San Francisco made a nice comeback against Atlanta, but I think the Ravens are tougher than the Falcons. The 49ers have a lot of offensive weapons. But Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees has come up big in this year’s playoffs by defying big quarterbacks. I know Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are dropback passers, and Kaepernick is a good runner and a good passer, but I believe Pees will come up with a scheme to shut Kaepernick down, too.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco gets a lot of criticism, but he has won a lot of big games now. He would have been in the Super Bowl last year if Lee Evans hadn’t dropped that pass. He has played in a lot more big games than Kaepernick, who will be starting his third playoff game. I think Flacco will win his Super Bowl much like his predecessor Trent Dilfer won his for the Ravens in 2001: Don’t make mistakes, let the defense do its job, make one or two big plays.
If that happens, you also can bet on Ray Lewis for a second MVP.
The other thing about the 49ers is, if I am wrong and it is a close game, no one believes David Akers is going to win a Super Bowl for the 49ers by making a big field goal. So I like the Ravens in a close game, too.
But I don’t think it will be close. We’ve been on a pretty good run of good Super Bowls, but I think this one is more like the 1990s.
Prediction: Ravens 37, 49ers 17
For years I have been making Super Bowl prognostications by playing a relatively unknown board game called Pizza Box Football against my brother Ben. Over the years, our predictions have been surprisingly accurate. This year, with a Thursday deadline and my brother and I unable to get together for our annual game until Super Bowl weekend, I was at a loss to find a new way to choose between two balanced teams.