Much has already been said about Ray Lewis and the latest PED scandal, which seems more like a marketing ploy by S.W.A.T.S. Everyone is talking about the Ravens defense and their ability to slow down 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick. These both come in to play with the Ravens preparation for Super Bowl XLVII.
There are players and schemes that are being overlooked when it comes to Baltimore and who might be the difference makers for them this Sunday.
Super Bowl 2013: Five Ravens To Watch:
1) RB Ray Rice:
I have been preaching the importance of Ray Rice for The Baltimore Ravens all season long. Although it does not always show up in the end of game stat lines, Ray Rice is a duel threat force out of the Ravens backfield. He is only averaging 3.9m yards per carry this post season, but people overlook his pass catching abilities. While he only has 4 receptions in the playoffs, they have averaged 17.3 yards, and his longest reception was a 47 yard strike from Ravens QB Joe Flacco. Rice was the fourth leading receiver for Baltimore in 2012, and if San Francisco overlooks his abilities, he could be the dominant force needed for a Ravens Super Bowl victory in 2013.
2) S Ed Reed:
The aging safety is still one of the best in the game. Reed has turned out another stellar season’s worth of stats, and still helps sales of antacid medications to offensive coordinators league wide. Often overlooked due to sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer Ray Lewis, Reed is just as responsible for the long term success of The Ravens storied defense. Reed’s role in Super Bowl 2013 will be the most important of his career. If he and fellow defensive back Cary Williams can limit San Francisco’s down field passing game, it will help the defense try to keep Colin Kaepernick in check with their 3-4 defense. The question is, does Reed retire if The Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII?
3) QB Joe Flacco:
The 49ers let Atlanta throw all over the field in The NFC Championship Game. Joe Flacco has to be licking his chops at the thought of an aerial assault on the daunting 9er defense. He has plenty of weapons to choose from. His decision making will be the difference for the Ravens offense. If he chooses the right routes at the right times, he has the arm to cause more damage than San Francisco will be able to compensate for. Look for Flacco to test the 49ers early and often.
4) LB Ray Lewis:
You didn’t really think we could make a top 5 and not include Ray Lewis did you? What has not already been said or written about the greatest linebacker of this generation. He might be getting old, and his rocking chair may have been purchased, but the guy leads the NFL in tackles this post season. His “Last Ride” has been filled with highlights and emotional outbursts. The latest reports of him using PED’s will only give him more fuel to feed the fire in his quest for a secon Super Bowl ring. He will be the key to keeping Kaepernick from big plays on the ground. He will be looking for the opportunity to remind the young quarterback what it takes to be a champion, to be a man amongst men in The NFL.
5) K Justin Tucker:
Yes, this kicker will be a player to watch. In a game that might come down to a field goal, you want this guy on your team. He went 30-33 on the season, and he could actually make the difference in The Super Bowl. Think about San Francisco’s losses and tie this season, field goals have cost them. A solid guy like Tucker could be the hero on Sunday, and his strong foot could help etch his name is history.