Super Smash Brothers: Browl

Welcome, welcome, one and all to the Nice Life Industries analysis of the 2013 Super Bowl, which I am pleased to call the #SuperBrowl. And, I promise you that’s gonna catch on, considering Alec Baldwin used the phrase during his opening monologue at the NFL Honors event in New Orleans.

This post is special. It’s the first of, I hope, many round table posts I put up. It’s also the first official resurgence of a little project called Louisiana Sports Tonight. The two guys at the table with me tonight are LST co-founder Andy Bullard and regular contributor Eric Brooks. These two are much smarter than I am about things and that’s totally fine with me because it just makes whatever I post about sports better because it has their input.

The Super Browl features the Ravens and the 49ers, two teams that I am not sure many would have suspected at the beginning of the season. Nonetheless, we’re here and I’m pretty damn excited. At least for the commercials. However, as to the game itself, let’s turn now to the round table and break this down.

 

The Ravens

Andy: The Ravens come into this Super Bowl with more momentum than any other team in recent history. They had to go through super rookie Andrew Luck, and two of the greatest QBs to ever play the game in Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Beyond all that they also have win one for Ray(Lewis) on their side. Just with that alone they have to have a great chance to win the Super Bowl.

But more than just the momentum they posses something more important, actual skill. They defense has been playing superior and has played like the defense that won them the Super Bowl in 2000. Also, the thing that has been more important than the defense has been Joe Flacco. He has taken a huge amount of criticism for his play in the past, but the truth is he is the reason they are winning and stand a chance to win.

 

Eric: Baltimore has been an interesting team all year. The played in the relatively weak AFC North along with the overrated Cincinnati Bengals, the aging and injured Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cleveland Browns who deserve no description. The Ravens managed to fight their way to a division championship with a 10-6 record, even though they limped into the playoffs with a 1-4 record in their last five games.

They have one of the best running backs in the game in Ray Rice (who they sometimes seem to forget is on the team) and an underrated quarterback in Joe Flacco. On defense, they have the all-time great Ray Lewis leading the charge of a slightly aging and overrated defense. With all of that said, they were not my pick to make it to the Super Bowl and I still do not believe they were the best team in the AFC this year.

 

Joe: “I totally didn’t stab anyone.” Quoth the Raven, Ray Lewis. Yeah, cut right to the chase there, didn’t I? Just wanted to take a stab at this whole Ray Lewis thing before I got serious. Time to be serious, though. Gotta be sharp to analyze this right. Anyway, the Ravens are pretty much the Cinderella story of this entire postseason, minus the pimped out pumpkin carriage (maybe???). There’s a whole slew of reasons to think that they could win this. Ray Lewis has sliced his way through offense plays to rack up a fantastic 44 tackles this postseason (that was a deer antler joke).

Can’t underestimate Joe Flacco either. If you want a guy who can thread the needle in new and exciting ways, but you’re still worried Peyton Manning’s head could fall off at any moment, you go with Flacco. Or Falco, if you’re slightly dyslexic and, frankly, because he’s better than Fox in just about every way. The bottom line here is that on both sides of the ball, you have stars that can go the distance.

 

The 49ers

Andy: They stand behind a staunch defense and a strong running. Also, they have momentum in the form of Colin Kaepernick. He has started the third fewest games before playing in the Super Bowl. Along with that the Niners are much more explosive of an offense with number seven behind center.

They too have had to face some great QBs in the form of Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan and have had no issue with either one of them. I would love to say more about the 49ers, but the truth is they are a very boring team and that is their greatest strength. They play great defense and run the ball well, and when you are bored to tears that’s when Kaepernick makes a great play and blows the game up.

 

Eric: The Niners were probably the most consistent team in the NFL this year. That’s saying a lot since they made a significant quarterback switch right in the first half of the season. This is a team whose starting quarterback went down with an injury and the team got better. How many teams can say this would happen if their started went down? They won the NFC West by the slimmest of margins over the Seachickens, who were also led by a rookie quarterback. Speaking of quarterbacks, this Kaepernick guy is awesome.

To come in as a rookie and lead your team to the Super Bowl is simply astonishing. Like the Ravens, this team also has one of the league’s best running backs, Frank Gore. Unlike the Ravens, the Niners never seem to forget this fact. As far as defense goes, the Niners defense is mean, big, and fast. I believe is was and is the best defense in the NFL this year. Led by Patrick Willis, Navaro Bowman, and Aldon Smith, this defense leaves little room for the opposing offense. The Niners were my pick out of the NFC this season, so at least I got one right.

 

Joe: Honestly, I just like the name “Kaepernick.” It bounces off the tongue like a lithe swimmer in the Olympics going into a perfect swan dive. But that swimmer is probably gay. Because San Fransisco.

But, seriously. Dude’s got his tenth game as a starter IN THE SUPER BROWL. HOLY AWESOME. Yeah. Be jealous. The 49ers have a little history when it comes to having a good season – and by little, I mean microscopic. As in, they historically don’t have a good season. It’s shocking to see them here, honestly, but it’s also a bit exciting. They have the advantage of being the favorite going into this game. I’ve seen a few spreads and it looks like they have the advantage of a few points, and offensively, I really don’t doubt that. Kaepernick, along with a tremendous supporting staff, can wreck some defenses.

 
The Summary

Andy: Both of these teams do the same things well. They both play defense really well and run the ball great. The thing that separates the two is quarterback. In the future I would probably lean more towards Kaepernick, but that’s the future so for now I have to go with Flacco. And with that I have to go with the Ravens winning Super Bowl XLVII 21-17.

 

Eric: On to the big finale! So far I have only predicted one game wrong this entire post-season, which I only missed by three points in double overtime (damn you, Broncos). I am looking to keep the hot streak going, so let’s look at some comparisons. The Harbaugh brothers are both great, so that’s a push. Kaepernick, the rookie, vs. Joe Flacco, the underrated one. Advantage? I’d say San Francisco, but just barely.  Ray Rice vs. Frank Gore? That’s a push. Ray Lewis and deer antler spray vs. a plethora of talent leads to a big San Fransisco advantage. I know there are broad comparisons, but I don’t feel like typing all night. Anyway, my final prediction: San Fransisco wear down the defense of the Ravens late in the game leading to a 28 to 17 San Fran victory.

 

Joe: It’ll be a passing game, and the proof is in the pudding that Ray Lewis totally didn’t take the lid off of and turn into a shiv to protect himself in prison. The 49ers have allowed only 185 rushing yards in the postseason (they picked up 472). It’s passing, though, that they’ve struggled with. They’ve allowed 688 yards in passing in the postseason versus their own 470. And they’re going up against the underrated Joe Flacco. It’ll be close, but I see a 24-21 Ravens victory.

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