Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is quietly winning games he’s not supposed to and putting up better numbers than his overhyped Super Bowl counterpart, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is busy trademarking his bicep-kissing touchdown celebration.
And that’s why the Ravens will win Super Bowl XLVII.
Say whatever you like about Flacco during the regular season, he is a totally different quarterback in the postseason. He has played in at least two postseason games in every year since his rookie year, starting in more postseason games (12) than Kaepernick has starts in his career (nine including this year’s playoffs), winning eight of those 12 games.
In his last seven playoff games, Flacco has thrown for 15 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Flacco opened this year’s playoff run by beating rookie phenom Andrew Luck’s Indianapolis Colts, which was an expected win. The Ravens were underdogs the next two games against the AFC’s No. 1 and No. 2 seeds.
During this year’s playoff run, he has completed 54.47 percent of his throws for 853 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions, equating to a 116 quarterback rating.
And there’s no reason to think Flacco’s playoff success will end on Feb. 3.
The weakness in this 49ers defense is its secondary, more specifically its cornerbacks on the outside. During the NFC Championship Game, cornerbacks Tarell Brown and Chris Culliver were harassed by Atlanta Falcons wideouts Julio Jones and Roddy White, who combined for 18 catches, 282 yards and two touchdowns.
Most of those catches were against Brown, who Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan successfully threw at all game.
And the Super Bowl will be the same struggle for Brown. At 5’10’’, 193 pounds, he doesn’t have the strength to cover Anquan Boldin, who has 276 yards receiving and three touchdowns this postseason, or the speed to run with Torrey Smith.
On the flip side, the Ravens defense will harass Kaepernick and the 49ers offense. They allowed just nine points to the Colts and held the Broncos—the No. 2 scoring offense in the NFL—to 21 offensive points in their double-overtime win. Then they held the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense—the New England Patriots—to 13 points, shutting them out in the second half.
Put Kaepernick’s two postseason games in perspective. He burst on the scene with his 263-yards-passing and 181-yard-rushing performance against the Green Bay Packers in the NFL divisional game, then followed that up with a 233-yard-passing performance against the Falcons.
But let’s face it: The Packers defense is average at best, and the Falcons pass defense is No. 23 in the NFL. Now he goes up against the vaunted Ravens defense, which is led by Ray Lewis, who is playing at a top level, recording 44 total tackles during the three-game playoff run, as well as ball hawk safety Ed Reed and hard-hitting safety Bernard Pollard.