Super Bowl XLVII Predictions

super-bowl-xlviiSuper Bowl XLVII will be played on Sunday February 3, 2013 between the Baltimore Ravens (AFC Representative) and the San Francisco 49ers (NFC Representative).  Both teams pulled off road upsets in the conference championship games to reach the Super Bowl, so there should be no shortage of momentum and feelings of destiny on either side.

Although the spread has changed a little, most betting sites like Sportsbetting.ag  have the 49ers favored in Super Bowl 47.  The Niners are favored thanks to a dynamic offense led by Colin Kaepernick and a crushing defense that ranked third overall in total defense and second overall in scoring defense.

Baltimore’s Offense:

Ravens Offense

Yds/Game

Pass Yds/Game

Rush Yds/Game

Points/Game

Regular Season

353

234

118

24.9

Playoffs

425

276

149

30.0

During the regular season, Baltimore had a pretty ho-hum offense in terms of total yardage and scoring.  Heading into the Super Bowl, however, has been a different story entirely. The Baltimore Ravens are averaging nearly 75 more yards per game on average than during the regular season, split evenly between passing and rushing, which gives even more balance to their strong attack.  Their points per game are up 5 compared to the regular season, which is significant considering the quality of teams they have played.

Baltimore’s Defense:

Ravens Defense

Yds/Game

Pass Yds/Game

Rush Yds/Game

Points/Game

Regular Season

351

228

123

21.5

Playoffs

415

287

128

19.0

As the playoffs approached and all throughout, the Ravens defense has been growing stronger.  They have given up more yards/game during their three playoff games, but that has been typically because they are playing with a lead and employing a bend-but-not-break defensive strategy.  Their points per game are down by 2.5 which indicates a strong defense.

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San Francisco’s Offense:

Niners Offense

Yds/Game

Pass Yds/Game

Rush Yds/Game

Points/Game

Regular Season

362

206

156

24.8

Playoffs

476

240

236

36.5

With Kaepernick at the helm, the 49ers offense has grown by leaps and bounds, particularly in the playoffs.  They are exploding for nearly 37 points per game during this postseason, with nearly identical yardage in the rushing and passing sides of their attack.  A balanced attack is crucial to playoff success, and nobody has a more balanced offense than the Forty-Niners.

San Francisco’s Defense:

Niners Defense

Yds/Game

Pass Yds/Game

Rush Yds/Game

Points/Game

Regular Season

294

200

94

17.1

Playoffs

415

322

93

27.5

If you look at how the Niners defense has performed during the postseason, compared to the regular season, it might seem a little troubling.  They are giving up over 100 yards/game more (mostly on pass defense) and giving up over 10 points per game more than their regular season numbers.  Keep in mind, however, that they played two of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL during their playoff run (the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons), which means we shouldn’t be surprised to see their defense suffer a bit.

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Keys to the Game:

  • The Baltimore Ravens must get the passing game going.  During the AFC Championship game, they didn’t take control of the contest until the second half, fueled by consistent downfield passing. The way the Forty-Niners play the run, it will be essential to establish the passing game.
  • The 49ers must stick to the ground game.  They won’t be able to fool these veteran linebackers with the read option every time, but it’s not always about busting the big play – it’s about methodically wearing down a defense and setting up the play action fake.
  • The Ravens must stop the run first and foremost. They cannot get aggressive in attacking the running back, especially because of the SF read option.  It will be important for them to get a hit on Kaepernick, regardless of whether he has the ball or not, just to plant the seeds in his head that he should give it up more often than he keeps it.
  • The 49ers must get pressure on Joe Flacco. Part of the reason the Ravens were able to advance through the playoffs is because they protected the quarterback so well. If San Fran doesn’t get pressure on the Ravens’ QB, he will have all day to make his reads and find downfield receivers.

Super Bowl XLVII Prediction:

The San Francisco 49ers are a better team on paper, and reached the Super Bowl thanks to a balanced offensive attack and just good enough defense.  The Baltimore Ravens have been feeding off of Ray Lewis’ emotion and an improbable win against the Broncos in the divisional round. Both teams will be well coached and well prepared for this game, but in the end, we think it has to go to the team that has played better all season long – the San Francisco 49ers.

About Aaron Garcia

Aaron is an avid sports fan who passionately follows the NFL, NBA and MLB, in addition to NCAA Sports. He is an Arizona State University grad who loves the Dodgers and the Patriots.