PREVIEW: Super Bowl XLVII (49ers v Ravens)

imageAMERICAN FOOTBALL – Super Bowl XLVII will go down in history as the ‘Har-Bowl’, the first in which two brothers take each other on as head coaches. It also features two teams that have won all the Super Bowls in which they have appeared. We have more on this and many other stats in our Super Bowl XLVII preview.

 

 

HAR-BOWL

> This will be the first Super Bowl that sees two head coaches who are brothers take each other on. John Harbaugh (23 Sep 1962) is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens and younger brother Jim Harbaugh (23 Dec 1963) is the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

> John Harbaugh never enjoyed a pro career as a player as he never made it past the collegiate ranks (University of Miami), where he played as a defensive back. Jim Harbaugh played in the NFL for 14 seasons (1987-2001), representing six different teams playing quarterback, including the Baltimore Ravens in the 1998 season.

> These two brothers also met once in the regular season. On Thanksgiving Day 2011 (24 Nov 2011), John led his Ravens over the Niners 16-6 in Baltimore. This match marked the first time in NFL history that brothers coached against each other. The closest thing to it was and is a father (Don Shula) defeating a son (Dave Shula) twice – once in October 1994 and again in October 1995.

> Of all 32 current NFL head coaches, Jim Harbaugh has the highest career winning percentage in regular season and postseason combined (.764). John Harbaugh’s .677 ranks third in the league behind the .750 of the Arizona Cardinals’ Bruce Arians.

> The Harbaughs combine for seven seasons in the NFL, in each of which they have reached the playoffs and at least the Divisional Round for that matter. They both inherited a team that did not reach the playoffs in the season prior to their arrival.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

> The Baltimore Ravens lost six games in the regular season and only four of the previous 46 Super Bowl Champions had lost six or more games in the regular season. Three of the four achieved that feat in recent years – last year’s New York Giants, the Green Bay Packers the season before, the 2007/2008 New York Giants, and finally the 1988/1989 San Francisco 49ers.

> The Baltimore Ravens have won the only Super Bowl they have ever featured in. On 28 January 2001, they defeated the New York Giants 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV. Baltimore did not allow their opponents to score a single touchdown on offense as New York’s only score came on a Ron Dixon kickoff return.

> The only Baltimore Raven still remaining on the team from that victorious campaign is linebacker Ray Lewis. He is also the only player on the Ravens’ roster that has won a Super Bowl. Their roster includes three other players who have played in a Super Bowl, only to lose the game: linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo with the 2006/2007 Chicago Bears, wide receiver Anquan Boldin with the 2008/2009 Arizona Cardinals and safety James Ihedigbo with the 2011/2012 New England Patriots.

> Ray Lewis started his career in 1996 with the Baltimore Ravens. That was the year of the only victory ever by the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens. Lewis collected 2.5 sacks that rookie season. The first quarterback he ever sacked was Jim Harbaugh, the current head coach for the San Francisco 49ers and then the signal-caller for the Indianapolis Colts. Jim Harbaugh and Lewis played on the same Ravens team in the 1998 season.

> Ray Lewis was voted into 13 Pro Bowls in his 17-year professional career. Only two players have been voted into more – Bruce Matthews and Merlin Olsen (14 each).

> If Ray Lewis wins the Vince Lombardi Trophy, there will be a record 12 years separating successive Super Bowl wins. The record is 11 by kicker Matt Bahr who won with the 1979/1980 Pittsburgh Steelers and the 1990/1991 New York Giants and quarterback Jim McMahon who won with the 1985/1986 Chicago Bears and the 1996/1997 Green Bay Packers.

> The record for most years separating any two successive Super Bowl appearances for a player is 13 years, by Junior Seau with the 1994/1995 San Diego Chargers and the 2007/2008 New England Patriots.

> Ray Lewis is the oldest player on the Ravens’ roster. He will be 37 years and 246 days old on the day of Super Bowl XLVII. He can become the oldest player to win a Super Bowl, whilst playing primarily on defense. If the Ravens win, he will beat the record by the Washington Redskins’ Dave Butz (SB XXII, 31 Jan 1988) by 43 days.

> Baltimore Ravens’ offensive guard Ramon Harewood will celebrate his 26th birthday on the day of Super Bowl XLVII.

> Baltimore Ravens’ return specialist Jacoby Jones is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana.

> Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell was the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts, when they lost SB XLIV (7 Feb 2010) against the New Orleans Saints.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

> The San Francisco 49ers have won all of the five Super Bowls they have played in. They are the only side to have featured in multiple Super Bowls without ever losing one.

> The Niners’ last Super Bowl appearance dates back to 29 January 1995, when they defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-26. The 75 points scored in that match are a Super Bowl record.

> Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick will be making only his 10th career start. Only two signal callers had fewer starts under their belt. Vince Ferragamo made only his eighth career start for the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl XIV (20 Jan 1980) and Jeff Hostetler made only his seventh career start for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXV (27 Jan 1991). Hostetler replaced the injured Phil Simms, who joins Jim Nantz as CBS commentators reporting on the Super Bowl this year.

> In the Divisional Round against the Green Bay Packers, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick set a NFL single game record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (181). In the Super Bowl, only two quarterbacks have racked up at least 50 rushing yards in a game – the 59 by the 49ers’ Joe Montana in SB XIX (20 Jan 1985) and the 64 by the Tennessee Titans’ Steve McNair in SB XXXIV (30 Jan 2000).

> Kaepernick supplanted incumbent starting quarterback Alex Smith in Week 11 of the regular season and has built a 7-2-0 record as a starter (against Smith’s 6-2-1 record). In Week 15 against the New England Patriots, Kaepernick threw four TD passes, something Smith had never done after having been drafted with the number one overall pick by the 49ers in the 2005 NFL Draft.

> Alex Smith will not be returning as a San Francisco 49er for the 2013/2014 season.

> Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio was employed by the Baltimore Ravens from 2006 to 2010, in his last two seasons working closely together with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman worked on the Ravens’ coaching staff from 2006 to 2007.

> The San Francisco 49ers have scored 188 points in Super Bowl history. Only the Dallas Cowboys (221) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (193) have registered more.

> Four players on the current San Francisco 49ers’ roster have played in a Super Bowl. Clark Haggans (2005/2006 Pittsburgh Steelers) and Jonathan Goodwin (2009/2010 New Orleans Saints) won their cause, David Akers (2004/2005 Philadelphia Eagles) and Randy Moss (2007/2008 New England Patriots) played for the side that lost the contest.

THE VENUE

> Super Bowl XLVII (47) will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is the seventh time that this venue will host the Super Bowl and the first time since the Mercedes-Benz company purchased the naming rights in October 2011.

> The stadium opened in 1975, the same year in which New Orleans-based Tulane Stadium hosted its last of three Super Bowls. This gives the city of New Orleans a total of 10, which equals the record for most Super Bowls hosted by a city (officially: a metropolitan area) – Miami, Florida.

> This stadium also hosted Super Bowl XXIV, in which the San Francisco 49ers demolished the Denver Broncos, 55-10 making for the most lopsided contest in Super Bowl history. That also was the Niners’ only postseason appearance at this stadium.

ABOUT THE SUPER BOWL

> The Super Bowl has not produced a player rushing for 100+ yards since the 2006/2007 season, when Dominic Rhodes managed the feat for the Indianapolis Colts (113) and Thomas Jones did it for the Chicago Bears (112).

> No team has ever been shut out in the Super Bowl. The fewest points produced by one team is three, by the Miami Dolphins in SB VI (16 Jan 1972), when they lost to the Dallas Cowboys.

> No Super Bowl has ever gone into overtime.

> In 46 previous Super Bowls, the game’s Most Valuable Player has been a quarterback on 25 occasions, including the last three Super Bowls.

> Teams winning the turnover battle in the Super Bowl have built a track record of 33 wins and four defeats. In nine Super Bowls, both teams produced an equal amount of turnovers.

> The biggest deficit that was ever overturned in a Super Bowl is 10 points. In SB XXII (31 Jan 1988), the Washington Redskins trailed the Denver Broncos 10-0 before winning the contest by 42-10. In SB XLIV (7 Feb 2010), the New Orleans Saints trailed the Indianapolis Colts 10-0 before winning the contest by 31-17.

> The longest scoring play in SB history is the 100-yard interception return by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ James Harrison against the Arizona Cardinals in SB XLIII (1 Feb 2009).  The longest scoring play by an offense is the 85-yard pass TD by the Carolina Panthers’ Muhsin Muhammad (pass thrown by Jake Delhomme) in SB XXXVIII (1 Feb 2004).

> The opening kickoff in the Super Bowl has been returned for a touchdown once. In SB XLI, the Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester took an Indianapolis Colts kickoff 92 yards to the house.

> The last six Super Bowls have been won by each of the six seeds – from 2006/2007 to 2011/2012 by 3-5-2-1-6-4. The Ravens are seeded fourth within their conference, the 49ers are seeded second.

> Three of the last five Super Bowls have resulted in ‘upsets’. The team anointed favourites by Las Vegas oddsmakers for this Super Bowl are the San Francisco 49ers.

INFOSTRADA SPORTS GROUP PREDICTION

> San Francisco 49ers 27 Baltimore Ravens 20

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