absence

Brown responds to Marshall's high-stakes challenge

Seven most mind-boggling NFL contracts of 2016

Is Jackie Bradley Jr. the Red Sox’s MVP?

Did Joey Votto reject kid who asked for his batting gloves?

Rams got it right releasing Nick Foles, trusting Jared Goff

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker