Just that, no one gives Flacco any respect......
Just that, no one gives Flacco any respect......
Its true that the Niners are basically a younger, better version of the Ravens. If the Ravens lose it'll be sold as a passing of the torch. I just think the Ravens have so much experience especially at QB and that will make the difference.
Anyone looking for the evidence of the brain damage done by repeated blows to the head iin the course of a professional football career need look no farther than this...
I posted earlier about NFL analysts split on the picks, but 6 of the people picking Niners picked them by a TD or more, while only 1 person picked the Ravens by a TD....
I get that Niners have a talented team, but it seems that a lot of people want to overlook things about us. Like they think that because the Safeties are better than what we've faced, Joe will suddenly just fail at passing. Did other QBs fare okay against the Niners this year? Pretty sure they went 0-1-1 against Sam Bradford...
And for the most part, Jim Harbaugh generally seems to be thought of as the better coach. Not as accomplished, but they seem to trust him to do a better job preparing his team and calling a game. WHY? John's been in the league 3 more years, has 3 more seasons of playoff experience...
But whatever...49/50 states picked against the Ravens in the Broncos game. And the majority of the country picked against us in the Patriots game too.
Well the 'experts' gave the Ravens a less than zero chance of being here after having to go through the AFC's #1 & #2 seeds - GO RAVENS!
The Ravens offense torched the BroncHoes, who had a much more fierce pass rush than the 49ers, and a much healthier defense going into that divisional game than the 9ers will have in the SB. I keep hearing the media talk about the 9ers pass rush, and it seems to be waaaay overrated. Sure, they had Aldon Smith with 19.5 sacks and Justin Smith pushing the pocket, but what they're not talking about is how they trailed off during the last 4-5 games of the season when Aldon had no sacks and Justin was suffering with the triceps injury. Aldon wasn't about to beat double teams and teams were onto their line stunts (see Atlanta first half, before Melted Ice aka Matty Ice choked the game away with an uninfluenced fumbled snap). Another thing is, the vaunted 9ers pass rush had 38 sacks while the Ravens' often anemic pass rush had 37! Denver had like 52 sacks or some ridiculous number plus Dumvervill with like an additional 10. Combined, they only had 1 sack in the playoff game. I know their defense is stout against the run (not as stout as they were in 2011 though) but I think our offense can have some success and I believe Pierce will rip off a huge run.
And don't even get me started on the 49ers offense! They tore through pathetic Packers and Falcons units in the playoffs. Hell, if not for the aforementioned choke job by Matt Ryan, they'd have easily lost that game. Meanwhile in the divisional and championship rounds, the Ravens stuffed two top five offenses in Denver and New England. They stuffed Manning and Brady! Manning and Brady!! The Denver game would've been a much more comfortable win if not for the two special teams TDs given up. They held the Patriots to 13, while the 9ers gave up like 35 or so to them and had to squeak out a win after blowing a 25-point lead in a quarter and a half.
All that said, I like this team as an underdog and I like our chances!
I keep hearing that the Niners are the more physical team? REALLY???? Good lord...yeah, they sure looked the part in the last matchup, lol.
The Niners had good stats against the pass, but they really don't cover well in the secondary. They had the good fortune of playing a lot of very poor QB's this year. Most of the good ones they faced lit them up. It's only gotten worse now that their pass rush has all but disappeared. K-rist, very few of these talking heads even mention that their pass rush has been anemic since J Smith was injured. Oh, and btw, the two weeks off aren't going to help him much. His biceps is 50% torn through.
But the one thing that I swear I have not heard a single talking head mention - that the Niners played a weak(#24) schedule this year, and the Ravens played a brutal one(#5). The Ravens also had the much tougher road in the playoffs.
I tell ya, the media is really putting a chip on the Ravens shoulders. Today on Sirius I heard Suggs have to point out some stuff to Schein about the 1-4 finish(i.e 2 of the games very close, we had a lot of starters out, and the Bengals game we rested our starters). You can really tell guys like Sizzle, Ray, Joe, Boldin, they've got something to prove.
I'm starting to wonder if this team isn't going to go out there and steamroll an overrated 49'ers team.
This was the same thing it happened in 2000, No chance to beat the Giants. The team is going to have a chip on their shoulder the size of Maryland coming into this game.
The SI and ESPN "experts" seem pretty down the middle on this one (with a majority of SI columnists picking us). Heck, even Florio at PFT picked us.
I get why people are picking the Niners. And I get why they are picking them by a lot. The Niners are a younger team with a stout defense and a power running game. People think that if we win, we will win by staying close and pulling something off at the end (think Ali-Foreman).
The wild card in these predictions is the experience factor. Can Ray Lewis beat Vernon Davis in a footrace? No. Can Ray Lewis or Ed Reed out-think Colin Kaepernick? We don't know, but in a battle of wits, you have to like the Ravens' chances. Has the pressure gotten to Kaepernick? It doesn't look like it, but if it would ever get to him, it would be now.
If you measure this on paper, the teams are pretty even -- but the excellence of the Niners' LB corps, their pistol/option offense, Kaepernick's speed and cannon for an arm are all great advantages. The Ravens' advantages do not show up on paper -- experience, football IQ and Justin Tucker. That's why I can understand why people pick the Niners. They are a formidable team.
Again, it's like all of a sudden they have forgotten that we also have an offense.