Ray Lewis - shown - may have one of the best games in his life today.
All week we've heard the talking heads basically coronating the 49ers even before the game is played. But how can we trust most of them when they can't even get basic facts correct? For example NFL Channel's Shaun O'Hara saying "both teams' kickers have underperformed". Huh? Methinks he confused the Ravens' former kicker, Billy Cundiff(now with SF), with their new guy Justin Tucker - who has missed only 3 FGs out of some 36 attempts. You call that "underperforming'? Sheesh!
Yes, SF wins most of the matchups and with a D secondary playing safety over the top they may well stop Torrey Smith of the Ravens from long TDs like he got with Denver in the AFC Divisional Playoff game. However, as former Niner LB Bill Romanowski put it in today's D Post, the Ravens have an "x-factor" an "it" that could enable them to upset the Niners and have all those who bet on them in the Vegas Sports Books crying in their beer. Romanowski referred to the fervor and spirit that Ray Lewis - playing in his last game - brings to the team and how none of those players wants to let him down.
As Nate Silver also observed on his NY Times blog: the Ravens can upset the Niners on special teams, and I also expect this is where the 'W" will emerge this evening. Look for a forced SF error in a punt return, with one or more Ravens knocking the ball out of the Go guy's mitts. Probably setting up a score on the Niner 15.
That plus one defensive pick six, likely by Ed Reed, along with Justin Tucker FGs will seal the win. Kaepernick? He will be sacked three times, and punished severely by a Pollard hit on an attempted read option run. Alex Smith may have to be called into duty!
Post game -the two rival brothers will then shake hands, after which the Niners will become the Whiners.
We will see! Now, let's start those brats and hot wings!