Super Bowl XLVII, between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, has the potential to be one of the greatest Super Bowls in recent years — not just because of the level of play these teams have demonstrated in the playoffs, but mostly because of the story lines all over the field.
Ray Lewis, one of the greatest linebackers in history, will play his final NFL game, retiring after 17 seasons, hoping to win his second Super Bowl ring, making a return to the big stage after 12 years. The 49ers’ head coach, Jim Harbaugh, was Lewis’ teammate in the late 90′s, not to mention the brother of the head coach on the opposite side, John Harbaugh.
There’s the obvious quarterbacks angle: Colin Kaepernick, beginning the season as the backup to Alex Smith and emerging as an explosive runner and very patient and accurate passer in the playoffs, and Joe Flacco possibly proving he’s part of the elite group of QBs in the NFL after years of criticism. One of the two — Randy Moss (49ers) and Ed Reed (Ravens) — will finally win a Super Bowl ring.
The 49ers enter the Super Bowl as the favorites, but as you can see by the roads both teams have taken to the big game (see the infographic below), there isn’t that much of a difference between them in quality.
This is probably the best ingredient to make sure Super Bowl 47 will be among the most exciting we’ve seen in recent years.
Ehud Riven is the editor of sports magazine Sportige; a sports know-it-all and a Cowboys fan.