The following thread will serve as the game day thread. Enjoy the evening and if you're drinking at the local bar or a friend's house...don't drive. Call a cab. It ain't that expensive.
The Super Bowl is to football what St. Patrick's Day is to drinking: a day specifically for the amateurs. But within the confines of Amateur Hour today is a really spectacular football match-up.
My prediction? Baltimore Ravens 31 - San Francisco 49ers 28. Here are five major questions I have heading into tonight's contest:
- How will the Ravens handle Vernon Davis? They have no player in the middle of their defense (linebacker, safety) capable of containing Davis so might they enlist hot corner Corey Graham for the task?
- Will either team find a pass rush? Neither team has successfully rushed the passer for a month. If one of them rediscovers it today they'll be champions by midnight.
- Can Joe Flacco be accurate as an intermediate thrower? We know Flacco is arguably the best deep ball thrower in the sport but can he can have the success Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers had recently against this Niners defense? Can Flacco be accurate from 5-10 yards and utilize weapons like Pitta and Boldin over the middle?
- Will David Akers kill the 49ers? Last year Akers was the best field goal kicker in the league. This year he was the worst. That is a rare occurrence in the NFL and Jim Harbaugh has rolled the dice, bringing the flailing lefty to New Orleans. What happens if Akers misses a chip shot early? Can Harbaugh go back to him? If Akers costs the Niners a title you can expect the first criticisms of Harbaugh to echo throughout the Bay Area.
- Which Colin Kaepernick will show up? Kaepernick has won two playoff games with two performances indistinguishable from one another. Will he attempt to tire the older Baltimore legs with his sprinter's speed or will he able to shrug off the pressure of the game and hit receivers in stride the way he did in the second half of the Falcons game? Kaepernick strikes me as the type of player who can win a Super Bowl on his own if he so chooses. Will he?
It's a wonderful game from a tactical standpoint. Here's hoping the hullabaloo will end quickly and the contest will begin.