When the lights flick on and the action begins in Super Bowl XLVII, prepare yourself for an all Harbaugh coaching matchup. Super Bowl XLVII will feature the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, teams coached by brothers Jim and John Harbaugh, respectively.
Super Bowl XLVII will be hosted at the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome in New Orleans, Louisiana. Kickoff time is 3:30 p.m. PT on Sunday.
John, 50, led the Ravens to victory over the Patriots 28-13 on Jan. 20, avenging their loss last year in the AFC Championship game. He has seen plenty of success as head coach in Baltimore, however this victory is the biggest in his career.
Jim, 49, will face his big brother for the first Super Bowl in history slating brothers as head coaches. The 49ers defeated the Falcons 28-24 on the road after coming back from an early 17-0 deficit. Super Bowl XLVII will also mark the most significant moment in Jim’s NFL coaching career.
The Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 last season in a game marking the first time two brothers faced off as coaches in the NFL. Despite that loss, the 49ers have been listed as 5-point favorites in Super Bowl XLVII.
The 49ers are capable of winning on the strength of both their offense and defense. Offensively the 49ers made a smart quarterback switch halfway through the season, opting to go with dual-threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who leads the 49ers into New Orleans. NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith and the rest of the defense finished ranked second in the NFL in points allowed per game.
Baltimore on the other hand arrives at the Super Bowl in the same way they usually do — by winning with their defense. This year Baltimore is also lethal on the offensive side of the ball, led by Joe Flacco who is capable of putting up 300-plus yards and three touchdowns a game.
The key matchup to watch is the 49ers’ offensive line against the Ravens defensive line. If the 49ers are able to give Kaepernick enough time to open the passing game, it could be a long night for the Ravens defensive, especially with the play making ability of Kaepernick both through the air and on the ground.
That is much easier said than done against the hard-hitting and physical Ravens defense led by linebacker Ray Lewis, who has already announced his retirement following the end of this season. Lewis was the MVP of the 2001 game, the Ravens’ only Super Bowl win.
I give a slight edge to the 49ers and predict a 31-24 victory for San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII.