Local Football Bloggers
It’s hard to steal all the attention during the week leading up to the Super Bowl, but Randy Moss had accomplished this feat with one statement. While it may be considered blasphemy to talk about being the greatest wide receiver in the history of the NFL, while wearing a San Francisco 49er jersey, Moss is not only entitled to his opinion, but based on his career and stats, he is not far from the truth.
Super Bowl 47 may be the final game for Ray Lewis, but the 49ers have several players who will approach the game with the same mentality. If Baltimore thinks that Ray Lewis’ dramatic return to the field will allow the Ravens to play at the level that has allowed them to get this far, they had better look to the other sideline and what the 49ers are playing for. San Francisco is the hungrier team and playing for far more than their opponent.
With a two week break between the Divisional Championship Round and the Super Bowl, both the 49ers and Ravens are able to heal up. Both teams have defensive stars recovering from an injury, and with an extra week to rest will only benefit, but San Francisco would have been better off playing this Sunday.
The San Francisco 49ers will be the better team when they take on the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday. Unfortunately, talent is not the only deciding factor, and the Ravens will have a few things working in their favor that could help them win it all. To make matters worse, these are things that are out of the 49ers’ control, and San Francisco will have to hope that a lot of things go their way on Sunday.
For the San Francisco 49ers to complete their quest for a 6th Lombardi Trophy, they will have to beat the Baltimore Ravens. After falling one game short of the Super Bowl a year ago, the 49ers find themselves in unfamiliar territory, as the last time they were in a Super Bowl was 18 years ago. As a franchise, San Francisco is undefeated on football’s biggest stage, and although this is new ground for this specific team, they have to like their chances of keeping the winning streak alive.
In a game where the momentum switched hands several times, the 49ers were able to make one more play than the Falcons and will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. San Francisco bounced back from a slow start, and in the end, outplayed the home team. The 49ers have earned themselves a trip to New Orleans, where they will look to reach the pinnacle of the sport.
When the Atlanta Falcons beat the Seattle Seahawks, they earned the first playoff win for both Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez. The entire franchise was able to breathe a sigh of relief, but will need to re-focus with San Francisco up next. With the winner heading to the Super Bowl, Atlanta must be careful to not suffer an emotional let down, and will face even more pressure as the stakes have been raised.
There are a lot of things that will be needed to slow down the Atlanta Falcons offense in the NFC Championship Game. The 49er secondary will have their hands full chasing Roddy White and Julio Jones around, but the key match-up is going to be NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis vs. Tony Gonzalez. There is no doubt that Gonzalez is the greatest ever at the tight end position, but this is a match up that San Francisco can win.
Despite having to travel on the road to play the Atlanta Falcons, the 49ers are in a good position to pull out a win on Sunday. The keys to getting over the hump, that is the NFC Championship Game, will be a mix of mental and physical. Both teams are solid and equally talented, but if San Francisco can control three things, they will find themselves one win away from the Lombardi Trophy.
When the New York Giants beat San Francisco last year in the NFC Championship Game, it was the 49ers’ inability to make a big play offensively that was a big reason for the loss. The team used the off season to address this problem, and as they find themselves one win away from the Super Bowl, the offense looks nothing like the one that let them down in this very game a year ago.