The waiting game edges ever closer to its conclusion as Super Bowl XLVII is set to kick off this Sunday evening.
It's fitting that the most popular league in the United States culminates with the event that is watched in the most households across the country every year.
The Super Bowl captivates Americans unlike any other television show or sporting event around. Sure, you might have friends over to watch a game or something, but it's never to the level of a Super Bowl party.
While the players spend months working for the opportunity to play in the big game, fans spend months planning where the party will be, who's coming over and what foods are going to be prepared.
All of the buildup ends this Sunday. That's when the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers fight it out on the gridiron to see who is the best the NFL has to offer.
Here's what you need to know to watch the game at home and predictions for the game's most important outcomes.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
Kickoff: Sunday, Feb. 3, at 6:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: CBSSports.com
Not even the most ardent fan of the Ravens could have said he or she believed the team would make the Super Bowl when the playoffs started.
They perhaps weren't even the favored team coming out of the AFC North. The Cincinnati Bengals entered the postseason on a much better run, and yet it's Baltimore who is the last AFC team standing.
On the other hand, the 49ers were a much solid pick and surprise very few by making it this far. What has been thrilling, though, has been the play of Colin Kaepernick. He's illustrated in the playoffs that he can beat defenses with both his arm and legs.
The Super Bowl is going to be close. Neither team is overwhelmingly good to an extent it can run away with the victory.
It's hard to bet against the Ravens at this point. They're playing with so much emotion, as Ray Lewis is retiring and Ed Reed is reaching the twilight of his career.
John Harbaugh and Dean Pees will have had two weeks to try and figure out a defensive game plan. The Ravens will do to the second-year quarterback what no other team has done this season and neutralize Kaepernick.
They're not going to be able to shut him down completely, but the Ravens will be greatly served by forcing Frank Gore to carry a heavier load of the 49ers offense.
Final Score: Baltimore 27, San Francisco 21
Super Bowl MVP: Joe Flacco
With one postseason, Joe Flacco has changed his entire career narrative. It's much the same as Eli Manning, who was once one of the most polarizing quarterbacks in the league.
One pass to David Tyree pretty much changed all of that. Two Super Bowl wins later, he's regarded as a surefire Hall of Famer and one of the best QBs in the clutch.
For Flacco, it was his touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones in the Divisional Round against the Denver Broncos that changed fans' perception of him.
Some of the best quarterbacks in the history of the league have been felled in the final game of the season, so no matter the result, Flacco will be in good company with everything he's done up to this point.
The retiring Lewis has garnered the most attention in the buildup to the Super Bowl, but these playoffs have belonged to Flacco. He's outplayed Peyton Manning and Tom Brady en route to passing for 853 yards and eight touchdowns.
It's a superb run that he'll continue this Sunday.
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