What began as 32 NFL teams in search of winning the prestigious, Lombardi Trophy has transformed into two teams and two brothers battling for the coveted “champion” title. On Sunday, Jim and John Harbaugh set up the first matchup where two brothers would coach against each other in the Super Bowl.
It seems as if this year’s post-season trend is all about comebacks. After watching four teams come from behind to extend their season last week, the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens did it again this week. Now, only one of those teams will prevail when they face each other for Super Bowl XLVII on February 3rd.
The 49ers were first to punch their ticket to New Orleans after mounting a 17-point comeback over the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons. It wasn’t until half way through the second quarter when the 49ers finally scored, making the score 17-7. However, the most impressive stat is that the Falcons couldn’t manage to score a single point in the second half, allowing the 49ers to punch in two rushing touchdowns by running back Frank Gore to win 28-24.
Next, came another second half shut-out in which the Ravens absolutely shutdown the New England Patriots and quarterback, Tom Brady. After falling to a 13-7 deficit at halftime, the Ravens rallied behind veteran linebacker, Ray Lewis and continued their season with two touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin, winning 28-13.
What sets this Super Bowl apart from others are the notable story lines.
The first and most talked about story line is that of Jim Harbaugh (49ers) and John Harbaugh (Ravens) who will be the first pair of brothers ever to coach against each other in the Super Bowl. After a disappointing end of last season for both brothers who lost in their conference championships, they’re back and poised for their first championship. However, this fight won’t be for who gets seconds or who doesn’t have to do the chores, it’s for the Lombardi Trophy.
Another great story is that this will be the last game ever played by one of the greatest players in NFL history, Ray Lewis. After 17 seasons and 13 Pro Bowl selections, one of the most accomplished players to play the game and the face of the Raven organization will retire. Whether the Ravens win or not, it’s safe to say that Lewis will end his career on top.
The last of the major story lines comes from the young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. In only his second year in the NFL and his first season of actually starting, Kaepernick has remarkably led his 49ers to an NFC title and Super Bowl bid.
Whether you are a 49ers fan or Ravens fan doesn’t matter. If you’re a sports fan, there is no losing.