49ers vs. Ravens: Power Ranking Super Bowl MVP Candidates

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 20:  Head coach John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrate after defeating the New England Patriots in the 2013 AFC Championship game at Gillette Stadium on January 20, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Baltimore Ravens defeated the New England Patriots 28-13.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

There are few moments offered up in the sports world that are sweeter than a player celebrating an MVP award after winning the Super Bowl. 

While there have been players who have won the MVP on the losing team, that hasn't happened in a long time. So, we are going to work under the assumption that the MVP will be from the winning team. 

This article is not about who is going to win the game, but who has the best chance to win the MVP. So, I am going to rank three guys from each team, and let you decide which team you think is going to win. 


49ers Top MVP Candidates

No. 3: Frank Gore

Gore's use was sporadic during the regular season, but it appears the team was careful to make sure the 29-year-old had something left in the tank for the postseason. 

In the 49ers' two playoff games combined, Gore has gained a 209 yards on 44 carries and three touchdowns. 

He will be a featured part of the game plan this week, and if it hadn't been since 1998 that a running back last won the Super Bowl MVP, he would be second on this list. 


No. 2: Michael Crabtree

Since 2005, three receivers have won the MVP of the Super Bowl. That is the only position besides quarterback to claim the award since 2003. 

Crabtree came up huge in the 49ers' first playoff win in this run by scoring two touchdowns and racking up over 100 yards in receiving.

He was not as big a factor last game, as Vernon Davis was the big weapon in the passing game. Look for Crabtree to flourish as the Ravens gear up to stop Gore and Davis. 


No. 1: Colin Kaepernick 

Chances are, it is going to be a quarterback that wins this award, and Kaepernick has been playing at a high enough level to justify it. 

Kaepernick is a dual-threat quarterback who can provide huge plays in every way and from every position on the field. 

While his inexperience would seem to be a liability, it has not slowed him down yet. 


Ravens Top MVP Candidates 

No. 3: Ray Lewis

A linebacker has not won this award since 2001, when Ray Lewis won it. 

Ray is not as dominant a force as he was then, but he is still getting the job done as his 44 combined tackles in the three playoff games attests. 

Lewis will have an edge here as the sentimental choice, but he is still third as it is always hard for a defensive player to make the kind of plays necessary to steal the spotlight from the offensive players. 


No. 2: Anquan Boldin

Boldin has been on a tear. He has 16 catches for 276 yards and three touchdowns in the Ravens' playoff run. 

Boldin is a big-game player. In his previous Super Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals, he pulled in eight catches for 84 yards, and that was while playing second fiddle to Larry Fitzgerald. Also, he will be going against 49er corners who are the weakness of that talented defense. 


No. 1: Joe Flacco 

What a crazy ride for Flacco. He spent much of the regular season sending people scrambling to say he is not elite. Now, as he rips up the playoffs, everyone is running the other direction to say that he is in fact a top-flight quarterback.

I'm not sure about the elite thing, but I do know this guy brings it in the playoffs. 

Flacco has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions this postseason. If he keeps that up, he will be the MVP of this game.