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Ravens, 49ers square off in ‘Harbowl’

Dan Turczynski
January 30, 2013
Filed under Sports

The 2012-13 NFL season is nearing an end with two teams in quest of the Lombardi Trophy. The NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers will square off in Super Bowl XLVII against the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens.

For the first time in NFL history two brothers will be coaching against one another in the Super Bowl. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh are brothers separated by just nine months in age. They have faced each other once before in their careers — Thanksgiving night 2011 when John’s Ravens beat Jim’s 49ers 16-6.

The 49ers look to add to its rich history of Lombardi Trophies. The 49ers is 5-0 in Super Bowls in its storied history. If the 49ers able to beat the Ravens it will secure its sixth Super Bowl, tying them with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl Championships for a NFL franchise all time.

The last time the 49ers was in the Super Bowl was during the 1994-95 season when they beat the San Diego Chargers 49-26. The Ravens on the other hand, will be making its second Super Bowl appearance in a brief history that began in 1996. The 2000-01 Ravens destroyed the Giants 34-7 to win its first Super Bowl.

The Baltimore Ravens started out the 2012 season 9-2 and was poised to make noise in the playoffs. However, a 1-5 end to the season — which included three losses to playoff teams — seemed to end any momentum the Ravens had built up.

The week of the Ravens’ wild card showdown with the Indianapolis Colts, veteran linebacker Ray Lewis announced that this would be his last season in the NFL. Ravens fans and Lewis’ teammates were saddened by the news, but the team quickly began to rally behind the news as its driving force to win the next three games. The Ravens beat the Colts at home in the wild card round, then went on to beat Peyton Manning and the No. 1 seed Denver Broncos and finally beat Tom Brady and the No. 2 seed New England Patriots to reach the Super Bowl. The Ravens was determined to extend Lewis’ career week by week and give him a shot to win his second Super Bowl.

The 49ers also started the season hot, going 8-2-1 in its first 11 games. However, a tie and eventual loss to the St. Louis Rams, a team that finished 7-8-1, had people writing off the 49ers. Big news from the 49ers came when head coach Jim Harbaugh benched quarterback Alex Smith, who suffered a concussion against the Rams in a game that would end in a tie. The next week Smith was cleared to play against the Chicago Bears. However, it was second-year man Colin Kaepernick who got the starting nod over Smith. Kaepernick led the 49ers to a  win over the Bears, who at the time was 7-2 and looking to cement itself among the NFC’s elite teams.

Kaepernick would finish the season 5-2 as the starter, and the 49ers was able to sneak into the No. 2 seed in the NFC, earning them a first round bye. In the second round the 49ers dominated the Green Bay Packers, totaling more than 500 yards of offense, including 181 yards rushing from Kaepernick  — an NFL record for a quarterback.

After trailing the Falcons 17-0 early in the second quarter of the NFC Championship game, Kaepernick again proved why he was named the starter over Smith, leading his team on a 28-7 scoring run to end the game and advance his 49ers to the Super Bowl.

The Ravens (10-6) will meet the 49ers (11-4-1) at the Superdome in New Orleans. The 49ers have opened up as the four-point favorite over the Ravens, but that number is subject to change as the game gets closer to kickoff. The Super Bowl will air Feb. 3 on CBS at 5:30 p.m.

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